Q: I have a budding star who I’m grooming for a senior role here. I keep hearing I should move him around to different jobs, exposing him to new challenges. But he loves his current job, and he’s outperforming everybody. Why change what works so well?
A: Guess what? You’re right to question the advice to move him around. Making potential stars hop all around the organization can demoralize and confuse them—and prevent them from bonding with mentors. Know how I groomed young bucks? I let them excel. When they did, I periodically asked, “Happy?” If they nodded, I left them alone. If they felt restless, I worked with them to find a stimulating new role. Ambitious people will signal when it’s time for you to intercede on their behalf to expose them to different challenges.