In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg notes that she prefers the jungle gym over the ladder as a metaphor for the modern career. A jungle gym lets the climber move in a variety of directions, trying different approaches and learning new positions. And it offers better views for everyone:
“On a ladder, most climbers are stuck staring at the butt of the person above.”
What kind of view are you giving your team? Can they see the whole playground? Or are they staring at your butt, hoping you fall so they can move up?
Here are three ways to insure everyone has a place on the jungle gym:
1. Hire smart people and encourage them to work themselves out of a job. Reward system and process improvements that minimize repetitive tasks and free your team to take on more challenging opportunities.
2. Offer cross-training and professional development opportunities. Insure your team has deep industry and company knowledge so they can add value at a higher level.
3. Understand each individual’s long-term career goals and encourage them to explore their interests. Utilize your cross-functional knowledge to identify opportunities for your team outside your workgroup.
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This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.
(Photo credit: Microsoft)