Imagine a five year old struggling to tie their shoe.
What’s your instinct? You want to help, right?
The best way to help is not to help.
When parents jump in and help little Mary tie her shoes little Mary angrily says, “I’ll do it myself!”
On the other hand, allowing little Mary to struggle and fail produces a desirable frustration. Eventually, she’ll come to a nearby parent for help. At that point, mommy is a genius and little Mary learns respect. If she’s stubborn and doesn’t come for help or her frustration goes too far, parents can say, “Would you like some help?”
Leaders, parents, or managers gain respect from others by not helping too soon.
The real problem: leaders frequently bear the burden of knowledge and feel compelled to solve problems.
Leaders may help others reach higher by not helping.