Many people mistakenly think great management is about whipping a team of misfits into shape. It isn't.
Great management is about recruiting great people and helping them succeed.
When you have a great team, then you have a team of high-potential employees.
You should have a singular goal as a leader: make yourself expendable. In other words, how well does the organization function if you are not around? The answer should be perfectly.
Why would you want to do such a crazy thing, you ask? Easy. The more your employees can do, the more you can accomplish at a higher level.
So the answer is keep giving your high-potential employees more and more responsibility. Now, there are some tricks to make sure this goes well:
- Push responsibility down in your organization. In other words, force more and more of the decisions as close to the line as you can.
- Regularly check with your reports on how things are going and course-correct. Here's the subtle bit. You have to let your employees learn from their mistakes, but they can't fail so badly that they hurt the company long-term. Think of this like braking while driving a car. Brake too hard and the ride isn't pleasant. Don't brake at all and you crash. Brake (manage) just right and you have a smooth ride.
- Be consistent. In other words, keep delegating and keep coaching. Your team will be motivated beyond belief.
- Give your team all the credit. A quick way to blow it is taking credit for your team's work. Don't do it! You will get credit enough while giving all the credit to your team.
- Take the blame for everything that goes wrong. That's what great leaders do. You will give your team cover and you will build tremendous loyalty.
Long term you will have a great team of high achievers that will help you run the business and succeed.
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