Do you have Direct Reports or Direct Supports?

You are probably familiar with the first term.  Until recently I wasn’t familiar with the second.

Direct Reports are the people who fall right below you on the org chart and report to you, as their superior, for direction, guidance, accountability, etc.

A speaker at a recent summit asked the question as to whether one should refer to those same people as Direct Supports, implying that it is your leadership responsibility to develop them as leaders and help them succeed.

Some questions for you to use to sort out your answer to the original question.

  • Are you the genius?
  • Are you the genius maker?
  • Do you come up with all the answers?
  • Do they come up with any of the answers?
  • Are they ever given the chance to “figure it out?”
  • Are they really smart people who can “figure it out?

So ask yourself the question again.  Do you have Direct Reports? or Direct Supports?