A key role for every leader is mentoring and coaching his or her subordinates so they develop to their full potential.
One of my clients is a long-time entrepreneur. He knows how to sell and promote his business; he’s not afraid to experiment and try new things; he’s approachable and helpful; and he provides inspiration and leadership to everyone in his company. However, I’ve been getting him to develop his own leadership capabilities so he recognizes that he has a major role in developing the leadership and managerial capabilities of his direct reports. For instance, we recently discussed how to work on developing better industry understanding in a relatively new executive. My client brought in this individual because of his extensive management experience in larger companies. However, he needs to develop certain other skills and knowledge so that he can be the most effective leader possible within the organization. It’s not enough to assume that newly hired employees already know everything they need to function within the company. They too must be developed through coaching and mentoring. This can be done with outside coaches, but executives, managers, and supervisors must also play a critical part in this process.
Do you know every one of your team members by name? Do you know their backgrounds? Where they are from, their goals and aspirations, their particular strengths and limitations? If you can’t answer these most basic questions about your people then you don’t really know them well enough to develop them to their full potential.
Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.
© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.