There is an old adage that says something to the effect “if you have a great employee, leave them alone and let them do their thing.”
As with many old sayings, there is a hint of wisdom in this saying. Your best employees don’t need you telling them HOW to do things; they are already doing things very well without detailed instructions from you.
Where this old saying is off the mark is in the “leaving them alone” part. I want the best employees on my team to stay on my team, not go to someone else’s team. I want the best on my team getting even better.
Top performers all want to feel like they are learning and growing, not just putting in time. As I attend seminars and conferences across Canada, I see some leaders bringing key staff with them and some coming alone. The vast majority come alone, even when the event is in their area.
I hear “none of my team could spare the time” or “we are just too busy.” Great managers do everything that they can to expose their team, especially their stars and potential stars, to every learning opportunity possible.
Being asked to go to an event with their manager is huge for most people, the kind of thing they go home and tell their friends and family about. Being selected to go on an advanced training course is just as powerful.
It is so easy to just delete that email about this year’s course offerings or to just head off to the seminar for the day by yourself. But easy is not the path taken by a great manager like you.