This is the second post based on my conversation with Bob Burg, author of: “It’s Not About You.”
Leaders see in others what they don’t see in themselves; that can be frustrating. It’s frustrating to see potential in someone who doesn’t care as much as you. If you aren’t careful, it’s also arrogant because you don’t know all; you don’t see all.
“Leaders meet people where they are.” Bob explained that patience is about accepting people.
The allure of where you believe people could go – not where they are currently – interests you. Time is limited and you want to invest it, not squander it.
Stop projecting and embrace humility. The potential you see in them may be a projection of your wishes for yourself.
You look at young leaders and see yourself. You see the mistakes you made and want to “save them;” to make them into a better you. Humility, on the other hand, says I’m not making you into a better me. You are reaching your potential, not mine.
Bob said you can avoid frustration if you avoid, “attachment.” I know attachment is an important word in Buddhist philosophy. I didn’t ask Bob if he was Buddhist. I interpreted the word attachment as too much ownership, too much responsibility.
Attachment is tying your identity or success to another individual. It’s a formula for disappointment and disaster.
Rather than attaching, celebrate their potential not yours in them. It’s not about you.
Let them say no.
When I reach out to someone with potential, I watch for their response. Do they brighten up or sit back? Do they express interest? Do they respect me and their own opportunities? If yes, we move forward. If no, I continue encouraging them while backing off.
Part one of my conversation with Bob: “Bob Burg on Life and Leadership”
Part three of my conversation with Bob: “Bob Burg on Becoming a Person of Value”
Have you tried to develop someone who didn’t want to be developed? What did you learn?
How do you initiate a leadership development relationship with someone who has untapped potential?
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