Your team, of course, is always there for you – people you’ve come to know and rely on, whose talents are at your fingertips to use as tools of progress. But is there among them someone you trust as much (well, almost as much) as yourself? Someone who has sufficient leadership skills and understanding of your approach that you can trust to steer your ship, to take charge in your absence? It takes more than just being bright and capable – it takes a special attunement to your way of doing things.
Having such a go-to confidante can be a great blessing for a manager as it allows to share the burden of leadership and create a live, immediate interface between management and the team’s operation. And in the same process you could be coaching someone who’d carry on the proverbial torch once you move to a higher position.
Sure, complications always lurk in the shadows – that special trust can look like “special treatment” in the eyes of other co-workers. So it all must be real – real need, real collaboration, the undisputable talent and personality strength on his/her part. And the person you’d put in that position must be willing to go the extra mile and work to develop and sustain that special relationship. In my recent PsychologyToday.com article I give recommendations to employees who have the ambition to become their boss’ go-to person. I recommend that managers read it, too – to be able to meet that ambitious employee half-way and help them move ahead.