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Do you have a reliable “right-hand person” on your team?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Do you have a reliable “right-hand person” on your team?

  • Yes — they’re always there to back me up and watch my back: 63%
  • Kind of — sometimes they back me up, but I wish they’d do more: 18%
  • No, but I could really use one: 19%

Find Your “Second.” 37% of you don’t have a reliable “second” there to back you up and be your right-hand person. That’s a huge gap and a big opportunity. Not only is it good for you to have that backup, it’s good for that person too. It can be a developmental and stretch role for them to learn from the boss and be involved in things “above their level.” Ask yourself why you don’t have a second. Is it fear of delegation? Lack of talent on the team? Whatever the reason, make finding and grooming this person a priority. They might surprise you with some unexpected skills and benefits.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of  the upcoming book “The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”