We are just thrilled by the response to our Career Leadership series. Thank you for your kind words and great questions.
This past week, an executive with a team of about 8 direct reports asked us how he could support the career leadership of the people working for him. He described his dilemma as this—“I really want to support my team in their career leadership, even if they may want to leave the company, while also ensuring that they continue to be successful while they are here.”
It can be a challenge to genuinely help others achieve their goals while managing the goals of your organization or department but it’s not impossible. Andy Bryant, the Chairman of Intel, was just quoted in the Sunday, April 12, 2015, New York Times describing how he has done just that. He said he says to his direct reports, “I’m going to talk with you about how to develop you. And so to help you develop, I have to first know what you want to do with your career. If you tell me, ‘I want to leave Intel at some point and be a CFO at a small company,’ I’ll help you figure that out. We’ll talk about the skills you don’t have and how you can get them. We can also talk about the skills I need you to develop while you’re still here, to do better work for us.”
Simple and elegant. To support someone in their career leadership:
- Ask them to help you understand their vision for their future.
- Help them identify the skills they need to move toward that future.
- Explore opportunities in their current role where they can grow those skills.
- Manage their current work so that at the same time they continue to develop the skills they need to succeed in their current role.
That’s the kind of boss we’d like to have and we’d like to be!
If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes (literally under 5 minutes to read each post and watch the video) to review the last two week’s posts and sign up to get the Free Career Leadership Video Series.