How Busy Managers Practice People Development
You hire the best, but the best can always get better. All organizations are in the people development business.
People development is the heart of organizational development.
People development is:
- Equipping people to do things without you.
- Cheering and affirming more than correcting.
- Respecting and maximizing potential.
10 reasons busy managers care about people development:
- Values. People matter.
- Multiplication. Develop people who can develop people.
- Capacity. Expand contribution.
- Efficiency. Develop people to the place where they need little oversight.
- Agility. Keep up with changing environments and new technology.
- Aspiration. Good people care about personal development. Provide development opportunities or they will go where they can get it.
- Potential. Bring out untapped potential. The person you hired can contribute more than you expected.
- Productivity. Everyone feels good when they’re productive.
- Fulfillment. It feels good to help someone make greater contribution. You’re a despot if holding people down is enjoyable.
- Innovation. Learning enables innovation.
In an unpredictable world people development is essential.
Giving direction as a form of people development:
#1. Competence and giving direction:
Giving direction is development when you speak to ignorance, inexperience, or lack of skill.
Over-direction produces lack of initiative. Why bother taking initiative if you’re going to tell everyone how to do their job.
You prolong incompetence when you give unnecessary direction to competent people.
#2. Goal of giving direction:
Giving direction is development when the goal is to stop giving direction.
You might feel important when you give direction, but you’re successful when you don’t have to.
Questions for managers:
- How can you work yourself out of some aspects of day-to-day work?
- How can you work yourself out of repetitive tasks?
- How can you do things that can be done only by you?
- How can you become the dumbest person in the room?
How might busy managers practice people development?
There’s a sliding scale of development: early on, plenty of development until you can work independently, then and ever-decreasing amount as you get better at what you’re doing – after all, if you’re good at it, why take you off it?
As for innovation, it’s far from a universal positive. I worked for one organisation who basically had the tagline “We don’t innovate. We do all the routine, mundane, repetitive scut work so YOU can innovate”. They still make money doing it…
Powerful and insightful post, Dan! I love your observation that we develop others when the goal of giving directions is to stop giving direction. It’s so true that leaders, colleagues, and parents tend to feel important when they give direction, but their success in mentoring, parenting, and directing manifests itself when they don’t have to. Simple advice if our egos allow us to follow it! All the best.
This was awesome and very timely. I truly appreciate the daily nuggets!
Just finished reading “First, Break all the Rules” from Gallup. Excellent insight that I am applying both professionally and personally (marriage)!
Effective coaches and leaders help people by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.
–Add—new knowledge and skills—increase their competencies.
–Subtract—eliminate non-value adding attitudes, behaviors, and activities.
–Multiply—require people to “pay it forward”—pass along their tips and insights to others.
–Divide—separate the critical few from the trivial many, the urgent from the important, etc.
At every staff meeting schedule 15 minutes dedicated to “people development.”
Love this Mr. Rockwell. For me this subject was dead on. Resilience and agility have been my “so to speak super powers”. These character traits are contagious too. Pre pandemic our new CEO had to build a new team because we lost almost everyone. Competence and direction wasn’t an easy task, it took a lot of time and investment to help lead new employees in the right direction. With only a hand full of us remaining staff I had to help inspire and give direction a-lot to help our new employees. In various departments too. Good thing the new employees were passionate about the people we serve, now there figuring things out for themselves and taking ownership of there positions. Appreciate your help coach Dan!!!
Great points! Love the blog!
Development of people should be the number one priority of any leader/organization. In the unfortunate event a person has been hired who cannot be developed within the scope of their responsibilities they should be let go. An old management principle holds true here – “Good organizations know how to get rid of people. For the good of everyone AND the organization as a whole”.