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How to overcome a common leadership mistake

Earlier this week, I noticed a dad on my street trying to teach his young son to ride a bike.

“Keep peddling,” he yelled.

But the child was nervous.

The little boy stopped peddling and put his two feet firmly on the ground. That is where he felt comfortable.

But the more his feet were on the ground, the more his dad was frustrated.

“Keep peddling,” he yelled once again. The tone of frustration was increasing in his voice.

I felt bad for the kid. He was really trying to please his dad, but he was just not ready to take flight.

This situation reminded me so much of a mistake that I often see leaders make with new or developing people on their team.​​​​​​​

Most leaders expect high-quality work from their people.

In fact, much like the dad in the story above, they get frustrated when they receive work that does not meet their standards.

Here is the problem.When someone is new to a task, they are learning.
It is unrealistic to expect high-quality work from a learner.

In fact, it has likely taken you years, if not decades, to create the high-quality work that you are now known for in your organization.

Take a moment to reflect on a new task that you started doing over the last few years.

Were you perfect the first or second time that you executed that task?
It’s unlikely!

I’m sure it took you time to develop, practice, and learn to do that task properly.

So, when developing your team, you need to adopt a learner’s mindset.

Be patient.
Be realistic with your expectations.
Give your people time to learn, grow and develop.

Remember…development takes time.

Trust the process and before you know it, your people will be peddling on their own!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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