Arguably the most important element of crunch time is your people. Without them, you cannot maintain success. This plays out in many ways - at work, yes, but also in sport, music and even when you become a parent. In those instances, real success comes when you realise that it's not about you anymore and you can take pride in the way your people - young and old - grow and develop.
Success can come only after an investment in your people - of money, time, and of yourself. Without this investment, your people won’t deliver for you during crunch time and they certainly won’t stick around for long after. You might say, ‘that’s OK, they weren’t up to it’, but a pattern will emerge. You will find it hard to succeed.
Dr Steven Covey talks about the concept of an emotional bank account. As a leader, if I've invested in you, and I draw down on it during a crunch time, then all good. You’ll come to the party and do the long nights to deliver an outstanding result. But if you and I have no investment in our relationship and then I ask something of you, you're drawing on an empty bank account. And as Covey says ‘I’m walking on mine fields’.
Investing in your emotional bank account with your people starts very simply: know your people.
3 reasons why knowing your people leads to greater performance:
1. STIMULATION: Knowing what turns them on helps you drive the right performance. Understanding what gets them going them will inform you what and how you ask them to do something for you.
2. INTERVENTION: Knowing what matters to them will help you know what to do or say when you need to lift them out of the weeds in the middle of a crunch time.
3. RECOGNITION: Knowing what they enjoy will also help you how to reward them after an achievement, which will encourage more of that behaviour and ultimately will improve results.
As we head into the end of the year, I encourage you to invest in your people wisely. Use the extra conversations about summer, holidays and end of year to know your people.
About Alena: Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people. She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on firstname.lastname@example.org