“When you do your team’s work for them, rather than guiding them and allowing them to grow, no one wins. Their performance will continue to be mediocre, and eventually, you will be left with a group of people who can’t function at all without your intervention,” says author Martin G. Moore.
Gaining the self-control to lead rather than to do is essential for anyone who aspires to be a strong and capable manager. Setting clear expectations with your people around the results they need to deliver is going to initially feel slow and frustrating but essential to improving their performance in the long term. Build capability below you because your success is ultimately determined by your team. Identifying potential talent, nurturing that talent, achieving consistent performance and building a pipeline of future leaders is a prerequisite for organisational performance.
Here are three steps you can take to hone this skill:
Keep the score but don’t play the game
Remember: you’re not the captain, you’re the coach. Observe the game, devise a winning strategy, and then give your team the guidance, direction, and provide the psychological safety they need to play at their peak.
The scoreboard should be clear and visible. Communicate what it takes to make the score move, and help them figure out what to do when it doesn’t. Set clear expectations, communicate who is accountable for which outcomes, and bring everyone into the huddle.
Ask the right questions.
A skilled leader will ask: What’s the best thing I can do right now to help this person succeed? This is the essence of the Situational Leadership approach that we use. It then becomes much easier to ask the right questions of your people such as:
- What do you think is at the core of this issue?
- Have you thought about alternative approaches?
- What can we sacrifice without detracting from the overall value of the project?
- Who can you share the problem with to seek a different perspective?
Questions like these can unlock newfound creativity, and help your people to dig deeper within themselves. You’ll also learn something about their capacity and capability.
Think about your future.
Solving a problem quickly turns you into a workhorse, forever bonded to the work of your people.
If you have the ambition to grow, develop, and progress in your career, make yourself redundant. Build a team that can function without you, and then go to the next level and builds another one. Placing performance pressure on your team isn’t cruel. It’s actually one of the most selfless acts a leader can undertake. Leadership is crucial to great teamwork. To thrive, it must be led; and to a certain point, it will regulate itself.
CPC has a leadership-profiling tool that can show how a leader performs in regard to the fundamental skills every leader should have —a laser-sharp tool that takes out the guesswork!