Rocketeer Leadership Behavior 2 - Develops Rocketeers
When you prioritize developing your team, you're growing your organisation. You're planting the seeds of scale.
Our second Leadership Behavior is Develops Rocketeers. Once again, here’s the slide from our super-secret internal deck:
As a leader, if you’re not taking an active role in developing your team, then somebody else is - and that isn’t going to help your organisation scale.
We all yearn for mentors, for belonging and to be part of something big. Those early mentors play a huge role in our careers and I bet you can, as well as I can, remember those along the way that showed interest in our own development.
We want leaders that do that.
We want leaders that do that deliberately, by habit, because they know that if their team members are clear about where they are going, their interests and development, that they can then be focused on the task at hand.
The Develops Rocketeers Leadership Behavior has the following sub-points:
Helps Rocketeers create development plans.
Helps Rocketeers, learn, improve, grow and change.
Provides appropriate feedback focused on professional growth.
At ServiceRocket, we use a great simple tool called Small Improvements - we’ve been using it since it first came to market (we were proudly their first ever customer!). What we love about this tool is that we have scheduled quarterly 1:1 check-ins between our managers and their Rocketeers. It’s pretty common these days, back then it wasn’t. But what isn’t common is how it’s approached.
We take a strong coaching-led mindset to this process, and we’re looking at ways to help the Rocketeer learn and grow, aligned with our Rocketeer Promise
In order for us to truly make this Leadership Behavior come to life, we had to build our Career Pathways system at ServiceRocket. I wrote about that here Job Families, Levels, Titles and Career Paths), in short, this was a re-think and restructure of all the jobs. I think it’s essential. Because, think about it, if your leaders are planning careers and you don’t have those career pathways, then where are your leaders going to lead your team?
Anti-Behavior: Hasn’t fully planned/developed their team
We think Anti-Behaviors are a clear way to communicate what we don’t want. And to try and be explicit. In this case, a leader that says “I’ll do that later” to thinking about, listening to, planning and prioritizing their teams development plans isn’t helping to scale the organisation.
We leveraged the core of this Leadership Behavior from Scaling Leadership by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams along with it’s anti-behavior. And then we adapted it for our culture and The series of books and research by these authors and the underlying Leadership Circle framework is used heavily at our company and linking these together made so much sense. In that body of work it distinguishes between leaders being in the state of high creativity or high reactivity. The anti-behavior logically has a canceling effect on the creative side.
The sub-points were inspired by our Rocketeer managers along with the Leadership Circle. I’ll write more in a future post how we use this leadership framework in our company across the globe in a scalable way.
Some great resources for this Leadership Behavior include*:
Why do we have Leadership Behaviors? Isn’t this what Core Values are supposed to do? See my previous post below on ‘When are Core Values not enough?”, but in short Leadership Behaviors give you explicit coachable items to work with your team to help them get better. Telling someone they have fallen on a behavior is much easier to correct and improve, whereas telling someone that they have failed against values is akin to telling them that they’ve been banished from the tribe.
In my opinion, companies need to define these behaviors if they are truly invested in growing their employees to reach their potential. We outline this in our Rocketeer Promise.
At some stage around 2007 we got to a stage where we needed Core Values. I remember this moment clearly, Philip, a fellow member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization took my call where I started expressing issues I was having with our business. We were ~60 people at that stage and alignment was a challenge.
*I have some amazon affiliate codes on book links, I may make billions from these and quit my job.
**Over time these posts will be updated with more links, tweaks and changes as we learn more. Nothing is ever final at ServiceRocket, and we don’t like “unveiling” things.