Recently I was asked by a SVP in a Fortune 250 firm to help him design a more direct route to a higher-level position. It has been thrilling for him and rewarding to me to watch him apply himself to my program and get incredible, well-deserved results.
1. Spend More Time on Task as a Leader
One principle I emphasize is that leaders like him have to spend more quality time and energy supporting individual team members. That will give those employees greater confidence and skill. When their performance increases that means that the overall productivity you get credited for as the leader also gets a substantial boost for enhanced credibility and marketability.
Your team gets inspired and motivated, and you get noticed by senior decision makers who are always scouting-out talent that is ready for the C-suite. But first you need to meet with each member of your team and give them not just feedback, but a practical and individualized action plan.
You have to point out their blind spots and the opportunities they have for closing gaps in specific, tangible ways. Otherwise they will be held back – and that means your whole team will be less productive and realize only a fraction of its available potential.
2. Build Confidence & Momentum to Get Faster Results
When I speak to leaders about specific advice they give to their team members, I learn that much of it is based on a 12-month timeline. But if you want to fulfill a team development goal, thinking a year down the road is counterproductive. That’s like knowing you need to drive from Atlanta to Charlotte, without knowing which streets to take to get to the outskirts of Atlanta and hop on the freeway. You wind up driving around in the same circles, getting nowhere.
Don’t get me wrong. Those long-range goals are fine, but you need to tell people exactly what to do this quarter, this month, this week, and this afternoon. They should know what needs to be accomplished, step-by-step, over the next 90 days. That’s how you nail down strong foundational principles that can built upon into the foreseeable future. Focus on three identifiable behavioral changes that you want people to start to implement tomorrow.
Those are relevant, easy for them to apply themselves to, and will produce results they (and your superiors) can see right away. When executives work on these more immediate behavioral changes, they instill the level of confidence and momentum needed to tackle more difficult behavioral changes. That puts the multiplier principle to work while firing-up your team because everyone feels their success happening in real-time.
3. Maximize Talent To Make Everyone Next-Level Ready
You need to realize, though, that not everyone wants a promotion. Many people just don’t have the skill packages or ambition. But no matter who they are, everyone does have a powerfully drive to be their best.
Your task as a leader and coach is to make room for them to maximize their talents to achieve their highest possible levels of productivity and performance. Don’t focus so much on weaknesses. Play mostly to people’s strengths so they overcome challenges and become more valuable assets.
Nothing will boost their morale more, or make your total team stronger than having each person in the right position doing their best work. You’ll become adept at designing teams that are configured for results. Knowing how to get the most from your organization’s people will catapult you higher – so you can also become the best, most promotable version of yourself!