As a colleague, your team wants to have confidence in your capabilities and your leadership ability to guide the team, but they don’t want to feel as if they are in competition with their coach!
No one likes a power monger or a “show boat,” that one on the team that thinks that they are better than everyone else, AKA Mr. Smarty-pants or Ms. Prisspot. Avoid being that person! It is one thing to say, “Would it be okay with you, Jade, if I offered a different approach to this task? I’ve seen it work really well.” versus “Let me show you how I did it back in the day! I am amazing! I am magnificent! I am a star!” Confidence and capability should not be confused with arrogance and a braggadocios attitude.
Be purposeful in sharing the leadership role. Find opportunities on a frequent basis where members of your team can step outside of their normal job and take on a different, challenging role or task that you typically handle as the coach. This increases their investment in the organization as they experience the responsibility that you have as the manager and brings their own perspective to this temporary role. This will also help identify potential leaders and rising stars, soon to be MVPs, who can grow into team captains within the company.
Research shows that personnel who are considered for a more senior role are more aligned with the company’s vision and will strive for company growth over the long term. Hiring from within is almost always more cost-effective than bringing in outside talent and the ramp up time is typically shorter as well.
A recent report from Gallup found that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right management talent for the job a staggering 82 percent of the time! The report also found that most companies make the huge and costly mistake of promoting people into managerial roles "because they seemingly deserve it, rather than have the talent for it."
Having people in management roles who don’t know how to properly inspire, motivate, and lead people can have far-reaching repercussions. Engagement levels plummet. Productivity drops. Turnover soars. In fact, one report found that a stunning 80% of employees said they could do their job without their managers and while most managers see themselves as fair, transparent, and effective, their employees disagree.
One way to get a head start on finding the best potential future leaders in your organization is to give those on your team opportunities to stretch themselves and test their budding leadership skills. Allow Juan to compile next month’s Net Promoter Scores report. Let Zane take the lead of your next SCRUM meeting. Or encourage Iris to have a run at completing the onboarding activities for the new hire starting next week.
This week, I challenge you to spend some time and really review the skills and abilities of those on your team. According to the Gallup study mentioned above, great managers motivate every single employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision; have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance; create a culture of clear accountability; build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency; and make decisions based on productivity, not politics.
FUN FACT: In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences between managers (whose job is to plan, organize, and coordinate) and leaders (whose job is to inspire and motivate) that include: The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people. The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.