This is the first in a five blog-post series on a leadership development tool: The Leverage Cycle. Successfully transitioning from doing to managing.
One of the biggest learning curves in leader development is early on – when you’re first promoted from being a top performer in your particular area of skill to becoming a leader of a (hopefully) high performing team.
In business leadership, often the reason for promotion is because you were good at what you did – delivering. This then translates into therefore you will be good at managing others to also deliver – which can be easier said than done!
If you’re struggling to let go of the control you had over ‘delivering’, struggling to trust that your team members will produce to the high level of quality that you did and that you expect, using the tools of the Leverage Cycle with discipline will help you develop your leadership skills and transition from doing to managing.
The Leverage Cycle proposes that leaders must use conversation to create an engaged, high performance team. There are four types of conversation:
We will look at each conversation individually throughout this series, however the basics are:
Delegating: this is the most important step and affects the success of the future conversations. Delegation requires a solid process and strong task focus backed with clarity in delivery of the message – it needs clarity and rigour in three things:
- Delegating mindset
- Right person and right level
- Right conversation
The success of future conversations depends on the delegation conversation, so it is worth spending time on it.
Supporting: this is the nurturing, engaging, regular check-in conversations to ensure your team members feel significant, supported and important. Because they are.
Feedback: both giving and receiving feedback is particularly important to ensure high performance. Remember that receiving feedback is not the same as accepting feedback – so those conversations need to occur to ensure changed behaviours where necessary.
Coaching: this conversation follows closely from feedback conversations. It’s about taking on the feedback that has been provided and acting on it to improve performance so when that team member is next delegated a task or project they carry it out better than they did (or could have) before.
Undertaking all four of these conversations regularly, diligently and with courage will mean even the newest business leader can expect a consistently high performance from their team.