You are focused on motivating, driving (or threatening) your team: to make their numbers, meet their KPIs (key performance indicators) and/or deliver their project on time, under budget and error free.
Your team management focus is on the pieces: various projects in your portfolio or leads in your team’s sales pipeline.
Step back from your current scenario. Take a 10,000 foot eagle’s eye view of your activities. You and your team resemble a post-industrial assembly line.
You are churning away: prioritizing, scheduling, supporting and completing projects. You are racing along: trying to close as many deals as you can. One by one by one.
It’s time to think bigger than the next project or the next account you are attempting to close.
Project completion is a means to an end. It is not your strategic horizon. Making your numbers is a short-term objective. Your sales strategy needs to extend towards an 18-month horizon, instead of a 90-day timeline.
Why? Whatever you are working on today is part of your entire company’s throughput; not just your team’s. Your team management DNA is indelibly plugged into your company’s DNA. At least that’s the view from the C-Suite.
Otherwise, you are short-changing yourself, your team, your company and your customers.
The duration of your team management attention span on business development and project management has to morph. Make it at least directed on tomorrow. Better yet, make it future-focused.
When your motivation becomes “What’s Next?” you are amping up your team management skills to include strategic vision.
That’s the difference between managing and leading. That’s the difference between focusing on numbers versus motivating your team to color outside of those numbers.
You need to think bigger.
Team management activities involve stretching beyond the confines of your departmental mindset. Team management activities involve collaboration and thoughtful push-back. Team management activities have cross-functional, horizontal momentum.
Try to think bigger.
Does that scenario describe your current team management mindset? Does that scenario describe the capabilities and mindset of the current team you are managing? Of the other teams you come into contact with?
Move out of your current level of comfort managing people and moving project pieces around the board. Think bigger.
Your team management throughput and output impact your company’s and your clients’ quest for growth, expansion and sustainability. When you think about the true business outcomes you all are pursuing, these involve more than completing projects or meeting deadlines and making quotas.
Think bigger. Manage. Manage by leading for “What’s Next?”
Babette Ten Haken started out her career as a scientist. Early on, she was asked to bring clarity to the chaos of stalemated conversations between engineers, sales, IT, quality, legal and marketing folks. She focuses on building collaborative, innovative and profitable teams who are focused on excellence in the hand-off of strategy for execution. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.