Thursday, November 9, 2017

Investing in direct reports is a critical factor of a leader's success


Leaders have conversations all the time. It is what they do but not all conversations are equally important. Some conversations are far more important than others.

I am a firm believer that the most important conversations a leader has on an ongoing basis is with members of their team. These may be monthly meetings or as needed when issues arise. These are not random conversations but revolve around some carefully considered thoughts that are customized for each direct report.

The purpose of these conversations is to ensure alignment, think together regarding strategy, ensure results, and encourage the personal growth of senior team members. All four of these topics are critical for senior team members to pay attention to and the one who can ensure that is their supervisor/leader. This is also the way that a leader develops alignment through regular interaction with their key staff.

In order for these conversations to be meaningful a leader must become an exegete of their direct reports. What are their strengths? Where do they need to grow? What critical skill sets are they missing? What areas of their performance need to be reevaluated? And then, most importantly, how can I open a conversation about one or more of these issues to help my team member grow and develop? And, how can I convey my desire to help the team member grow in the areas where growth is needed?

This underscores the necessity of actively cultivating relationships with those we supervise. Relationship builds trust which in turn allows a supervisor to raise issues without being met with significant pushback or defensiveness. Over time such conversations become part of the fabric of the relationship and the leadership culture a supervisor brings to their team. The more we invest in our reports, the better our team will be.

TJ Addington (Addington Consulting) has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com.


"Creating cultures of organizational excellence."

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