Often our biggest challenge as leaders is to bring the best out of others. This is hard as many times the motivations of others are hard to understand and decipher. At other times they may have personal issues in the background preventing them from performing at their best. They could also be carrying grudges or history from the past preventing them from doing their roles at a peak performance level.

What can you do to bring out the best out of each person ? Especially those where as a leader you may have given up on their ability to bring out their best ?

Adopt a high challenge high support leadership model to achieve the best out of others. Warning – this a highly effective but highly intense form of leadership. It needs the coach ( boss) and the boxer ( manager) to be in their peak form sweating together to make the boxer better. 

So if you are willing to truly commit to the success of your team and are willing to work for it here is how a high challenge high support leadership model works

High Challenge

  1. Big Audacious Goal – It starts with setting a high challenge long term goal that the manager and the leader would like to attain. This can be a promotion, a business goal, a project launch or something else that both feel deeply about. What can be the moonshot you are both aiming for together ?
  2. Short term milestones – Set the first 2 to 3 short term milestones for the first few months and quarters that you want to accomplish. This can be a certain part of the project being completed, a record milestone of sales being hit etc
  3. Weekly / Fortnightly Review sessions – Now set up 30-60 minute sessions at the frequency needed to achieve the result. If you are starting out it can be daily or alternate day or weekly. As you progress you can drop the frequency to fortnightly. The purpose of each session is to review how things are going, challenge the manager to do better and see what issues they are facing to achieve their goal

High Support

As you push them to achieve more, you also need to dramatically step up the support needed for them to achieve their goals. This support can take many forms

  1. Cut Distractions – Help eliminate all low value meetings and other distractions from the diary of the manager. Protect them from useless meetings, phone calls and powerpoints.
  2. Encourage – Recognise and encourage progress. Appreciate every step taken both privately and publicly to motivate your protégé
  3. Reward – Think of small rewards frequently to recognize the progress being made
  4. Listen – Have active listening sessions to understand the issues the manager is having in making progress. 
  5. Ask – Ask leading questions to help the manager discover the next steps so that they feel that they own their path and the progress that they are making

High Challenge and High support model means intensity, quality time, dedication, focus and commitment from both the manager and the leader. It is not easy but it is the secret of the success of all great athletes and coaches.

Go for High Challenge High Support. You will bring out the best out of everyone.

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