Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why not?

Igor's post really got me thinking.

What are we really trying to achieve as leaders? Igor's notion of a "star team" is compelling. It is also rare in my experience. That isn't necessarily due to team talent, environment, or other factors. It ultimately comes down to me and my willingness to make space for the team to grow.

So here is an interesting "quiz" for you:
  • Are you comfortable taking vacation and not staying connected to your team?
  • If you couldn't present a topic to the E-staff, would you be comfortable with a team member presenting on your behalf?
  • Do you let your managers have their own meetings without inviting you? And can you resist the urge to drop into their meetings to check in on things?
  • Can you let your team execute a plan you don't agree with, knowing that they have the right goal in mind?

If not, why not? Take your time - think about this. Again, why not?

Now here is the kicker...

Now that you have an answer to "Why not?', ask yourself what you are doing to remove that barrier. The "Why not" is a barrier to your team member being successful. For example, imagine you said to yourself "Sally couldn't possibly brief the E-Staff. She gets too nervous in front of people." Sounds like Sally is doomed, right?


Her inability to brief the E-staff is as much your responsibility as it is hers. This is what I mean when I ask, "What are you doing to remove the barrier?" That is where people development comes in.

It's not about finding people's limitations. It's about removing them.

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