It’s a cliche because it’s true: If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get anywhere. Leaders and managers who do not have–and convey–clear goals for their teams won’t be leaders for very long.
In the division of labor between roles, goals flow from the Coach to the Doer. The Coach decides what the objective is, what specifically needs to occur, and what success looks like. The Coach is also responsible for clearly communicating this vision to the Doer.
Ideally, the coach will define the goal not only qualitatively, but quantitatively. So when we say we are going to take a hill, we say we want to take it by X date. Budgets are also the Coach’s responsibility, as is the timeline, but the main thing that coach has to refrain from sharing with the team is how to do it.
The Coach provides the context that surrounds the assignment. In many cases, the Coach has access to information that the Doer team does not. Too often, though, the Coach doesn’t feel there is enough time to relay the context and all the background details that are important to the completion of the goal. For projects to be delegated effectively, and for the work to be what they need and want, it’s essential that the Coach gives the team an exhaustive description of everything about the project. With respect to context, it might be the economic context within the industry or market, or there may be important political factors within your company or institution. Give the team what they need to succeed.
Standards are important, too, and the more detailed the better. Even though it can be difficult, it’s essential that the Coach tries to express their standards as vividly as possible. Otherwise, you run into the problem of unexpressed expectations: when a coach has an idea of how they want something to be, but they don’t reveal this to their team. Never assume the team has ESP, because 99 times out of 100, they don’t. An unexpressed expectation is a recipe for trouble.
Looking back, well over 50% of the failed projects I’ve delegated went wrong due to my failure to express clearly enough the nature of the project. Another reason my teams have failed is due to my dictating how the team should complete the project. I denied the Doer/s the opportunity to use their creativity and talents to come up with solutions I might not have thought of. We’re really leaving all that talent on the table if we don’t allow them to master the skills and gain the confidence to become increasingly stronger Doers for the organization.
Next week we’ll cover the Tolls element of RGT. In the meantime, if you want to go deeper on any of this (or anything else) just send me an email at Scott@doubledareyou.us and we can set up a time to talk.