Help Your Team Become More In 2014

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
~ John Quincy Adams

My eyes are crossing and my neck is twitchy after 27 conference calls to finalize our 2014 Performance Agreements. We’ve debated what defines a “balanced scorecard” and negotiated performance objectives down to the decimal point. As is par for the course in big companies, standardization is vital to ensure we’re fair and consistent. But nailing the perfect performance formula alone won’t inspire game-changing ideas or grow deeper leadership.
If you’re mired in similar new year, performance activities, be sure you take time to engage deeper conversations. Encourage your team to become more.

Questions to Help Your Team BECOME More

Start by disussing specific behaviors to ensure your team will nail their KPIs. I’ve watched far too many leaders miss this step. Then go deeper. B.E.C.O.M.E. more.

B- Boldness: Scary dreams, deeper challenges, courageous moves and daring decisions

  • What could you accomplish this year if you had unlimited resources? What’s a different means to similar ends?
  • Where (and with whom) are you playing it safe? At what cost?
  • What dreams are you saving for later?

E- Energy: Passion ignitors and life-force zappers

  • When, where, and with whom do you feel most alive?
  • Which aspects of your work exhaust you?
  • What will you do to renew your energy this year?

C- Callings: What or who is calling for more

  • What work would you pursue, even if you weren’t paid?
  • Who most inspires your professional life? How can you attract more people with those qualities?
  • Which of your gifts lie dormant in your current role?

O-Openness: Possibilities, awareness, and receiving the unknown

  • What possibilities are you ignoring?
  • How and where will you find creative inspiration?
  • How will you invite input and feedback?

M-More: Seeing bigger, broader, and giving more

  • How will 2014 be categorically different from last year?
  • What do you most want to be known?
  • Who will you serve?

E-Execution: What actions matter most (and least). Envision breakthrough success.

  • What would make this year the best in your career?
  • Who else can you invite to join your leadership pit crew?
  • What could get in the way of your success?

Invite each member of your team to choose 2 or 3 questions that would best serve them this year. Discuss the questions in your one-on-ones. Encourage the team to pick a few questions to discuss as a team. Set the stage for a breakthrough year of becoming.

Posted in Authenticity & Transparency, Employee Engagement & Energy, Results & Execution and tagged , , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.


  1. Wonderful series of questions – focusing on ‘what is working’. I would add: EBI…..Even Better If…..”this” would even be better if……
    I plan on incorporating these into my practice! Thank you.

  2. Great post! I reflect on the series of questions and realize that evaluations, benchmarks, KPI are often kept like a scorecard. I haven’t been part of a scorecard system since my years selling furniture – and only half of the months were thrilling. What these questions underlie is the need for management to manage! Questions like these engage the employee, they allow the employee and the manager to explore “what works” on a deeper level than typical benchmarks.

    The other day I saw a small comic on SM that showed a student at a desk. The banner at the top said, “Qualities not measured by most tests: Persistence, Curiosity, Enthusiasm, Courage, Leadership, Creativity, Civic-minded, Compassion, Beauty …” and several others. One of my beliefs about teaching (which I have done in the past) is that we measure because we can. To me, that is the wrong reason to measure. If my concern is growth, then a focus on the your BECOME questions or the qualities listed in the SM comic should be central to us being together. I suppose qualitative questions & measures are more difficult. But if I can nurture autonomy and empowerment, I believe we have a better chance at long term success.


    • David, What a beautiful addition… just love the graphic, and your quote, “and only half the months were thrilling.”

      I think it’s a beautiful conversation, along those lines…. what did you learn, and how did you grow…? My guess is many “thrilling” learnings came during those yucky times… considering about what you should do… about how other leaders respond..

  3. Karin- it is unfair to start the new year with such a powerful post. The quote you have and the BECOME analysis are so greatly intertwined.
    This post awakens sleeping dreams, learn more to achieve the dreams. Simply, this is what it does.

  4. I wish you were my manager when I was growing up in the corporate world. Love how these questions invite others to think and become inspired… far beyond annual goals. It’s an important moment when you realize that you can look in the mirror for these answers instead of looking to your manager to tell you what your answers must be.

  5. Outstanding questions and post, Karin!

    Your questions are what leaders need to focus on instead of boring performance goals. Teams need to be energized with important issues like where do we want to invest our time and talent?

    Each of us needs to go beyond the corporate basics and look to where our journey needs to lead us.

    Thank you for reminding us of the importance of powerful, beginning of the year, questions!

  6. This is a great time of year for managers, leaders, and self-employed colleagues to do their own self review. Update a personal goal statement for 2014, and create a personal learning plan – I find that most people with our values say that learning is continual and important – but few people can actually tell me what their learning goals are.

    Karin, I appreciate you!

    • Steve, Thank you. Such an important point. Having a strong self-review and plan (with deadlines) is important. The best person to be in charge of developing you, is you.

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