Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Put me in Coach!

Well, it has been a minute or two since I have written a post, and I can honestly say I have missed writing.  Writing is my outlet to clear my mind in so many ways.  With that said, I will say, I have had lots of time to do a lot of thinking and reflecting.  

One of the things that I have been thinking about is how people, when provided with the right opportunity, have an ability to capitalize on those opportunities.  Unfortunately, many ideas and too many people sit on the sidelines patiently awaiting the right opportunity.  In 1985, John Fogerty, formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival, released the song, "Centerfield".  The chorus of the song says, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play".  All the player wanted was a chance to show he could play "centerfield".

In the workplace, there is a myriad of "players" just sitting on the bench, wondering when it will be their turn to "get in the game" and make a difference for the team.  Unfortunately, those players can't always recognize that they are already in the game and making a difference.  Leaders take the time to recognize the contributions that each team member makes to the game. From a morale and retention perspective, recognition of the smallest contributions can sometimes yield the biggest performance results.

In my current role, I have had two members of my team that have recently stepped up when asked.  Their contributions have forced us to raise our collective expectations of where the department should be performing. Had they not "accepted the challenge" job dissatisfaction may have increased resulting in them pursuing other lesser opportunities in order to feel more appreciated.  As a leader, I am very proud of the recognition that they are receiving from our external customers.

I have been privileged to work with a great team of professionals ranging from front line team members through senior leadership who have supported different initiatives.  Many of these initiatives have been kick started from the front lines.  It is a great feeling as a leader in my organization to encourage innovative thinking and then see those thoughts progress from a concept to production, with credit all going to the front lines where the idea was generated from. 

Take a look around your team and see what is being cultivated in your workplace. Is it a disease as a result of letting things just exist, or is it the right cure or solution that just has been fully cultivated?  As a leader, it is up to you to decide.  Are you going to listen to those saying, "Put ME in Coach", or are you going to let your bench just erode?

Have a great week!