Imagine walking into your kitchen and, sat around your breakfast table, was your very own management team, with your personal and professional development at the core of their agenda. Who would you have at that table?
It may not be possible to invite everyone round for breakfast each day, but I challenge you to consider who is supporting you with your development, what roles they play, and how diverse the group is.
There are many ways to consider the members of this group, but I like to structure it as follows:
1. Mentor – an experienced and trusted advisor
2. Strategist – a skilled person in planning actions
3. Connector – aligns you with individuals or networks to build your circle
4. Motivator – promotes interest and enthusiasm
5. Challenger – challenges your thinking and actions
6. Champion – supports and actively promotes you and your best interests
7. Chief Financial Officer – ensures you stay on track financially to support your objectives
8. Mentee – develops leadership skills and support those around you
Draw a circle, cut it into eight slices, and in each slice, write a title from the list above, and a name. Do you have someone in each slice? Is each name different, or does the same person occupy multiple slices? How many degrees of separation do you have across the group?
The ideal scenario is to have a different person in each slice, and as diverse a group as possible. This seems obvious but it’s an often overlooked factor in personal development. If people are covering multiple roles, it’s harder for them to be effective. This is similar to any job function. Once the range of duties becomes too wide, the effectiveness drops. Similarly, if the group is less diverse, the range of ideas and connections they can provide will be limited.
As you expand the number of unique people, and the diversity within the group, your management circle gets bigger and bigger, and so does the effectiveness of your team. If the group only consists of your partner and your dog, they’re probably not going to be able to fulfil the roles you would like them to.
Also consider the following:
1. Do your team members know they are on your management team? This may sound simple, but how can someone help you if they don’t know they are supposed to be helping? I often find people very willing to help when asked, but if they have other commitments, it’s better that you know, and therefore don’t have unrealistic expectations.
2. How often do you meet with each team member? It’s unlikely you’re going to be able to meet with everyone together, although that would be nice if you can arrange it, and you also don’t need to see them all daily. What is the right frequency for both you and the other party, and in what format? A casual coffee will work for some, a formal call works better for others. How effective would your corporate management meetings be if not everyone knew their role and wasn’t told why they were there or given an agenda? The same applies to your personal management team.
3. What criteria do you want to put in place before changing a member of your management team? This is another often overlooked component, and one I find complicated by fear of damaging personal relationships. As you develop, either personally or professionally, you need adjust the members of your management team, but you need to do so with empathy and humility. Many relationships will naturally evolve, but always bear in mind how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed.
“Surround yourself with people who push you to do better. No drama or negativity, just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.” Warren Buffet
I often find myself in discussions about the benefits of engaging with a diverse group of people who are providing feedback and support to achieve their objectives. In many cases, people haven’t considered the idea of a personal management team. However, I believe it can help anyone with both their personal and professional development.
What goals are you looking to achieve in 2021, and who is helping you achieve them?
If you have any questions about this topic, or any of my other articles, please contact me through any of my social channels. I’m on all the usual platforms.