Put Me In Coach

put me in coach

The past two weeks, I have spent time meeting with every one of my direct reports.  As part of our monthly one-on-one meetings, we spent time talking about training, development, and operational readiness.  We talked about the training each of them completed so far.  We talked about training they want to or need to take in the future.  We talked about how they were doing with their goals for this fiscal year.  And we talked about their long-term career goals.

I walked away from these meetings with an important observation:  my team members are looking for opportunities to be challenged.  They want the chance to demonstrate they can handle work at the next level.

It’s as if they are singing words from Centerfield by John Fogerty – “Put me in coach.  I’m ready to play.”

Over the weekend, I attended the weekly meeting for my church’s high school youth group where I am one of the adult leaders.  This meeting was special, because the four student interns had the opportunity to speak four ten minutes each to the rest of the students.  Each of the students brought an important message learned during the year as an intern.  They did a great job!

The night was another reminder of the importance of giving our younger counterparts a chance to get in the game.

If you lead people, you have the responsibility to prepare your team members for the future – to prepare them to play the game at the next level.  This means giving them a chance to stretch outside their comfort zones.  The means keeping your eyes open for opportunities to push your team members.  And it means giving up a little bit of your control, so others can learn and grow.

Putting your team members into the game at the next level will improve your leadership. improve your team members, and improve the future of the organization you lead.

What are you waiting for?

It’s time to put your team members into the game, coach!

What action do you need to take today to give your team members a chance to play the game at the next level?  How were you given a chance to get into the game at the next level by one of your leaders or coaches?  Tell us about it in the comments.