Human resources professionals play an integral part in the success of an organization. Best HR leaders have learned, developed, and experienced what it requires to nurture and lead employees throughout the employee lifecycle. One such noteworthy HR leader is Megan Leasher, Ph.D., Chief Solutions Strategist at Talent Plus, Inc., who helps employees, teams, and organizations diagnose challenges, strategize a way forward and formulate impactful, holistic solutions.
Megan describes her leadership style as transparent, individualized, and one that offers caring, yet fierce protection of her team.
In an interview with Insights Success, Megan shared her journey, successes and future endeavours as an HR leader.
Below are the highlights of our interview with Megan:
Tell us about your organization, Talent Plus. What makes it unique?
Talent Plus is truly unlike any organization I have ever experienced. At Talent Plus, we know everyone has talent. When the right talent is aligned with the right job, both success and joy happen. Our mission is clear: we aim to discover and develop talent, creating a world where people do what they are good at and enjoy. It is not enough for us to help our clients as organizations; we aim for each employee to be great at and love what they do.
For more than 30 years, Talent Plus has been working with organizations to discover and develop top performing people and build Talent-Based Organizations ®. With more than 70 scientifically developed assessments spanning a range of jobs, roles and industries, no other organization provides the level of knowledge around individual potential. Additionally, with a team of seasoned, passionate experts, Talent Plus works closely with its client partners to continually assess, develop and maximize talent. As a result, individuals and businesses not only thrive, but make a more positive impact in the world.
According to you, what is the highest-value opportunity for improving talent management?
A true dedication to proactive succession planning. Too often in talent management, organizations have moments where a quick, senior-leader placement decision needs to be made and they are ill prepared. I feel like many of us have fallen prey to experiencing one of these moments. Getting ahead of those is critical to confidently, swiftly and successfully placing leaders, whether in short-term interim, emergency and/or long-term talent decisions.
What values are important to you as a HR leader?
“Loyalty, positivity and confidence.” I would not be the leader I am today without these three values. They are always on my mind and influence every decision I make and every relationship I build and foster.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
There are countless people who have imprinted positive leadership in my life. However, the person who has made the biggest impact on me as a leader does not fall into this category. Instead, she was the first boss I ever had and was a terrible leader. I was 15 and a housekeeper in a hotel and conference center. My boss was rude and condescending. She regularly accused us of lying and shirking our duties when there was evidence to the contrary. She took no interest in us as people and would not even make eye contact with us. Looking back, it was a daily laundry list of how NOT to lead. I feel both sad and grateful that I learned so much from her.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a HR leader?
I am making sure I spend time to increase my knowledge about project management and change management. Both are incredibly valuable in getting work accomplished and helping people successfully transition to be their best selves and accomplish their best work.
I am also working on my coaching skills. Specifically, talking less and last, and asking more open-ended questions to help people realize and envision their own ideas. I love being a front-row witness to seeing the excitement of someone coming up with a new idea and their eagerness to try it out.
What are your future endeavors and goals?
My future goal is simple; to do all I can to help people combine their talents and passions to accomplish greatness – greatness that helps us actualize a better world. Whether that is helping organizations innovate and create visions, being a strong team leader or helping individuals grow when bouncing back from setbacks, I want to help.
Where do you see HR industry in the near future?
In the future, I see HR as the ultimate change agent to help organizations pivot teams toward accomplishing goals that generate new revenue streams, inspire leaders to thrive and encourage employees to know their potential – arming them with a road map of tools to help them actualize it.
What advice would you like to give to emerging leaders?
Focus on your talents. We all have our “aces and spaces,” but we must make an intentional choice to gain the self-awareness of our talents so we can leverage them in all that we do as leaders. Focus on serving one another. Relationships are about helping each other in good times and bad. Being in caring service to others will keep us humble, helpful and collaborative.