Improved Leadership. Competitive Advantage.

Three months ago, a manager with 20+ years of experience approached us after a meeting with a remarkable assertion—she was ready to quit. And the dominant reason offered was that she was convinced her boss didn’t care about her. Using our own medicine, one of us asked, “How could you possibly know that?” Her response was telling. She had said that over the last five years, neither her boss nor HR held a career discussion with her.

She may have been right. Few things signal that we care more than having a career discussion with members of our team. We remember her saying, “I don’t even want a promotion. I would love a lateral transfer to this job at HQ, but nobody ever asks me. I’ve been a top performer for the last five years, and I expected more of my leadership than this.”

Career mapping serves dual purposes. Most importantly, it shows, as a leader, that you take interest. You care enough to know someone’s wants, needs, talents and desires. It shows, as a leader, you care about the future potential of a person to a degree more than just caring about what they can produce in the present. Career mapping also serves the organization. The most sophisticated executives and HR departments are matchmakers! In essence, they match an employee’s wants, needs, talents and desires with organizational opportunities. As a leader, if you don’t know the wants, needs, talents and desires of your employees, how could you possibly match them up with an organizational opportunity that fits? You can’t. That’s the point.

To learn how to do career mapping correctly, legally and effectively, ping Robin Bichy, an ELP principal and founder, at