In Monday Memo


Remember to play doubles!

Time and time again, I notice that leaders and managers play singles with their people. It’s like they are trying to ace them with their service or play a cross-court winner. They do this in a lot of ways, looking out for only what they get wrong, micro-managing them – whatever it is, in doing so, it’s clear they are actually not on the same side.

But they are supposed to be, aren’t they! A leader or manager’s job is to get their people on the same side of the net somehow – best they play doubles rather than singles. They do this by either crossing the net themselves or getting their team members to cross the net to their side. That way, they can work together at achieving their objectives – after all, it’s the objectives that are supposed to be on the other side of the net!

I think too many leaders and managers are scared that this would result in them getting too familiar with their team members – what happens then if the team member under-performs? Well, if you were training for the doubles tournament at Wimbledon next year and your partner starts partying and coming to training sessions late, are you just going to let it go because you are partners? No, won’t you re-focus your partner on your agreed objectives, inspire them to perform to their maximum, to exceed expectations?

Isn’t that precisely what your day job as leader or manager is?

Monday Morning Perspective: “It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place… it’s when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.’- David Hume

Kind regards

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