Whether you’re young or old, we all have dreams and aspirations. If you can help someone uncover those goals, then encourage them, and tell them you believe they can do it, you will truly inspire them. As a manager, believing in who your people can become is the most powerful thing you can do.
Think back. When was the last time someone believed in you? When did someone give you a task that pushed you beyond what you’ve already done? When did you last hear, “I know this is a big challenge for you, but I believe you can do it and I’m here to help.”
If you haven’t heard it, I’m sorry. Do it for someone else and see how they light up. If it’s something they truly aspire to, you will see some of the best work you’ve ever seen from them (and for *all* their work, not just related to their goal). They’ll also be very receptive to your feedback and guidance.
I have been endlessly amazed with what members of my Greenhorn Connect team have been able to do over the years because I’ve believed in Paul, Pardees, Angela, Ariel, and others. I saw them for more than the inexperienced members of the startup community they were when each of them joined the team.
Instead, I focused on the skills they could build on and listened to what they said they wanted to become. Greenhorn Connect would not be what it is today without them rising to the occasion in each of their roles, especially since I moved thousands of miles away from the business 2 years ago. And it all started with believing in them.
See more in people.
Ford’s quote is true for you, and it’s true for your team. Don’t waste your team’s careers only doing what they’ve always done. Uncover their aspirations and find a way to make your company or your department a conduit for them to achieve their goals. Even if they outgrow their role, the quality of work you will get before they do so will astound you.
Life is too short to be boxed in by what you’ve already done. Be the one person that sets them free to grow and you will have a friend and ally for life. This is why the best leaders have people that work for them again and again. It’s not because they like the box their leader puts them in; it’s because that leader helps them truly reach their full potential.
How can you do this?
It starts today. You should be regularly discussing your team member’s goals and the work they’re doing. No other forum is as helpful as leveraging 1 on 1s for this. In those 1 on 1s, you can discuss their progress, coaching, and learning opportunities. You can also keep a pulse on what they really want, as it will change over time.
Take time and reflect on each person as you prep for their 1 on 1. What are their strengths? How can you help them grow in their role? Progress is the spark for the fire of motivation for each of your team members. Help them feel that progress in their role.
As your team grows, keeping track of all of this can be a struggle. It’s not that you don’t care; it’s that the demands of your job only give you so much time.
To make the most of the time you do have, track everything and stay organized with Lighthouse.
I’ve built it to help myself as a manager, and it will help you make the most of every 1 on 1 so you have an excited, engaged, team you believe in.
Sign up and learn more about being a better manager at GetLighthouse.com