Accountability - Advocate for your People

Often leaders are asked to recommend someone who reports to them for a promotion, an increase in pay, recognition for a job well done or some other honor or accolade.  As a leader, if you have not been in this position, you will be.  Though we do not always realize the impact of this situation, I have found that advocating for your people has a large impact that is more far reaching than one understands. 

When you have a deserving individual who reports to you, it is critical that you make the best case for their selection.  Let’s use a promotion as an example, though almost any type of recognition demands the same attention.  When one of your direct reports has gone above and beyond the call of duty to contribute to the success of your team, they deserve your best effort to be recognized in an appropriate fashion.  If they have demonstrated their capability for greater responsibility, you must take up their case for promotion.

As a leader rises in the ranks of their company and responsibility their assessment is based more on their ability to recognize and cultivate talent than their skills at the operational level.  Amazingly, many leaders fail to see this and short circuit their success.  Whether it is due to personal dislike, envy, that someone reporting to them is more capable than they are, or the inability to recognize potential, when leaders fail to step up, their higher leadership takes notice.  The alternative is also true.  When your direct reports are selected for higher positions and excel, in good organizations, you are also rewarded.  The best leaders surround themselves with talent, develop that talent and reward it with additional responsibility.