Listen up leaders, especially you middle managers.
Success is not a zero sum game. When someone else succeeds, it doesn’t mean you are failing. When someone else succeeds, it means just that; they succeeded. Congratulate them. Cheer for them. Support them.
When you are in a leadership position, you have just a few priorities that should consume most of your time.
Training your Team
Your first priority is training. A new team member should begin their role with rigorous and thorough training. No exceptions. This is obvious, but sadly, needs to be stated. If you have a poor performing team member, insufficient training is typically the #1 culprit.
Here is your training plan:
Tell - the team member should never leave your side. Tell them everything you are going to do before you do it and explain the purpose behind what you are doing.
Show - show the team member how to do it while explaining it again (provided this can be done safely).
Do - swap places and sit by the team member’s side while they perform the task and “train you” on how to perform the task.
Repeat this process until the team member is 100% capable of performing the task.
Development is not the same as training. Development teaches the team member how to grow beyond their current role. Every promotion I ever received is because I did my job plus 50% of my boss's job. I don’t mean that my boss worked only half the time. I mean that I took on more responsibility proving I could do the job before I got the job. This has the added effect of providing time for your boss to do the same thing in their role.
If your immediate leader happens to be the President of the company, still apply this rule. You become an indispensable leader in the organization be providing a level of support far beyond your role.
If you happen to be the principle of your organization, ask yourself if your functional leaders could go out and lead a company of their own. Could those leaders go out tomorrow and run their own firm? That should be your developmental goal for executives.
Give all the deserved recognition you can; give not get.
This concept is simple but powerful. Public recognition builds your team members' profiles in the company and amongst your leadership team. Your goal is to have everyone top to bottom view your team as capable top performs that contribute more than their weight to the success of the organization.
If you take anything away from this article, take this; you are successful when your team is successful. Success is not a zero sum game. When they win, you win.