You don’t always get to choose who you’ll lead. In fact, more often than not we do not get to choose our colleagues or our fellow volunteers. We rarely have much, if any, say in who’ll be our boss. Yet once we start working together, we often see areas where these teammates or fellow volunteers or yes, even our boss, need to grow.
The funny thing is, as much as we love developing people we choose to develop, the thought of having to teach and coach and guide people who are thrust upon us can be, well, irritating.
We say things like, “They’re the (insert impressive title here). They should know what they’re doing!” Or how about, “I didn’t hire ‘em!” Or, “That’s what she gets paid to do. I’m not doing her job for her!”
We complain about their lack of knowledge, their incompetence, their weaknesses in areas where they should be strong. Yet we resist helping them grow. We’re annoyed at the thought of teaching people things we think they should already know.
If you find yourself thinking that about someone you work and interact with, here’s something to consider: Leadership is not an exclusive club. And it shouldn’t be. It’s a responsibility that cannot be turned on or off based on our elitism.
Sometimes we have the opportunity to pour into people we choose to lead. And sometimes we have the opportunity to help grow someone who may not even know they need it – but who could greatly benefit from what we have to offer. There are many people who’ve never had a teammate or a leader pour into them. You can’t fairly attest to someone’s incompetence if you aren’t willing to give them a fair shot.
Instead of getting frustrated, consider how you can help. Yes, there are times when an individual is just a bad fit. But there are many other instances where someone just needs a patient coach or a supportive teacher. You’ll be surprised what happens when you look past an individual’s faults and instead look for their potential.
Who has been placed in your sphere of influence that you really don’t want to impact, but you should?