Earlier this week, over 15,000 HR professionals from around the world descended upon Las Vegas for the 67th annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference & Exposition. SHRM is known for hosting top-notch keynote speakers as well as a ton of educational sessions packed full of useful information participants can take back to their respective workplaces to inspire new ways of serving each organization’s most valuable asset – their people!
At Monday’s keynote address, Marcus Buckingham, founder of TMBC and author of multiple exceptional business books (including a New York Times best-seller) shared the significance of focusing on your Team Leaders. Interestingly, he goes as far as to say “the most important decision an organization makes is not marketing, strategy or capital allocation. It is who the team leaders are, and how they are equipped to lead.”
Being selected as a leader in any organization is an honor that carries with it a significant responsibility – to lead! Depending on the specific leadership role, this can translate to leading a team of one or a team of thousands but, regardless, the goal is to LEAD.
Some tend to think that leaders are born (even going as far as to suggest there is a leadership gene that drives the desire to “be in charge”). Others believe leadership can be taught to people with the right potential and life experiences. This debate will likely continue on for years to come but, at the end of the day, what matters most is being clear about the leadership gifts of the leaders currently on your team. Are you using them to their full potential and inspiring them to grow <or> are you assuming they will let you know if they need anything and potentially taking their ongoing leadership and commitment for granted? This question leads into a whole host of others:
- Have you done a leadership inventory in your organization lately?
- Who is leading your most valuable assets and do they have the tools they need to accomplish the goals they’ve been assigned to achieve?
- What resources are dedicated to the continued professional development of those leading the strategic objectives you plan to achieve this year, next year, and beyond?
- Finally, how do you let them know how much you appreciate their leadership and commitment to your organization? How do they know you genuinely care about them?
I agree with Marcus Buckingham’s thoughts on the importance of determining who your team leaders are and how they are equipped to lead. However, it can be easy to let this significance fade away as other seemingly more pressing business decisions bubble to the top. Great senior leaders won’t allow this to happen – they will always remember the significance of ensuring their team leaders are a #1 priority as they watch over the #1 asset of the organization – its human resources!