Dollars and Sense: Developing staff crucial to leading team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The ability to effectively coach and develop other people is one of the key attributes shared by successful leaders.

Regardless of our occupation, virtually all of us have benefited at one time or another in our career from wise counsel and advice we received from a boss or a peer at work.

In some cases, the coaching we receive becomes a catalyst that helps to drive significant achievement and growth.

In today&8217;s workplace, a high percentage of employees have an expectation that they will receive meaningful coaching from their supervisor. Sadly, leadership in some organizations just doesn&8217;t understand that helping others develop is crucial to organizational success.

Jack Welch, the renowned and retired Chairman and CEO of General Electric, understood this concept well. When he took over at GE, he immediately began to reshape the company in many ways, including how leadership behaved.

Command and control was replaced with developing people to achieve success. Thanks to Welch&8217;s vision, GE continues to be one of the best managed companies in the world and has continued the legacy of great leadership that Welch established.

You see, Welch didn&8217;t just say that GE needed to become a greater developer of people. He personally walked the talk by coaching and mentoring people throughout the organization.

Welch understood that developing people would be the key to GE achieving the high level of success that he expected.

Developing people must be at the top of your leadership &8220;to do&8221; list if you expect to achieve the results you are seeking.

And make no mistake &045;&045; the little things mean a lot when it comes to helping people grow. Spending these few extra minutes coaching a staff member grappling with a difficult situation is the most valuable use of your time, even if it doesn&8217;t seem so at the point.

In the book 212- The Extra Degree by S.L. Parker, we learn this simple concept: at 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train.

When we invest in developing others, we help power the train