Leadership Planning for 2017: Developing Your “A” Team

This is part three of a three-part series designed to help you plan your leadership and get your team ready for 2017. The other articles are focused on Looking Back to Move Forward and Creating Your Mission Statement

Now that you’ve studied what’s worked with your organization, critically reviewed your go-to-market strategy and established your 2017 vision, what’s next? I’ll tell you…make sure you’ve got the “A” team to execute it and the metrics to measure it!

You can’t accomplish these goals alone. You need a team of dedicated mature people who are in sync with you. That requires knowing each person on your team, intimately, the lieutenants certainly. It’s important to determine the type of individuals you want on your team, the behaviors you want manifested and the level of collaboration you require. When was the last time you reviewed your team?

Managing Your Best Employees

One way to insure this collaboration is to formalize it. Determine how you’ll stay in sync as a team. You also need to determine what you’ll measure as an organization that everyone understands.
List out how you’ll remain in sync:

  • Weekly participation calls
  • Formalize an On-Boarding Plan
  • Create valuable incentive plans
  • Set clear territories for your client managers and new business development execs
  • Commit to a sales protocol that you don’t vary from

Determine what you will measure:

  • The number of client calls per week
  • New prospects researched per week
  • Meetings conducted with prospects
  • Business derived from existing clients
  • New business closed

What each client/prospect meeting must include:

  • An agenda
  • Completed client probing questions
  • An understanding of each client’s goals and challenges
  • A debriefing meeting with management to determine the next step to take

Developing a Plan for Weaker Players

You also need to formalize a development plan for strengthening your “B” Players and a formal review process with your “C” Players. Make sure your lieutenants are capable of coaching and developing your team. I’ve seen it happen that some leaders may orphan their direct reports which will prevent the achievement of your business goals. You can’t let that happen. Help them create a formalized Development Action Plan that you and your directs need to structure and use. Lastly, create a pipeline vetting process. Determine what questions each team member must be asked to separate a deal from a dream as you enter into 2017.

You may also determine at this point that you have to cut some people who will never achieve “A” level, or even solid “B” level, status. Those “C” players are holding back your whole team. Start the year knowing that every member on your team has potential and is eager to achieve it. You, and they, will be more satisfied when they look back at 2017 to assess the accomplishments you’ve achieved together.

Is your team full of “A” players? If not, what is your plan for developing your “B” team members? Let me know if I can help. -sg