In my team meetings, particularly if it is a start up assignment, I feel the onus to develop others in my team is on me; the task is divided after detailed discussion with each member and time line is drawn, after mutual agreement. But, I do not leave it at that!
Sensing others’ development needs and bolstering their abilities is critical requirement expected from a leader; ‘developing others’ is even more important – the competence found among those at the top. But, I have experienced that this is not done by many leaders ( should I call them only managers?) so as to protect their own jobs. They feel delegating will reduce their importance and tend to grab everything to themselves. I do not understand how can a leader develop others who look up to him, if they are themselves insecure of their job?
What is expected from a leader-manager is empathy; I feel, he should hold counselling sessions with each junior who reports to him and understand how to help him perform better. This is a critical responsibility of a leader which is overlooked by many. There is no case of leader becoming redundant in such situations; my best example is even a well-bred horse needs a jockey to ride it through guidance and control in order to win over the competition in a race! Actually, the team represents the leader or their manager first, then the company. Better still, lead by example!
An open, trusting relationship is the foundation of success in on-the-job coaching. My capability as a leader is judged by drawing the best out of my team members. I am tough on those who have the potential to excel; I lean on them just like they look up to me for guidance. Many employers fail to realise: a leader is a crucial part of the team because he is expected to lead! Business plans fail miserably if the implementation is not taken care of. I spend my quality time to understand each team member; his strengths, weaknesses, apprehensions, reasons to be happy and to be not. It is a person-to-person interaction!
This quality or ability to develop others instils in me great confidence to take any business assignment to success! The best coaches show a genuine personal interest in those they guide, and have empathy for an understanding their team members. Trust is crucial; when there is little trust in the coach, advice goes unheeded. And coaches who – show respect towards team members, are trustworthy, and empathic are the ones having natural disposition to excel.
It calls for a special ‘ability’ to mentor others in a self-less manner like a parent would do to his child or a wife would do to her husband. In my interactions with my team, I try to enable each one to achieve his potential and believe me, such approaches work well and they work faster, precisely in lesser time. Managers who are gifted at helping others can do so with anyone – even superiors! No wonder, they are hero worshipped by their team members.
And, I do not play favourites!