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Are you a Leader or One Who Leads?

A leader may hold the title but it’s the person who leads that excels at coaching and getting the most from his or her employees. If you’re on a leadership team, which person are you? 

Although many leaders understand that coaching their employees is a large part of their job, few profess to excel at leading, managing and holding their people accountable (LMA). And, I’ve never had a business owner tell me that the reason they started their business was because they loved to manage people. It’s no surprise then that “people issues” are one of the common frustrations of leaders, owners and managers.  

If you’re an owner or leader, here are some things that may be preventing you from coaching employees and what you can do to improve:

  1. Not knowing what they value most
    • Ask them. Ensure that they understand and value what you value most, that they have the qualities and characteristics of people you need to consistently provide value to your customers. 
  2. Not knowing what they’re supposed to be doing
    • Create an Accountability Chart with 5 clearly defined major roles and accountabilities for each seat.  Let them know that they have the responsibility, accountability and authority to act.
    • Look at the 5 major roles for each Leadership Team seat. Aside from a technical role, if there are direct-reports, LMA – Leading, Managing and holding your people Accountable is the number one role.
  3. Not knowing how they are doing it
    • Create clarity by giving them a number(s) – their deliverable(s) to the organization. Have their number(s) roll up to a department scorecard and ultimately to the company scorecard.
  4. Placing greater value on loyalty and “hard work” than on results
    • Give them a Key Priority (Rock) every 90 days – something that helps them understand the importance of balancing their day to day workload with completing projects that help the organization improve.
  5. Being held hostage – “if he/she quits, what would I do?”
    • Develop a strong bench. If he/she died what would you do? Don’t kid yourself, everyone knows that you’re being held hostage. You’re losing credibility every day that you allow it to continue.

I had an owner tell me recently that all his best people were developed within the company and that they rarely went outside of their organization to find talent.  He gets it. A great work place is one with great coaches who give people the opportunity to do what they do best  and where there’s room for them to grow.

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