One of the hardest skills is to grow your management team to lead, instead of to just manage.
What's the difference? Managers help their individual team members get solid results. But leaders do more. Leaders not only help their team members to perform, but they also help their team members grow their ability to contribute value without needing to be managed.
Managers stay needed, but great leaders grow their companies to no longer need them day-to-day to perform.
Here are 5 suggestions to help you grow leaders, not just managers.
- Let your leaders set their own goals and create their own plan.
Sure you might have to coach and support them in setting the right goals and creating the best plan, but let them take the lead. Leaders need to practice 'self-leadership' and that requires you give them the space to do this.
- Fight your default urge to simply "solve", and instead ask them, "How do you think you should handle that?"
For many business owners this is one of the toughest habits to break. We want to help; we have so many ideas and solutions at our finger tips. But we must realize that when we solve we lose the bigger opportunity of using the situation to help grow a future leader.
- Role model leadership for them.
How you interact with them is the playbook by which they'll lead the rest of your team. Make it count. It's not what you say but what you do that will influence their behavior. Model clear communication and high integrity. Model high standards and empowering encouragement. Model your company values. And of course, when you screw up, which you will do from time to time, model personal responsibility and full ownership for apologizing and cleaning up your messes.
- Be their coach, not just their "manager".
Give them room to grow, allow them to make mistakes, and help them clarify what they learned. Coaches look to develop talent over time; manager generally look to get production in the here and now. Make sure you approach your team like a coach.
- Encourage them to replicate all the above with their team.
There is a power when you grow your next generation of leaders in your organization because they will propagate these lessons in the next generation of team members behind them. This gives you great leverage.
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