Who’s Next?


By Neal Glatt

How long do you want things to be exactly the same?  How many years will you be content spending the same time and effort on the same tasks?  If you want more vacation, more money, or less stress in 2021 than you have today, then you need to make an investment now.  It’s time to figure out who’s next.  Here’s how to start.

First, it’s critical to understand that processes or technology won’t allow you to move the way you want to without people.  Processes make things consistent at the expense of innovation.  And technology speeds up results at the expense of visibility.  Both of those tradeoffs can be worthwhile, but nothing happens without the people to make it happen.  If you want to work less, take on different responsibilities, or simply scale to the next level, you need the very best people possible to step up when you move on to bigger and better things.

The problem is that no one does things as good as you in the way you do them.  I have five principles for overcoming this problem.

1. Manage Outcomes, Not Process

Instead of worrying about how someone goes about tasks, it is much more critical to manage the end result.  Many people fail because instead of using their own unique talents, they are instructed to go about tasks in the way that others have had success.  Micromanaging the how of the task limits opportunities for success, creates stress, and limits growth.

2. Invest in People with the RIGHT Skills

Many times managers tend to work with people who have demonstrated knowledge or abilities around a job.  They hire based on experience.  But it’s proven that task-based skills aren’t the things we need in future leaders.  We need to invest in people who are have the right behaviors, not technical abilities.  I detailed this approach in my course “How to Hire” if you need a refresher.

3. Give Them Experiences

I always do whatever I can to let the people I’m mentoring me experience what I experience.  I bring them into as many meetings and conversations as possible even when they have very little to contribute.  This allows them to see my thought process, learn what I consider in my decisions, and ask questions about complex situations.  I also give them every educational opportunity I’ve found valuable by sending them to conferences or enrolling them in education like here on GrowTheBench.  I don’t need to teach what they can experience and they’ll learn much more than through rushed conversations with me.

4. Allow Them to Fail

We learn best when we fail.  So one of my most important keys to success is failure.  Instead of stepping in when I can see things perhaps going down the wrong track, I’ll let them play out.  Then we have a positive and future-orientated conversation around what was learned and how to improve next time.  The only way to grow the next generation and remove myself from a process is to allow failure to happen.

5. Constantly Celebrate Success

Any time something goes right, it’s an opportunity to celebrate success.  By showing appreciation and recognizing successful behaviors, we encourage more successful behaviors to be shown.  Plus, it’s way more fun to be a team that celebrates wins than one that broods about failures.

Put these principles into practice now and you’ll finally have competent leadership to step up as you step up.  Growing comes with growing pains, but a dedicated approach and consistent effort always brings great results.  If you need more help, check out our courses, peer groups, or even our one-on-one coaching with our Premium Access Pass.  No matter what level of investment you’re ready to make, we’re here to support you grow your bench!

Tags: Growth , Change , Process ,