Front-line managers can tackle the most critical daily barriers. Senior managers have the opportunity to annihilate monumental barriers. Buffalo Bills Coach, Rex Ryan surely did knock down a big one. Last month, Ryan razed the enormous barrier of having no full-time female coaches in the history of the Buffalo Bills franchise (or any other NFL team for that matter).
He identified, confronted and resolved this issue by naming Kathryn Smith as special teams quality control coach, making her the first full-time female member of an NFL coaching staff. Before her recent promotion, Smith spent last season working as an administrative assistant for Bills assistant coaches on Rex Ryan’s staff, and the previous 12 seasons working for the New York Jets in various capacities.
This bold move by the Bills could be a game changer not only for the Buffalo Bills franchise but also for the NFL as a whole. In the “State of the American Manager”, Gallup has found that female managers are more likely to be engaged than male managers (41% to 35%, respectively), and are also better at engaging employees than their male counterparts.
What big or small barriers do you need to address? When front-line managers remove small barriers each day, companies can win. When senior leaders remove enormous barriers, entire industries can win.