Your LEADERS make the difference.

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Your LEADERS make the difference.

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Maree's Blog

How catalyst leaders lift teams to excellence

You may have noticed that managers who excel, are catalysts for creating change in their teams.

In my last newsletter (you can read it here), I described leaders who excel are powerful connectors.

Another crucial element for stand-out leadership is being able to catalyse change.

As practical catalysts, these leaders create clarity. 

Confused teams are the ones that don’t know what success looks like. 

They are the teams who don’t know what the outcomes are they are required to deliver.  

A catalyst empowers their team and builds engagement, so everyone is focused on creating and maintaining predictable business performance. 

Predictable performance is when the work is in safe hands. The manager doesn’t need to be across every detail, and they can focus on high-value work appropriate for their pay grade. 

The team is doing what is expected and more, so it stands out as it outperforms similar teams. 

This means, that as their HR support, or this leader’s leader, your work becomes streamlined, less reactive, and more planful. You can focus on the work appropriate for your pay grade, rather than fighting fires created by personnel issues within other teams.

Practical catalysts excel at taking their team from confused to clear.

Think about the managers you support – where are they on a scale between one to ten?

Are they at the low end of the scale (a one or two) – not a catalyst and their team are very much confused?

Or are they a ten on the scale? Their team is in flow, clear about what they are there to deliver, and empowered with the levels of success they are achieving. Being a practical catalyst requires three crucial elements.

1. Differentiate
2. Delegate
3. Design

1. Differentiate.

Being able to differentiate the varied needs of each team member and provide the required support to optimise success. How confident are you that the managers in your care understand each of their team member’s capabilities, interests, and strengths so that each person can excel? Or do these managers assume their team knows what they need to do and how to do it and aren’t aware of everyone’s specific strengths and capabilities? This also means they aren’t aware of areas in their team that might need support.

DIFFERENTIATE TIP: Managers can strengthen what they know about their team and levels of capability by:

  • Having regular 1:1 coaching conversations with each team member 
  • Map their team, to create more understanding about who can do what, and how well
  • Have regular feedback conversations to help their team understand areas for improvement, or so they know what they are doing well.

For managers to operate at the right level, means truly optimising the way people are set up for success in the work they are asked to do.

2. Delegate

How robust are the delegation frameworks in use by your managers when they are giving work to others? If you are asking yourself “what’s a delegation framework?” this suggests that your managers won’t have or use one. That means if they are perfectionists and control freaks, they are holding onto too much work. Or it could mean more mistakes are being made by their team due to misunderstanding what they are being asked to do. On the other hand, managers who do this well, manage their workload, and their team are clear about what they are delivering, and work is to a high standard.

DELEGATE TIP: Managers can:

  • Develop a delegation framework by creating a process to give clear instructions on the work they want to be done by their team. In my book Level Up, I include “8 Ingredients for Clear Instructions” that underpins how to delegate work 
  • Learn how to give effective feedback. And then have regular feedback conversations with everyone in their team

Becoming an effective delegator is key to operating at the right level. I have seen managers, who previously had been drowning in the amount of work they work doing and rating themselves zero out of ten in terms of delegating and managing a team become a ten out of ten after creating a delegation framework and having regular 1:1 feedback conversations with their team.

3. Design

So that there is ongoing personal growth and improvement, team members must have opportunities to stretch and develop different skill sets.

How confident are you that the managers you look after ensure each team member has a future focus on their own development? Do individual team members exceed expectations and excel in their role, and lift overall team performance? Or are performance reviews an annual event considered a “tick and flick” exercise simply to meet compliance requirements?

There is so much untapped potential in organisations. Creating a design process for individuals to excel starts to tap into that potential.

DESIGN TIP: Managers who recognise the strength in this do things a bit differently from other managers. They:

  • Give and ask for feedback on a regular basis
  • Have (at a minimum) monthly 1:1 conversations with each individual that includes discussing future career aspirations
  • Look for and provide stretch opportunities to their team members

Managers who understand and continuously improve in these three crucial areas: differentiate, delegate, and design, are the ones who thrive in the workplace, create teams who achieve unrivaled business success, and go on to have fulfilling careers with team development at the heart of what they do.

Let me know how you have rated the managers you support – are they a one or a ten?

Use the tips above as a possible action plan to increase the catalyst abilities of your managers.

Click here to download “8 Ingredients for Clear Instructions” for free and find out how you can help some of your managers create their own delegation framework.

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