You Exist To Get More Out Of Them

This post expands on a post from mid 2021 titled Trillion Dollar Coach – Install #1“. In that post, I was summarizing some key management and leadership points from a book about Bill Campbell. Yet I see this same issue over and over again. A manager or leader is dealing with a lot. The team is struggling, or missing some key roles, or just not super strong. And the executive rolls up their sleeves and starts to “do”. They help execute and are directly impacting results with their efforts and contribution. This is of course sometimes a very necessary and appropriate part of being a leader and teammate. However, it is not the manager/leader’s primary role. And too often executives forget that. They get lost in “doing”.

The primary role of a leader/manager/executive is to get more out of their team than they would be capable of on their own. The positioning I often use with executives is “Look, you have direct reports. If those direct reports don’t produce better results due to your active management of them, why does the the organization need you? If they can do just as well without that role, do we need the role?” People often lost site of this. A manager’s primary job is to get more out of their team than they would be capable of on their own. Period.

There’s obviously a lot that goes into that – assembling the best team you can, helping them grow, keeping them focused on the most important things this week, this month, this quarter. Having one-on-ones, making sure their relationships with their peers is solid, making sure they have access to the resources they need to succeed, etc. But it’s critical to remember – all of these activities should be in service of making sure the team is as productive as they can be. And more productive than if you weren’t there doing those things.

People can be frustrating. They don’t do things as well as you could. Or as fast as you could. They can be rude. They can be selfish. And this is exactly why management is hard. Despite all that, your job is get results from them. Keep that at the top of your focus and your results as a leader will grow.