Raise your hand if you have ever said one or more of the following:
I’d like to spend time leading my team, but I’ve got to focus on….
Renewing my existing clients
Retaining my high performers
Daily fire drills
Operational issues only I can solve
Reviewing my team’s daily client interactions
Sound familiar? What others are on your list?
There’s never an ideal time to lead your team. It seems like there is always something else more pressing. However, orphan your team at your peril. Without leadership, they will take matters into their own hands and that’s when your value proposition starts to weaken. Leading your team is not overcomitting…it’s your job!
Coaching Requires Discipline
Coaching people requires discipline, just like training for a marathon, learning a musical instrument or preparing for an important client meeting. To grow, we need discipline. Imagine if you raised children without any guidance!
The real question is: how important is it to you that you develop your team? I will tell you that it’s very important to your team. Who else do they have?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Does your team know where you want them to be in six months or a year?
How will they know this without your direction? (Hint: the six-month check-in is not enough)
What can each direct report strengthen?
If you don’t tell them and give them a path to develop going forward who will?
Teams Need Direction
Your team will develop only through your direction. Try listing what you appreciate about each direct report and what you would strengthen. Then sit down with each person and share with them your thoughts. In doing this, you will establish a dialogue of development. It will make a large difference in each person you interact with and your direct report may surprise you with changing their behavior.
Keep in mind, you do not have to be perfect with your development efforts; you just have to make them. You will strengthen these skills over time but in the meantime, your team will see and appreciate the effort you are making. Make the time!
What is keeping you from developing your team? Let me know with a reply. -SG