I’ve heard someone say, “The potential of your organizations rests in the strength of its people.” If this is the case, we should be focused on developing our teams.
I have served in a leadership capacity for over a decade, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. During the early years of my leadership tenure, I relied on my ability to get work done. While I did a good job at maintaining the organizations I led, they were not moving forward as I was expecting. No matter how hard I worked, I would never achieve my desired outcomes.
Looking back, the biggest issue was that I was not developing or empowering my team. King Solomon said it well, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Not to be corny here, but I was focused on harnessing the power or me, instead of we. I was not tapping into the true power of the organization and my team.
Fast forward a decade and I have become much more intentional at developing those around me. Here are a few simple things I have learned along the way, which helped to develop my team.
1. Coaching Your Team. I believe strongly in coaching your team. I meet every other week with every individual who directly reports to me for their personal development. I learned this from Building Champions.
They start by completing either a life plan or business plan, which serves as a basis for their personal development. These documents include the goals they have set for themselves in their personal and professional lives. Your job is to encourage them and keep them accountable to achieve their goals.
They send you an email 24-48 hours before we meet, answering:
- Big wins since our last meeting
- Challenges/obstacles that you’re facing
- Key topics we need to discuss
- Decisions we need to make
Team members leave these meetings with an action item(s) to complete. During your next meeting, you can ask them about their progress. This built-in accountability benefits both them and you and helps you to develop your team.
I have used the services of coaches for years, and our team would love the opportunity to come alongside you through coaching. Besides creating a plan for your personal and professional life, we can set up a coaching program for your team.
2. Conferences. Get your team out of the office, and get them into an environment where they are inspired together. Yes, you can listen to podcasts or watch leadership videos at work, but there is something about getting out of the office. Mark Batterson is known for saying, “A change of place, plus a change of pace, equals a change of perspective.”
It amazes me how a team member hearing the same thing from someone else causes them to “get it.” In a conference setting, your team will be inspired to see what is possible and hear from some of the best leaders in your industry.
3. Empowering your Team. If we never give people a chance to step up to the plate, they will never develop their swing. We have to give the eagles in our organizations a chance to fly, or they may simply go somewhere else.
To truly empower people, we have to give away responsibilities and the authority to accomplish them. We may have delegated tasks, creating followers; but often, we have not done the right thing by delegating authority to create leaders.
You may have heard the adage, “It takes teamwork, to make the dream work.” The potential is in your team, and as a leader, you are the one that can draw it out of them.
What is one step you can take today to develop your team? Is there anything else you could add to this list?
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