Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stop Showing Me How Smart You Are

If you don't know Marshall Goldsmith, you ought to.

Business coach to the stars and author of one of my favorite books, "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" Goldsmith is the brains behind one of my favorite pieces of coaching advice for managers: Stop adding value.

Wha? Isn't that what they pay you for? To add value? Yes -- but not at the expense of your direct reports' commitment to execution.

Goldsmith gives this scenario: Imagine that your staffer comes to you, brimming with excitement (it could happen!) about a great idea she has. As her manager, you recognize that the idea is good (maybe a 75 out of 100) -- but YOU could make it great! So you add value (advice, tweaks, resources, suggestions, etc.), and in doing so, you take a 75 idea to an 80 BUT YOU CUT HER COMMITMENT TO EXECUTION BY 50%! Why? Because it is no longer HER idea -- it's yours.

Was it worth it?

The book certainly is.

And for those of you who like FREE, you can download and share lots of Goldsmith's stuff by visiting his library.

Happy holiday reading!


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