Leading Means Taking Advantage of Teachable Moments

Are you frazzled, worn out and tired of doing everything because your team members can’t manage to get even the smallest task right? It’s time to take a look in the mirror because you may be the problem.

While chatting with a team leader recently, he told me about a situation with one of his team members. This team member couldn’t do anything right so the team leader had to finish all of that member’s tasks. Oy. I had to grit my teeth to keep my mouth from falling open. :)

The team leader was burning the candle at both ends trying to do his own job along with that of his staff. If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop. The situation is not sustainable and doesn’t help anyone.

And you can suck that “Yes, but…” right back in.

It is your job as a leader to, well, lead. Leading doesn’t mean doing your team member’s work. It does mean you need to take advantage of “teachable moments” when they appear.

When a team member completes an assignment that doesn’t quite hit the mark, help him understand where the gaps are and let him make the wrong, right. Be by his side to coach and correct, but don’t do it yourself. Yes, I know it takes energy and time. But that’s your job as a leader. Plus, if you can get him on the right track, just think about all the free time you’ll have since you won’t have to do his work anymore.

Sound good? Try it.

If you need help figuring out what to do, tell me about your predicament and I’ll give you an alternative option. Just leave me a note in the comments.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. She gets a lot of joy from working with teams and their leadership to help them improve and work through team issues. Not only does her advice come from the heart, it comes from years of experience working as a team member, team leader, manager and owner of her own company. She has truly walked in your shoes and offers help so you can be a better team leader. You can find more advice from Denise at her website askteamdoc and don't forget to follow her on Twitter @askteamdoc.

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