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9 Things I Learned From Drake About the Career Arc of High Potentials...

I know. Drake?  Has it really come to that?  I'm writing about Drake on an HR blog?

The thing is, there's three things that everyone can relate to.  Sports, Pop Culture and Work. I weave sports and pop culture in this so I'm not bored.  My readers seem to like it.

What I've noticed is that whatever world you're in, you use the other worlds to connect.  Music stars want to be athletes.  Athletes want to be rappers and movie stars.  Everyone once in a while, you'll see an entertainer dip down in the world of work to connect. Not often, but it happens

And so it goes with the video to Drake's 2013 hit, "Started From the Bottom".  You could run a class about high potential employees by watching it.  In fact, here's the top 9 things I see related to HiPos out of this video.  See the list below and the video cued up to the clip in question, then commentary below each clip, Drizzy-style. (email subscribers click through to see the videos.  NOTE: This is the clean version of the video, but if you're easily offended, this post might not be for you)

9 things you can learn about High Potentials (HiPos) from this Drake video:

1. HiPos have been HiPos for a long time. See clip below. They've had success before:

(play through :07) HiPos have been successful before you got them.  Sports, life, whatever.  They've been ID'd elsehwere.

2. Once HiPos understand that they're HiPos, they're not without ego.
3. The parents of HiPos sometimes have a rocky ride with them due to the ego that comes with being a HiPo.  See the clip below for both of these.

Clip - Play through :18

Clip - Play through :34

The scene says it all.  Fake snow, ghost riding a high-end sedan.  All in the day of a life of a HiPo.  Living in their momma's house, arguing every month.  Arguing comes with HiPos, because they have been attempting to negotiate everything since they were a kid. You probably modeled that for them as a parent.  Nice work, Mom.

4. HiPos get identified and promoted whether you have a succession plan or not.
5. HiPos know how to manage up.  See the clip below for both of these.

Clip - Play through :38

Clip - Play through :30

It doesn't matter if you have a succession program. Their ability to do the work and manage up gets recognized.  Look at Drake turn and face the manager and communicate.  He's different.  The low-end supervisor knows it.  It's like watching evolution in real time.

6. The colleagues/co-workers of HiPos don't fully comprehend the gap and are apt to talk #### about them behind their back.
7. Ultimately, the co-workers accept the gap.

Clip - Play through :39

Clip - Play through :50

Love this part.  The friends can't believe that Drake got to promo. What about them? But keep watching, they quickly congratulate him and accept the gap. Fall in line, grunts.  Bonus points for the manager slapping the inventory list from the grunt.

8.  Co-workers of the HiPo get taken along for the ride.

Clip - Play through :58 

Once Drake is the night manager, it's a party for the co-workers.  Synchronized dancing and stuff.  He's the night manager, after all.

9. HiPos are reflective when they reach the top.

Clip - Play through 1:45

Promotion - Check. Raise - Check. Billboard as a monument to where he started and how far the HiPo has come - check.

Next up: An analysis of Rising Benefit costs as told through a Guns and Roses medley.


Alan O

This post reminds me of the huge difference between Leadership Emergence, and Leadership Efficacy...

(Emergence meaning that, out of any group, certain individuals display the personality traits that lead them to aspire towards higher positions; and from any given group those will be the ones most likely to rise. Efficacy means, of course, that when you attain a higher position, you are actually good at it)

For many, it's not that HiPo status leads to ego. It's ego that leads to HiPo behavior.

Amusing to contrast this with the Valentine's Day post: Those sucky managers that are driving the good talent away? They came from the Land of HiPo.

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