Author Mike Figliuolo explains that, as a leader, part of your responsibility is to help your team stretch and build new capabilities. In this video, Mike shows you how to do that by leading your people to take calculated risks.
- As you're thinking about developing the members of your team, part of your responsibility as their leader is to stretch them and help them build capabilities. You'll have to give them assignments and tasks they're not familiar with, and they might not be comfortable with them. That requires that you take some risks as their leader, but they need to be calculated risks. So as you think about stretching your people, think about the roles and responsibilities you give them, and they should be able to do 70% of that work very, very easily. It's that incremental 30% where you're asking them to grow and to stretch, because if you can help them stretch, that gives you the opportunity to stretch and grow yourself, which makes you more valuable to the organization and to your boss. And by the way, if you're stretching and growing, then your boss can stretch and grow, and ultimately the entire organization benefits from that approach. So as you think about stretching and growth, I like to offer a very simple construct for doing so. So let's imagine these three bars represent your team members and you and your boss, for example. And the solid parts of the bars are tasks and activities that that individual is very comfortable doing. So for your team members, these are going to be the routine tasks that they perform every single day, and then these might be tasks where they're very proficient and very comfortable, but they're higher levels of performance. Similarly for you, these are the tasks you can do in your sleep. You don't even have to think about it. They're very simple and they're very comfortable. All the way up to the tasks that are at the top end of your growth spectrum. And finally your boss, these are the tasks that your boss can do very easily all the way up to the things your boss is slightly challenged by. Now let's think about growth, and I'd like to look at you first. Your boss is going to ask you to grow and take on new responsibilities that you're not yet familiar with. Now, you only have so much bandwidth and so much capability, and as you get stretched, stress enters the equation, and you have to relieve that stress, because you can't live under that stress for protracted periods of time and still perform at a high level. So you have two choices, either you can not step up into the new responsibilities or you can take responsibilities off your plate that you shouldn't be doing anymore. Now what's really interesting here is if you take these responsibilities off your plate, those are growth opportunities for the members of your team and you can allow them to stretch into those new areas. One critical aspect of that is you're going to have to relieve them or ask them relieve themselves of responsibilities that are consuming their time and energy, otherwise you're going to put undue stress on the members of your team. So as you think about your own development as well as the development of the members of your team, you need to understand what's the work you're doing that you're comfortable with, where's the stretch where you should be focusing your new efforts, and then how do you shift work across those different groups so people have the opportunity to grow, including yourself.
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