Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Help Them Grow

It only happens every few years. I’m talking about leadership books that come out that I like so much that I read it with a highlighter. I use them in staff development and lend them out to others who want to improve themselves and/or their staff.

A few years back it was Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell. Then came From Bud to Boss by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris. Now – I've had the great privilege of reading a pre-launch copy of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want by Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni.

Help Them Grow is the type of book that makes you think, “Hmm, why haven’t I been doing that?” It’s a straightforward roadmap on how to help your staff develop without you having to take control of the reins. Let your employees grab hold of those reins and become responsible for their own growth. Wow . . . what a concept, right? Can you see your time being freed up?

Kaye and Giulioni say that “your role is more about prompting, guiding, reflecting, exploring ideas, activating enthusiasm, and driving action”. This book shows you ways to incorporate these career conversations in your everyday work life.

Notice that last sentence that says “everyday”. Leaders don’t have time to hold extended annual appraisals that package up everything from the entire previous year – and shouldn’t – heck, they don’t remember about what you’re talking about half the time anyway! You’re already having everyday conversations with your employees (hopefully), so just change the tone a bit. You don’t need a bunch of checklists and forms. Conversations and asking questions are the keys to development.

This book gives you actionable steps to “focusing on what the employee needs to experience, know, learn, and be able to do”. Too often, leaders think they have to have all the answers (and they avoid the topic if they don’t), when what they actually need most are the questions, permitting the employee to be a first hand participant in their own successful development.

There’s so much more to this embracing book than I have time for here, so my suggestion to you is to go to Amazon on September 18 (release date) to order yourself a copy or two – others are going to want their own.


Ellen Siler said...

I'm looking forward to 9/18 and beyond to get my first glimpse of "Help Them...!

Julie Winkle Giulioni said...

Thank you, Andy, for this kind review! And what a treat to see Ellen here. You keep good company!