- 69% of people don’t actively track where their time goes on a normal workday
- For a player-coach, this creates an imbalance between managing and contributing to team work
- Track your time as to help you strike a balance between being a ‘player’ and ‘coach’.
Based on the free online test “How Do Your Time Management Skills Stack Up?”, out of 7 000 respondents, 31% said they actively track their time, while 69% don’t. While this presents problems for regular team members, it’s particularly problematic for managers.
If you’re not tracking where your time goes as a manager and team contributor (which most managers are), you might be poorly balanced between ‘player’ and ‘coach’ activities without even knowing it, and the result could be negatively impacting your entire team.
The big idea: Coaching and playing the team can be your best productivity tool
“If you’re a player-coach but you spend too much time helping and supervising your staff, you’re just a coach who can’t get your individual work done,” notes Mark Murphy, author and founder of Leadership IQ.
Being this kind of leader or manager is challenging as you often have to juggle leadership responsibilities in addition to your day job. To avoid neglecting your respective player and coach duties, be aware of the specific goals and metrics you’re being judged on, advises Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO of Mogul. “Then, ensure your employees’ goals ladder up to the broader team goals.”
What’s in it for you: Get things done
Being an effective leader doesn’t just mean you’re able to get things done. An ace player-coach also strives to understand and apply other people’s great ideas while encouraging the team to give their best.
For example, at Nasdaq, Bryan Smith, the Senior Vice President and Global Head of HR at Nasdaq, says they practise the player-coach method by prioritising projects and tasks, developing future leaders, training their teams through real-life experiences, and keeping connections open by listening to everyone.
Make it happen
According to Bryan Smith, the SVP and Global Head of HR at Nasdaq, there are 3 techniques that leaders can do for the player-coach leadership technique. These are:
- Groom leaders into action. Nasdaq’s 15-month action-learning experience trains leaders to seize opportunities and grasp the full leadership experience.
- Avoid the emergence of silos. Silos occur when some business units don’t share any information. Nasdaq’s leaders avoid this by holding update meetings on Monday mornings, reviewing the past week and planning and prioritising for the weeks ahead.
- Mingle to create something new. Smith and other executives regularly meet for lunch with about 10 employees from different units chosen at random, to generate new ideas.