With the many demands of leadership roles, executives struggle to protect the time needed to develop and nurture their direct reports.
As executives, we get caught up in reports, staff meetings, and even customer calls. It’s not uncommon for time to go by, and we’ve not paid attention to our biggest asset—our people!
Jim Collins, the author of Good To Great, is well known for exploring the relationship between a well-run company and the people on the team. Once of Collin’s core concepts is “Get the right people on the bus!” More directly, he clarifies: “People aren’t your biggest asset, the RIGHT people are your biggest asset.”
How do you find the right people?
As a leaders in our organizations we need to be involved in recruiting; it’s never “someone else’s job” to do recruiting.
As people join your team, they need your advice and counsel. They need to hear your take on the company’s strategy and of course seek help from you on obstacles they encounter.
To further put this into perspective, Jim Collins gives the statistic that in a new company, you need to put 60% of your effort into recruiting. As your team matures, this can back down to 20%.
So once we find the right people, how do we keep the right people?
They won’t thrive when they are running on autopilot, so remember that your direct reports really need you, your wisdom, your vision, your communication, and your attention.
We need to make sure that our time allocation is appropriate to the level of maturity of the team – is it a new team, a well-oiled machine team, or a combination? One of my favorite resources on this topic is Patrick Lencioni in his book The 5 Dysfunctions of the Team. Keep this in mind as you plan out your week and reserve time for your teams.
How do we invest time in our people when working remotely?
If you are working remotely, which most of us are right now, here are some questions to help you gauge whether you are investing enough time or not.
- Have you built the culture of a “virtual open door?”
- Do you feel like your direct reports proactively reach out to you?
- Do you proactively reach out to them?
If for one week you track the time you dedicated to spending with your direct reports that is just about THEM, how much time is this?
I’d enjoy hearing about this so feel free to get in touch for further support or questions.