January 14th, 2019 | Leadership

Note from Bob:  The second edition of my friends Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni book, “Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go” releases tomorrow – January 15.  But you can order it now by clicking “HERE.”  Six years ago when the first edition was released I was captured by the title alone!  You will not be disappointed – their book is filled with great questions that will help you help your staff grow!

Excerpted from “Help Them Grow or Watch Them” Go by Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni

Remember as a kid how adults were always asking what you wanted to be when you grew up? Astronaut. Designer. Doctor. We’ve been programmed since childhood to think in terms being. And this is reinforced in the workplace as the org chart defines what we want to be – sending us to chase after a progression of positions and titles.

But we know that given today’s reality, there just may not be that many positions or titles available. Does it mean that people who remain in the same role are condemned to pickling their minds, extinguishing their spirits, and not developing? (Answer: Absolutely not.)

What it means is that managers must shift the conversation from what employees want to be to what they want to do.

  • What kind of work do you want to be doing?
  • What problems do you want to solve?
  • What challenges do you want to confront?
  • What kinds of materials, issues, customers do you want to deal with?
  • What achievements do you want to attain?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?

Discussions around what people want to be are inherently limiting. Because there will likely never enough promotions and moves to go around. But discussions about what people want to do are constrained only by the creativity that you and the employee bring to them. A savvy manager can always find ways to invite greater challenge and interest into the envelop of someone’s current role.

Focusing more on doing and less on being offers employees a way to expand their definitions of success in a way that allows for greater development in place. This mindset and approach acknowledge the reality of the current workplace while meeting the needs of the employee and the organization at the same time.

Beverly Kaye & Julie Winkle Giulioni


Beverly Kaye is recognized internationally as one of the most knowledgeable and practical professionals in the areas of career development, employee engagement and retention. In 2018 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the Thought Leader Award from The Association of Learning Providers (ISA). Beverly’s books include Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, and Up is Not the Only Way.


Julie Winkle Giulioni works with organizations worldwide to improve performance through leadership and learning. Named one of Inc. Magazine’s top 100 leadership speakers, Julie is the co-author of the international bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want (2nd edition is due our 1-15-19) and travels extensively delivering keynotes and training on career development and more. www.juliewinklegiulioni.com


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