Watching the Olympics this week I am simply amazed at the precision, determination and ability of the athletes. They are the top performers in their sport across the world. Being they are the best of the best, I asked myself, why do they require a coach? Clearly the swimmers know the techniques of how to swim. They know all the tips of the trade and they are driven beyond comprehension. What is the purpose of their coach? Couldn't they simply train on their own?
In listening to several interviews with Olympian coaches they have stated their purpose as being there to push the athletes to new heights and to help them realize more of their potential than they could have done on their own. They are there to motivate, guide and train their athletes to achieve their highest goals.
Compare your top performing employees to the top athlete scenario. Your top producers require little management as they are good at what they do and they get the job done well. It is great to have those types of assets on your team. Although easy to manage, we should not forego our other role as a manager, to be a coach to our employees.
High performers want to reach their greatest potential. They are looking to continually develop themselves and succeed in their jobs. Our role as a coach is to guide, motivate and engage our employees to bring out their best performance. Part of helping them succeed is to clearly lay out their targets. They should know where the business is heading and how they can contribute to getting you there. High performers want to know if they have "won the game". It is our job to develop the framework, engage and motivate them to help them succeed. Focus on being a great coach and it will benefit your employees, yourself and your business.