I use ideas from Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go nearly every day.
As the leader of a new – and growing – team, my most important job is equipping and developing my team to do the work of our company. Since I founded the company in March, we’re new to our relationships with each other. My team members are new to my business model; we’re all discovering how to work together while learning the skills we need to deliver great service to our clients.
I have my copies of Julie’s book right on my desk, a constant and persistent reminder of a few important ideas:
I need to keep developing my team in the forefront of my mind all the time. What opportunities can I take, in every conversation, to build my relationships with my team members, impart important knowledge and skills, and encourage them in growth?
I cannot use the excuse of “not enough time.” I won’t lie; the pace in my new business is hectic. Until I became the leader of my own company, I didn’t really understand the leaders’ lament about the difficulty in getting it all done. Now that I am leading a team, I understand the difficulty. While I have more to do than ever, task-wise, I also have more to do in building relationships and developing my team. Julie’s book has helped me understand the importance of slowing down to make the most of each conversation, asking questions and allowing my team time and space to think and answer.
People development is not something to check off my list. While I may get to the end of a day and clear my desk of tasks or to-dos, people development is an ongoing priority, the most important thing I do. And it never goes away.
It’s not about me, it’s about them. I’ve been working with Julie since May, preparing for the launch of her book. During that time, I’ve had some great conversation with team members, helping them explore what they enjoy most about working as a part of my team and helping them look ahead to what might be next for them in terms of career development and growth. Just last week, a series of such conversations led to a sad decision.
One of my team members, the first person I hired, decided that she needs to move on. I am happy for her that she is moving in the direction of her strengths and dreams. I’m grateful that Julie’s ideas and questions gave me the perspective to ask questions and listen for the answers. And though I love the title Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, I am also learning the hard truth that sometimes helping someone grow means you will also watch them go, especially if you’re truly committed to developing others. But now I’m even more ready to help the next one grow!
Becky Robinson is the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, a social media company who works with authors and companies to help them reach their online audiences. Becky is pleased to be supporting Julie in her book launch, and looks forward to watching the success of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.
Thank you, Becky… for this great guest post and for helping me grow over the past several months. You and your team have become more than trusted advisors and terrific partners… you are friends. And, for that I’m grateful!