As a business leader you know that you are judged by your results. But it’s always the people that make the biggest difference in getting the job done.
Suppose you’re in a leadership role running a good-sized department with a couple dozen employees when a new assignment drops in your lap. The boss wants you to implement a program affecting several departments, which involves significant procedural and operating changes that will impact many employees.
What do you do?
Your challenge is this: You can delegate the assignment to a key team member, or you can work around the clock to do it yourself. Looking at your team, if you can quickly say, “I have the person to get the job done,” give yourself a big pat on the back. If you don’t have those go-tos, maybe it’s time to examine what you should have done — and will do in the future — to develop the best people for your team.
Developing talent: the power of good people
Most high-growth companies invest heavily in the leadership development and hold key people accountable for that process. Why? Because they’ve learned that, more than anything else, it’s quality people that make the biggest difference in an organization’s level of success.
At Tractor Supply Company, for example, we evaluated district managers partly on how well they could develop store managers. Look at it this way: If you are a net exporter of store managers to other districts you are on a solid career path. Organizations always appreciate folks who can develop talent.
So how do you do that? One way is to assign difficult tasks to your best people so they can gain experiences that will lead to greater responsibility. Collaborate on big-picture goals but then step aside — you want team members to figure it out themselves like you probably did at first. When your best people really “own” a project, they will find creative ways to overcome obstacles to achieve success.
Your investment in developing your crew will always pay off. And your ROI will be greatest when you spend time with the people who are the most engaged, enthusiastic, and committed to the company and its mission.
Teaching and coaching build your organizations’ ability to achieve results and, equally important, build morale. Over time, high morale translates to high productivity and low turnover. It’s a long-term investment that will also lead to your greatest opportunity for personal growth.
published in the Nashville Business Journal