After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, I went off and worked for the Target corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. I was thrilled to be working for such a big company that seemed to have such an enthusiastic, positive and youthful company culture. Throughout my training, I found all those things to be true, and was so happy that I made the right decision to be there. After being pulled out of training early to be placed in a position that was needed right away, I was hopeful that I’d have the support needed to make it through. Just a few weeks working with my new boss however, changed my entire outlook on the job, company, and my fit amongst it all.
My manager was really great at analyzing the business. She knew market trends, understood the customer experience and was fantastic at strategically thinking through problems. She was terrible however at developing the team, and particularly had little patience for the newcomer on board…me. Part of Target’s mission is to develop its employees to serve as independent business owners of their particular product. To do this well requires a lot of training and support of the employees from the start, to encourage them to take on management positions throughout the company. In the article about having the right leaders for growth strategies we learned that it takes more than just business acumen to be a successful manager. When hiring from within in that case, it is important to ensure that you are offering the training needed to get the results you're looking for in your employees. But I don’t know if some of the superior leadership qualities can always be taught. If that is the case, knowing that it is important to look for specific things when hiring a manager, is it smart for most companies to ALWAYS give preference to internal applicants for managerial positions?