As a COO it is very important that you make your team’s goals your goals!
Leaders want to encourage their employees to dream big, especially if you’re a COO. You need to consider that helping employees achieve their dreams helps you to achieve your own! It doesn’t matter if you are the Second in Command and not the CEO. That’s not an excuse. Personally helping your employees become more ambitious will ultimately reward you and the organization you work for.
Helping You Succeed
It’s a concept clearly outlined in a book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly. Basically, it explains that if COOs like you focus on your employees’ personal goals instead of solely on the work that they do for your company, then they’ll do just about anything to help you succeed.
Some people think it sounds wishy-washy or idealistic, but it works! By helping others succeed in what’s important to them, they’ll be far more likely to want to help you succeed in return.
Get Your Employees to Write Down Their Goals
Get your employees to write as many goals as possible in thirty minutes. Here are some categories that you can use:
- Goods I’d like to buy
- Activities I want to do
- Subjects I want to learn
- Places I want to go
After that, dedicate time every week to help them set tangible steps to make these dreams come true. This doesn’t mean to loan them cash for a 7-series BMW or buying them tickets to Peru, it means reverse-engineering their goals into small steps. It could also mean lending expertise and calling in favours from your own network.
Not only should COOs be helping their employees achieve their goals, but leaders should be helping each other, too. For example, a CEO could help their COO take the right steps to attain a CMAA certification that they wanted just by putting them in touch with accomplished COO training experts.
Take the Time
It’s worth taking the time to sit down with your employees to help them succeed in their goals. For example, you could have a few employees that listed “pay off my student loans” as one of their goals. Those student loans are a burden that’s likely crushing them and making it feel impossible to get ahead—which makes them less driven to do well, so help them out!
This doesn’t mean go pay their student loans for them, it means sit down with them, help them work out their own budgets, and follow up weekly to see how it’s working out. Within six months they should be either out of debt or well on their way.
Once they’re out of debt, these employees will have enough money to save and invest for the future. It’ll encourage them to work towards larger goals and work hard for them.
A few hours of mentoring can not only save those employees from a truly terrible situation, but it also creates loyal partners for life. Needless to say, having a COO as a friend expands their networking reach so much. Because of this, they’ll never forget how you helped them and always be grateful for it.
How is this about you?
You can think about this selfishly if you want. If you help enough people achieve their dreams, you’ll have so many loyal people on your side and such a huge network to lean on for anything; hockey tickets, stock advice, even just moving.
Everyone says that a company is like a family, but that only comes when you really support your employees. Listen to their goals, then work your hardest to mesh them with your own. You’ll be amazed at what can happen.
Remember, whether you are a CEO, CFO, or COO, you are the privileged 1% who can reach out and help the rest. As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to hand out help. All you might need to do is sit and talk to people for a few minutes. Nothing but positives can come from that!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.