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ICMA / Career Network / Coaching / Talent Development

Talent Development

Would you like to make greater use of your talent and have fun doing it? Here are resources you can use on your own, with a coach, or across your organization. Create a culture of talent development in the profession.


Download the Guide with resources and exercises to boost your career. This special edition is complimentary for the ICMA Coaching Program.

Did you know that 30 to 40% of talent lies untapped?

Surveys of hundreds of local government professionals show that even in strong organizations there's more that people could be contributing. You probably have many ways in which you'd like to grow or develop to advance in your career or keep what you are doing fresh and engaging. Or, perhaps, your opportunities and workload are already overwhelming. There are tools to help you not just survive but thrive.

tap keys to unlock the greatness in yourself and others

In their book, Take Charge of Your Talent: Three Keys to Thriving in Your Career, Organization, and LifeDon Maruska and Jay Perry describe how everyone can make greater use of their talent and boost their job satisfaction as well. In the following videos, Don Maruska, MBA, JD, Master Certified Coach, and Director of the ICMA Coaching Program, briefly describes the keys and provides real-life examples of how they have made a positive difference for local government professionals and the organizations they serve. If you want to jump to a particular insight or resource, click on "Watch on YouTube" mode, which will give you access to an index of topics by time in the YouTube description. Click on the time segment for what you'd like to see. 

To assist you in creating a rewarding new chapter in your talent story, we are providing a downloadable copy of the Take Charge of Your Talent Participant Guide - ICMA special edition that's complimentary for participants in the ICMA Coaching Program. The Guide is set up so that you can print it out or use it as an interactive PDF that you can fill in electronically as you go along. Even better, share your guide with a coach and benefit from a catalyst for your growth. 

key #1: power up your talent story

Watch a brief 10-minute video as an introduction to Take Charge of Your Talent and the first key.

Where are you in the use of your talent and job satisfacton and where do you want to be? Are you ready to move forward? The Talent Catalyst Conversation is the core of this key. Find someone to be a catalyst for you and give them the script on pages 8-11 of the Guide to stimulate your thinking.  See video illustrations of the Talent Catalyst Conversation at the "1-1 Coaching" tab.

key #2: accelerate through obstacles

Shift how you and your team view obstacles. See how they become opportunities to accelerate your progress.

The video references two tools that are in the book but not in the Participant Guide. For your convenience, you can download them here.

Key #3: Multiply the Payoffs for Yourself and others

This is the great win-win opportunity for you and your organization. Learn how you can make your talent tangible. This will create career assets for you and organizational assets for the community you serve.

If you want to get opportunities that you'd like, don't miss the personal brand formula. The video includes examples of how people at various levels in local government have used it to get what they want.

The video references an expanded resource to develop your personal brand and get what you want. You can download it here.

FAQs about talent development

For whom are these talent development keys available?

You can use these keys and resources as a team or across your organization. They provide a solid foundation for boosting a culture of talent development. If you have a volunteer coach through the ICMA Coaching Program, you can discuss what you are learning from the keys with your coach. You also can use the keys on your own. We've found, however, that players get much more value when they have others with whom they can bounce off their ideas and see things from a fresh perspective. You never need to go it alone. That's one of the great things about the profession of local government, especially the ICMA community. There are many people eager to support your success.

What if I'm in a department or organization that I don't feel supports talent development?

This is a good opportunity to reach out to a coach outside your organization. For example, you can share your situation with a volunteer coach in the ICMA Coaching Program. The volunteer coaches are not there to tell you what to do or to criticize or countermand the direction you are receiving. They can, however, help you reflect on your situation and identify options you may wish to consider. 

Please send any questions or comments about these resources to Don Maruska at ICMAcoaching@donmaruska.com. 

Enjoy the opportunities to thrive in local government!

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