As I looked around the table at the amazing talent I had assembled for learning about the North America Quality Group, I realized I had a BIG problem. They were all respected subject matter experts, but they lacked leadership and influence skills. Normally I would have to play block & tackle to drive initiatives where my team lacked those skills. Instead I took personal accountability to elevate their leadership skills for a greater impact.
Does this sound familiar? Have you been fortunate enough to have an amazing talent pool, but felt depleted because so often you would have to make up for short-comings in their skills? Do they have challenges handling conflict so you have to step in? Do they know their “stuff,” but can’t drive change with consensus? Do they focus on simply transactional work and can’t create a strategy to drive long term change? These are some of the most common pitfalls I see in a team of experts for which you and I as leaders must fill in the gaps. There’s an easier way in 2022 to achieve your goals with less effort.
I’ve seen many leaders of teams struggle with this issue. However, if you are reading this and you’re an aspiring C-suite leader who simply needs some tools for elevating your capability, you’ve also come to the right place. I’m here to help you as well.
Build a strategy for accountability
First things first; do you have a strategy for 2022 goals? These can be personal or for your organization. If not, have you ever built a strategy? In my last corporate role, I had to duct tape my strategy, taking the corporate strategy and modifying it to my role and my deliverables. I later realized my team also did not have the skills to build a strategy and a roadmap to drive change within their function. It became apparent to me that the framework did not exist and I created it in my book The CEO’s Compass: Your Guide to Get Back on Track.
Once you’ve built the strategy, you need an accountability tool to keep yourself on target each day, week and month until you’ve achieved the goals. I created this accountability tool for myself and it served as the foundation for helping my team do the same for their deliverables. In my book, we further discuss restructuring the monthly one-to-one meetings to focus on essential skills needed to achieve the goals and then on the strategic deliverables. The monthly one-to-one’s served as team accountability to ensure they had everything they needed to be successful.
A leader needs personal accountability to allocate some time each day to advance the strategy. I find when I work with leaders to provide the framework they need, it makes the process quite easy and you get a higher success rate in achieving your personal and team goals.
The book The CEO’s Compass has links to resources pages for all of the tools and templates you need to build a strategy and for personal accountability. If you need me to walk through this with you, let’s book a short call so I can support you.
Have the courage to ask for help
Let’s assume that building a strategy and having monthly accountability sessions with your team makes sense, but you realize developing their essential skills needs more work than you have capacity. What do you do now? You may reach out to HR for resources or google a workshop that you think can help, but in the end, these resources only deliver awareness, but rarely achieve noticeable results. Developing essential skills takes teaching and mentoring for sustainability. You know this in your gut, but still feel helpless to know what to do next. And while you’re mulling this capacity & capability issue, you’ve gotten 50 more emails and the phone is starting to ring. You put this task aside only to realize it’s going to come back and bite you.
I knew this challenge when I was leading an organization and I had to develop those skills while also doing my job as the Director of Quality. From this experience, I developed the C-Suite Leadership Academy designed for the leaders of tomorrow that is ready for deployment and in partnership with your needs. We offer group training and individual coaching to build the unique capability for each individual. I extend this offer to you because I know the challenges you have ahead of you and I simply don’t want to see you struggle anymore. I want you to move from saying “How do I have time for this” to “I’m grateful I’ve found a partner that can help guide me.”
The only thing standing in the way of making a decision is something as simple as courage. It is having the courage to simply ask for help to build the capability you need on your team. If this makes sense, but you’d like to learn more about applying it to your situation, you can email me or simply grab a few minutes on my calendar.
Make value vs. cost-based decisions
I’d like you to take out a piece of paper and pen and go through a quick exercise to estimate your time spent in mitigating issues. These are issues that you had to jump in and “fix” something because your team did not have the essential skills. It’s a quick formula, but it may make decision making easier based on value vs. simply cost:
Value = # Hours / Month resolving issues X your $ Hourly compensation
For Example, if you spend 5 hours per month resolving an issue and your hourly rate is $75 per hour, the formula would look like this:
5 hours X 75 per hour = 4,500
Value = $4,500
What if you invested that same amount of your value into developing your people. Sure, you still need to coach them, but you gain back the time you need to work on strategic work. Remember you are accountable for the strategic work and through your leadership and courage, you can leverage resources to round out the capability of your team.
Now, let me be transparent with you. I WISH I had the external resources to have helped me to develop the essential skills of my team. It was a lot of work to coach the skills they needed for higher impact. Because I did the hard work to see what was needed and I now have clarity and an offer to help build that capability for you. If you see the same gap on your team, I’d love to help you.
“The Inside of my Eyeballs” by Deborah A. Coviello – a little bit of humor, but seriously, these past weeks I focused on sleep… a lot of sleep! While many take this time to rest and catch up on reading, I took the position to empty my brain and simply “being” vs. “doing”. By doing so, I was able to create my goals and strategy for 2022. Now that it’s running, I can make time to read again and share my best with you.
“Blizzard” by Thomas Bergersen – this week the temperatures are changing and winter is finally arriving where I live in Cincinnati Ohio. While people make preparations for “the worst” when a Blizzard comes through, I see it as an opportunity to hunker down and reflect on it’s beauty and powerful force. The beautiful snow represents new beginnings and a clean slate. The immense impact of nature can be yours as well. Is 2022 your year to make a major impact?
“If you want to be unleashed and you want to be unstoppable, you need to clear out your subconscious mind with anything that’s holding you up.”
-Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco
P.S. Do you have insights to share with CEOs? I’m currently accepting applications for my weekly live show on LinkedIn. You can apply here.