talent development podcast

The Real Key To Talent Development Is Authentic Caring

By David Hassell, CEO of 15Five

Everyone must take responsibility for their own evolution. This is the challenge that coaches, managers, and leaders regularly face around the people who they lead. While they can commit to talent development, help set and track milestones, and provide resources and support, people must, in the end, commit to their own transformation.

Perhaps the greatest impact that business leaders can have, however, involves how they see their people. This is why we describe one of three key pillars of Best-Self Management, as “being and becoming your best self.” Leaders must simultaneously celebrate the greatness of their people (being), and also inspire continuous improvement (becoming).

As business leaders, compassion is one of the most powerful tools we have to accomplish this. It allows us to support our people through their crises and challenges and help them grow towards becoming their best selves throughout that journey. We discuss all of this and more in the latest podcast:

In this episode, we also discuss:

• Why becoming your best self is a rewarding yet never-ending journey

• How fostering gratitude is the best antidote for negativity and will fuel high-performance

• The power of embracing adversity and the dangers of toxic positivity

• Why compassion is one of the most important leadership qualities

• How the way you see people influences the way they show up


Intentional talent development

The following is a transcribed and lightly edited  portion of the Best-Self Management Podcast, Episode 15, “The Real Key to Talent Development is Authentic Caring”:

David: Some of the attributes of a Best-Self culture is one where you hold high care and high performance, and optimize for growth over comfort. We know that growth isn’t always comfortable.

Shane: I want to go into something that we haven’t talked a ton about which is, How you see people, changes people. To see somebody’s highest potential that you work with is to increase the odds of them reaching that potential.

In a sense, Best-Self Management begins as a mindset shift of how you think about your people. The idea I want to explore is that the intentions and expectations and how we see people actually influences how they show up. This borders on mystical voodoo magic, and yet it’s probably one of the truest principles that I’ve discovered.

David: I think that there’s a lot of truth to that in my experience.

Learn how to create a mindset shift for yourself and your employees. Enroll in the Best-Self Academy!

Shane: Think about someone in your life you are holding a less than unlimited intention for, can you begin to imagine them in a higher octave of relating and performing?

David: It’s a skill and a practice to develop as a leader and a manager, to be able to do that. The default and more common view, especially as you abstract people as mere resources or assets of the organization, is to think about them as fixed.

I have a person in a particular role, who is either performing well or not. If I assess that person is not meeting the standards, I might say I have to get rid of them and find somebody else, and in some cases, that’s the right move. There’s a way we can develop this skill to see what’s possible instead of what we currently see.

If you’re holding a growth mindset for people, you’re expecting them to be better and you’re also communicating a belief. It’s not quite being critical as in thinking, I see your potential and you’re not living up to it. It’s more like, I accept you for who you are but I see there’s more for you. There’s a subtle distinction there.

Shane: You listening (and reading) may not know that David is famous for having a superpower in this domain to be able to see somebody and to tractor beam in. He becomes stubbornly resistant to any reality other than the potential, light, power, and competence that he sees in somebody. Of course, it’s obvious and doesn’t even matter that they can’t see it! He just keeps holding it until it’s real!

It isn’t like you see everyone like this. Someone who isn’t performing, it’s not like you just ignore their mistakes until they get their sh*t together. So the question is, what are you actually doing when you hold people in the organization in this way?


Listen to the entire episode to learn how you can hold a high intention for the people that you lead, to positively influence talent development at your organization:


Additional Resources:

The Genius Habit by Laura Garnett

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 

Clifton Strengths

Via Character Strengths 

Radical Candor 


David Hassell, CEO of 15Five

David Hassell is a business columnist, speaker, and serial entrepreneur who believes that when leaders institute cultural practices that support each person in being and becoming their best self, high performance and uncommon loyalty naturally result. As co-founder and CEO of 15Five, David created the science-inspired Best-Self Management methodology that helps leaders and managers address the hidden factors that stimulate sustainable growth and development – things like intrinsic motivation, growth mindset, strengths, and psychological safety in the workplace. David has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Wired. Follow him on Twitter @dhassell.

Shane Metcalf is a keynote speaker on building a world class workplace and one of the world’s leading pioneers in the space of cultural engineering and positive psychology. His insights have been featured in Inc, Fast Company, Washington Post, and Tech Crunch. As the Co-founder of 15Five, Shane and his team support HR Executives with data-driven continuous performance management. 15Five has won numerous awards for their company culture, including the prestigious Inc Best Workplaces award, and is ranked #3 in the U.S. on GlassDoor. Follow Shane on Twitter and LinkedIn, and listen to him co-host the Best-Self Management Podcast.

Image Credit: Pedro Kümmel on Unsplash


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