Has your leadership status plateaued? Here’s one way to fuel your leadership status to unstoppable.
“You can’t build any kind of organization if you’re not going to surround yourself with people who have experience and skill base beyond your own.” Howard Schultz
“When you’re the best, you only want to surround yourself with the best.” Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Leaders need to remember that we are in the service of humans business. As Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living.”
The talent you surround yourself is what gets you promoted, not your own talent.
Reflecting on my own past and observing many amazing leaders I will tell you this. I never received a promotion based solely on my contributions. Perhaps, getting into that entry level leadership position will be based on your performance, but after that you will be recognized on the performance of the people you surround yourself with.
You’ve heard the term control the controllables. People is a controllable that many leaders do not see as one because they don’t take true ownership of their team. The great thing is, that as a leader you have the opportunity to surround yourself with the right people. Another term I know you’ve heard is change your people or change your people. What does it mean? The definition I’m going to share is going to sound harsh, but I will explain it further afterwards.
Who’s in your inner circle matters
Change your people or change your people means develop them or help them find a new career. It’s just that simple. But is it? No, it’s not that simple. It’s one of the hardest most frustrating things we do as leaders. The truth is that this one of the most prominent reasons why some leaders continue to climb the ladder and some stay at the bottom rung, even when their own performance is stellar. John Maxwell describes this well in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. It’s The Law of the Inner Circle, where he explains “Every leader’s potential is determined by the people closest to him.” Leaders who are unstoppable in the rise to the top know this.
In sports they say it this way, the team is only as good as the weakest player and it is true in business as well.
Here’s why many leaders struggle with this.
There are three common mistakes to upgrading your team
- The leader doesn’t take the time to regularly assess the team and provide the development they need to unleash their potential
- Leaders skip the development piece and goes straight to the other change your people and this creates tremendous churn, as you can imagine, it creates distrust and so many other negative things.
- The leader does all of the right steps to aid a team member to reach their full potential and when they are clearly the wrong fit the leader doesn’t pull the trigger.
There are so many reasons why this third one happens. We love our teams and generally care for our people. We start to make excuses for the performance. And, some leaders see it as failing themselves if they can’t develop someone, so they keep trying way beyond the point of clearly they are not a good fit. A saying I like to use, and it is the nevers are never going to get it.
“When you surround yourself with the wrong people it’s going to backfire every time.” Tyrann Mathieu
“Surround yourself with great people. People are what make businesses prosper.” Wayne Huizenga
If you are already surrounded by the best of the best take a moment and celebrate!
If there is opportunity on your team here are some steps you can take
- Reflect on the talent of each member of your team. What potential do you see in them? What will it take to unleash their full potential? Do they possess a growth mindset, meaning if there is a gap between their potential and their current performance are they open to the coaching it will take to close the gap?
- For those with opportunity AND a growth mindset start on their development
- For those who are miscast in their current roles, do not wait, as hard as it is create an exit strategy. If you desire a larger role those looking at you will be looking to see if you can make tough decisions.
- Only hire the best. Yes, hiring mistakes are common. People display their best selves during an interview, but do not settle to get a warm body in position. Take the time to hire the person with the right attitude and potential for the role.
Leaders, when you get the right people in the right roles doing the right things that’s when you become unstoppable. All your posts will read leadership status; unstoppable.