Three of the Most Important Skills a Manager Must Possess

Last night, my business partner Executive Coach Helge Hellberg and I attended the Founders' Leadership Series at NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center with featured speaker Andy Rachleff, founder of Benchmark Capital and Wealthfront CEO. Two of his points on leadership struck me: 1) Leaders must genuinely care about their team and use “radical candor” and selflessness to build trust and 2) leaders cannot motivate employees without an authentic, real vision.

According to Gallup, only 1/3 of today’s employees are inspired at work, a number that has not changed in a decade (I wonder what that number is at Wealthfront?). To increase that “buy-in” leaders must align their team with the purpose and mission of the organization. Gallup studies show that employees work hardest when they believe in and are aligned with the company’s values and mission. Leaders must inspire their team members and themselves, and, as Wealthfront does, the organization must support the development of the leader to build the engagement of the workforce. At Hellberg/diTargiani Corporate Coaching, we believe coaching can be the cornerstone for the growth of the leader, and, thus, the growth of the team and the organization.

Our Three C’s of Leadership- Clarity, Commitment and Care form the foundation and awareness necessary for managers to become better people who, in turn, become better leaders.

Clarity is the process of becoming clear. We coach leaders in creating clarity of personal and team values, and help them connect to and communicate the company’s purpose and mission, which helps to motivate their charges. We also coach leaders to become clear in their expectations and communications with the individual members of their team.

Commitment comes from clarity, and is an agreement between all parties which aligns the values, purpose and mission of the company and the individual.

As Mr. Rachleff noted last night, Care is the foundation for all of this. Care comes from the leader’s purpose and her love for the work and the team. Because of this love, accountability grows as leaders no longer are willing to be out of alignment with the commitment to and of the team.

In fact, ADP data shows that 82% of employees appreciate hearing feedback, positive or negative, and two-thirds want to receive more feedback. The same study shows that 58% of managers think they give enough feedback. That chasm illustrates the need for greater Clarity, Commitment and Care on the part of managers and executives.

One way to bridge the chasm is through executive coaching. Building the foundation and awareness of a leader’s own obstacles through coaching is a first crucial step on the journey to be a better leader who inspires and holds accountable her team. Strengthening the muscles of Clarity, Care and Commitment brings leaders to that “radical candor” and commitment to everyone’s success that builds trust, and with it, a happier and more productive workforce.

Mark diTargiani, Executive Coach