Leverage your teams

What is the point of having a team if you are not going to leverage the members of the team? I often see a team leader who has a team but doesn’t really take advantage of the team and that is what I’m here to share my thoughts on today.

As you may have noticed from my blog I’m a big fan of John Chambers. He once shared that each member of his team knows more about their domain than he does and that he relies on them for decision making. Makes total sense doesn’t it? The CEO gets finance advice from the CFO, gets marketing advice from the CMO and so on. While it is clear cut at the very top it seems to me that the lower we go in an organization(no research here just my experiences) the less of this behavior occurs?

On any team the key thing to know is the manager isn’t necessarily the smartest nor the most well informed on matters that might come up. As a manager your role is not to just dictate but rather to bring out the best in your team. If you don’t empower them then not only will you fail in the long run but the best talent you have will move on. However imagine the multiplying power that exists if from the very bottom up managers made sure they engaged their team effectively and not just superficially. The quality of knowledge that would roll up would give the leadership a strong advantage when making decisions.
I’ve read a ton of books on management. Unfortunately the reality of the world is that good managers are not as ubiquitous as they should be. Solving that problem is another issue but one which I may have some opinions on down the road. Today take this away and think about it ‘am I taking full advantage of the skills and talents of my team members?’


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