Leadership through Eyes of a Coach...Alan Booth

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


So here I am interviewing a manager for my next book around why he thinks he is successful and what he aspires to in the future. He wants to succeed his boss who will be shortly promoted.

I get to the last question: "What is the one skill you have to strengthen to accelerate achieving the goal of succeeding your boss? " Big long pause.

It always amazes me how one can pontificate on their successes and competencies but not be acutely aware of the skills needed  to get to the next level...whatever that is. Maybe that is why I get engaged as a coach; to increase that awareness in real time and discover strategies to change.

Back to my manager. "Well, what I really need is to make time to work on more strategic projects that will earn me the credentials to move into my next job here." Important? "It is the most important thing I need to do."

"So Mr. Manager, at the risk of leading you, the skills of delegating to that very competent staff you are so proud about is the barrier?"

Manager: "No. It is not about delegating. I seem to need to hold on to certain tasks because I do not trust my staff to do them as well as I can."

OK, let's get this straight. I learned that this manager is never satisfied with work quality and continually raises the bar for himself and his staff. What must his staff think about working for this person? Is it really a trust issue?

It certainly seems that his staff thinks so but also realize that instead of the manager helping them succeed, he gets in the way of holding on to the plum tasks that have high visibility in their organization. And with all of the praise he brags about giving his staff, he admits he needs to shift his mindset from "it is all about me" to truly helping them get to the next level.

Only then will his superiors realize his leadership ability.