We’re back to our day-to-day routines in both our work and personal lives. With a clean slate before us, we must take the time to examine those around us- take a closer look at the people we are responsible for leading, and determine how we are going to tackle the requirement we have for training and developing them.
There are two types of leaders that I speak about frequently to my clients so that they can avoid becoming like them: The Template Leader and The Reactionary Leader.
A Template Leader is someone who uses the same approach for every employee, and often uses the same cookie-cutter development tools (counseling forms, performance evaluations, etc.) regardless of the individual differences between those they lead. This leader fails to engage their staff on a personal level and succeeds only in alienating those who should trust and respect him or her.
A Reactionary Leader is someone who only begins to address employee development once it becomes clear modifications are required. This individual only begins to write an emergency evacuation policy once the building is already on fire. By waiting until bad behavior is the norm, they fail to encourage positive growth in anyone they supervise. And like a wildfire, it can quickly destroy an entire team, division, or group if left unchecked.
Who would want to be lead by either of these individuals? No one I have ever met.
However, there is one type of leader that I’m glad to help my clients emulate- The Coaching Leader. A coach understands that development begins on “Day One” and is a daily effort from there on out. A Coaching Leader makes the effort to know and understand each person they are responsible for in order to tailor their approach to each employee in a way that triggers loyalty and commitment to growth. They become the leader that each employee needs them to be- a mentor to the gifted, an authority figure to the unmotivated, a listening ear and source of inspiration for those struggling. It is the job of the leader to bend and flex. It is the job of the leader to inspire and motivate, and to hold their direct reports accountable. And no matter what the age of technology brings, there will never be an appropriate substitute for a pat on the back and positive words of recognition.
Monday Morning Perspective:
The primary reason to have a coach is to have somebody who can look at you and say, “Man you’re looking good today!”- Jack Daniels (Famous Coach)
My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team. -Don Shula (Famous Coach)
This week I challenge you to give “Coaching” an attempt with your direct reports. Here’s your play-by-play: Get on their level, engage them in meaningful conversation, ask them how they feel about their role in the organization, ask what their goals are, and take the time to resource them so they can begin accomplishing them. It’s not a “yellow brick road”, but it is a fast-track method to building a successful team and becoming a leader others want to follow.
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.