The Lazy CEO Podcast

Organizational Talent Management

by Jun 6, 2023The Lazy CEO Podcast

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In this episode about Organizational Talent Management

  • In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the importance of talent management at both the individual and executive team levels.
  • Jim explains the concept of A, B, and C players in an organization, where A players consistently overperform, B players meet expectations, and C players consistently underperform.
  • The episode highlights the challenges of addressing low performers and the central tendency problem, where managers tend to overrate their team members, resulting in a skewed perception of talent distribution. Jim emphasizes the need for transparency and fair evaluation to effectively manage talent and make informed decisions regarding promotions and performance improvement plans.

Here is a glimpse of Organizational Talent Management

In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser, founder of the CEO Project, discusses organizational talent management. He starts by highlighting the importance of focusing on individual talent and how the executive team should engage with talent at a broader level. Jim explains the concept of A’s, B’s, and C’s to assess individual performance. A’s consistently overperforms, provides innovative ideas, and drives the organization forward. B performs as required and meets expectations, while C’s consistently underperforms and fails to meet the standard.

Jim acknowledges the reluctance to rate individuals as C players due to the negative energy and conflict. He emphasizes the need for accurate assessment and avoiding a central tendency problem where everyone is rated above average. He shares examples of government employee evaluations that showed 82% of employees rated as above average, highlighting the issue with inflated ratings.

The podcast delves into the consequences of the central tendency problem, particularly during challenging times or raising discussions. Identifying C players for potential exit during a recessionary environment becomes crucial. Additionally, Jim discusses the challenges of giving equal raises to all employees, which can demotivate high performers and lead them to seek opportunities elsewhere.

To address these issues, Jim introduces several tools for talent management within the executive team. The first tool is stack ranking and normalization, where individual ratings are transparently discussed and analyzed collectively. This helps identify and address any disparities in ratings and promotes fair and appropriate compensation distribution.

The podcast also introduces an annual evaluation one-pager focusing on leadership competencies and the “Five E’s” (Energy, Execution, Excitement, and Edge). This one-pager allows for a comprehensive assessment of individual strengths and weaknesses and helps determine the development plan for each employee.

Succession planning is another crucial aspect discussed in the podcast. Jim suggests creating an org chart indicating individuals’ current positions and rating their promotability and readiness to move up in the organization. This exercise helps identify potential successors and highlights the need to develop talent at all levels.

Jim emphasizes that talent is owned by the organization and not individual managers, discouraging shielding behaviors that hinder talent development. He encourages executive teams to engage in open discussions and assessments to ensure organizational capacity building and avoid stagnation.

This episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast provides practical insights and tools for executive teams to effectively manage and develop talent within their organizations, fostering growth and success.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The CEO Project. The CEO Project is a business advisory group that brings high-caliber, accomplished CEOs together. Our team of skilled advisors comprises current and former CEOs who have run public and private sector companies across multiple industries. With our experience and expertise, we guide hundreds of high-performing CEOs through a disciplined approach that resolves constraints and improves critical decisions. The CEO Project has helped high-performing, large enterprise CEOs with annual revenues ranging from $20M to over $2 billion to drive growth and achieve optimal outcomes. If you are an experienced CEO looking to grow your company, visit