I finally got this concrete out of the Colorado earth—using every tool I own.
But at least I had the tools.
This image provides us a clear message: People can succeed—and usually do—when they have the right tools.
But in this missive, we’re not talking about physical tools like shovels, vehicles, computers, and smart phones—but rather knowledge, skills, and competencies.
And the responsibility for people acquiring tools like these through “training and development” lies with, um, whom exactly?
1) Managers, with whom we share this truth:
Your job is to create a team that “spins like a top” so effectively that if you get hit by a bus on Tuesday nobody notices you’re gone till Monday.
So, managers—get out of those meetings and away from your desk to be with the people. Only then does coaching, teaching, and training happen. That’s what outstanding managers do.
And the other party responsible for “T&D”?
2) The individual, employee, associate, or team member!
In the QBQ! book we share these dangerous questions:
“When is someone going to train me?”
“Why don’t I get more coaching?”
“Who’s going to help me reach my goals?”
Seriously, if I have God-given talents and abilities, am I really not going to bring them to fruition because I’m waiting for my manager to train me!?!
The accountable questions—what we call QBQs—for each of us are, “What can I do to develop myself?” and “How can I learn new skills?” (A brief QBQ! “tutorial” here)
For a couple reasons, asking accountable questions like these is needed more and more in our organizations.
First, fewer people than ever are hired as a twenty-something and retire as a sixty-something with the same employer, so employers and supervisors will come and go. This fact tells us that individuals must be personally accountable when it comes to his/her own learning.
The other reason is this:
There is so much change, no manager can keep every individual “up to speed” unless the individual is fully engaged in his or her own personal development.
Tying it all together, what do we have here?
1. Every manager is accountable for the development of people.
2. Everybody is accountable for their own development.
These are “parallel truths” that possess a common theme of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. In outstanding organizations, where these truths are alive and well, a “performance review” would go this way:
Manager: “What can I do to be a better coach for you?”
Employee: “How can I develop myself?”
Whoa … what just happened here? This:
Blame, victim thinking, procrastination, and complaining were eliminated, while ownership for and engagement in the development of people and self increased.
Said another way, people are given—and seek out—the tools they need to succeed.
Now that’s outstanding.