What Are You Doing to Keep the Best of the Best?

The movie Whiplash — the story of a young talented drummer and his demanding and ruthless teacher — is garnering a lot of attention (it’s been nominated for five Oscars) and it’s also kickstarting a lot of discussion.

What is the role of a teacher or coach? To what lengths should we go to elicit the best from someone? How do we motivate and not break people on the way to helping them reach their pinnacle?

These questions are relevant on school campuses, playing fields and the workplace. While I believe that everyone needs to get voted on the team and bring their A-game every day, I don’t believe the antiquated type of coaching works.

The world needs more talent than we have. Yes, we have a talent crisis.
No more command-and-control

In order to solve it, companies need to figure out how we can help people develop their skills to become appropriate candidates. Simultaneously, companies must evolve our management practices so they can appeal to modern talent.

Being the boss has always been a hard job. But now, it’s is harder than ever because it’s not about you, it’s about everyone else.

The era of command-and-control is passé. Arrogant Mad Men-style managers (big title, big office, big ego) who expect to be treated with deference and who manage via power and fear, makes today’s employees cringe. Bullies aren’t tolerated at school, or in the NFL, or in music conservatories. (J.K. Simmons was nominated for best supporting actor, but his character, the abusive conductor Terrence Fletcher, was fired.) And, bullies are not accepted in the board room anymore, either.

Today, it’s about teamwork; people work with us, not for us. It is management’s No. 1 job to make everyone successful. Management must embrace servant leadership.
6 rules for managing today’s talent

Here I have spelled out six (6) rules for modern management you should keep in mind:

  1. Be the employer of choice every day. Your best people are the ones who provide a disproportionate share of value to your company, and are also the ones most likely to be most sought after by competitors. What are you doing to be the best place for that top talent? Top talent wants to keep learning and being challenged, so you must do everything to help these people remain engaged, help them achieve their career goals.
  2. It’s about inspiration and motivation. Motivating individuals and teams to do their best is essential in today’s world. Get teams to continually reach new heights and raise their own expectations of what is possible. When properly encouraged, we find there is more in all of us to give.
  3. Demand a meritocracy. If it’s all about talent, then you need to assemble the best team. If someone is dragging the team down and not doing their jobs, work with them (quickly) to get it fixed, and if not, address the performance issue fast, and make a change, but do so humanely.
  4. Include people in the dialogue. Let employees collaborate with their peers and give them access to executives. Let them have a voice and embrace new ideas and input. They want to be included in the conversation and feel as if they are a part of something.
  5. Provide mentoring and coaching for employees. Understand your employees’ goals and work to help them achieve them. Provide career development and mentoring outside of the performance review process. Consider allowing the employee to get confidential external mentoring. I believe so strongly in the power of mentoring, but also know how hard it is to find mentors. This is actually why I co-founded Everwise, which uses data, software and people to help match mentors and protégés. In the future, mentoring relationships will not develop in the office; they will come from a network culled from a variety of areas.
  6. Understand it’s about opting in. Don’t be afraid of losing people; do things to win them over every day. The old model was built on a belief of scarcity — there are not enough talented people, so managers must hide their top talent so it doesn’t get poached. That’s not the case anymore! There are no jobs for life and you don’t own anyone so they can’t be stolen from you! And anyone with a LinkedIn account or Internet connection can identify and contact the hottest talent. The best way to have someone stay with your company is to make it appealing enough for them to want to stay.



Maynard Webb is chairman of Yahoo! Inc and a director at Everwise and VISA. He has more than 30 years of experience developing and leading high-growth companies. Webb served as CEO for LiveOps from 2006 to 2011. 


What Are You Doing to Keep the Best of the Best? (2015, February 19). Retrieved from http://www.tlnt.com/2015/02/19/what-are-you-doing-to-keep-the-best-of-the-best/

Strategic and Critical Thinking (CESB Accredited Program)
August 29-30, 2019

Strategic and critical thinking is an essential factor for an organization to succeed. We make personal and professional decisions  everyday, not just hundreds but sometimes we make thousands and so on. In this program, learn to develop strategic and critical thinking that allows you to develop a plan of action designed in order to achieve […]

Driving Execution (CESB Accredited Program)
September 5-6, 2019

Driving Execution is very essential in the organization, implementing plans is very difficult as some are resistant to change.  In this program learn the art of implementing plans despite the numerous challenges that may arise and be skilled in understanding and coping with the dynamics of change to help you achieve organizational success.   Date: September […]

Coaching: Raising Performance to the Next Level (CESB Accredited Program)
September 12-13, 2019

Coaching is a training and development of a learner. Coaching is very important as it help to bridge the gap between education and work experience.  It is a way to develop the employees which can be vital in achieving goals. In this program, understand and apply the different styles of coaching. Boost your employees performance […]

Building a Culture of Innovation in the Workplace
September 16-17, 2019

Organizations (profit or non-profit) are facing change like never before. Driving forces to this change include a rapidly expanding marketplace (globalization), and increasing competition, diversity among consumers, availability of and accessibility to new forms of technology and even a changing workplace culture. Creativity and innovation are keys to the success of a business. Leaders need […]

New Leadership Style for 21st Century (CESB Accredited Program)
September 18-20, 2019

New Leadership style for the 21st century provides foundational grounding on self-mastery, emotional intelligence and relating EQ skills to effective leadership and success. Participants also learn how to use these skills in coaching, conflict resolution and in handling difficult employees. Leadership is the most critical element of the business, effective leaders have the needed tools […]

(Driving Innovation) Thinking out-of-the-box Embracing Innovative Leadership (CESB Accredited)
September 26-27, 2019

(Driving Innovation) Thinking out-of-the-box: Embracing Innovative Leadership will help the participants understand and appreciate the need for a mindset of creative thinking and innovation. They will learn and understand the driving and hindering forces in creative thinking and innovation as well as develop and enhance their skills. They will learn and practice skills in actual […]

Leveraging HR Analytics and Data
September 26-27, 2019

Talent analytics and big data are now must-have capabilities in HR. The business world is transformed by sheer volume, speed and, availability of data.  Big data is essential to HR and L&D because it allows the conversations and connections which have tended to be in the realm of immeasurable to be captured and leveraged. HR Analytics […]

Essentials of Managing Change and Employee Transition (CESB Accredited)
October 3-4, 2019

Adjusting to organizational changes is always a challenge, and resistance to such change is a very common human response. This program provides a transition process for individuals going through change and a change leadership framework to understand resistance to change and how to manage it. The organization must have a systematic approach when dealing with […]

View our clients’ testimonials