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Start Fresh; Don’t Fix


Toddlers who stumble and fall aren’t broken; they need practice. Fixing is a backward-facing activity that centers on mistakes and weaknesses. Move forward; don’t fix.

Leaders grow leaders. Developing isn’t fixing. Growth suggests they aren’t there, yet. Can you live with people who haven’t arrived? Can you accept people who aren’t as skilled as you? Damn, they’re frustrating. (Sarcasm intended)

Start fresh; don’t fix.

Development questions:

  1. How would you handle this relationship if this was its beginning point?
  2. How can you address this situation as if you just stepped in?
  3. If this moment was the beginning point, what would you do?
  4. Is it possible to move forward without bringing up the past?
  5. What’s the next step regardless of the past?

Imagine you were hired today. What would you do?


Baggage from the past distracts, drains, and invites defensiveness. Leave baggage at the station if:

Visit past weaknesses, mistakes, and short-falls, occasionally, but don’t camp there. Your view of their past failure or short-coming isn’t personal, it’s developmental. However, they feel pain when you bring it up. Is it time to let it go?

Reality Check:

Some frailties are so distracting they prevent forward movement. Deal with them. But, when things are getting better, leave the baggage at the station.

High potential question:

How can we move forward from this point? I chose “we” to make you a participant not a fixer.

The first questions:

  1. Are they worth it from an organizational perspective?
  2. What’s their potential?
  3. Are they currently contributing?
  4. Is their short-coming preventing forward movement?

If you find satisfactory answers to these questions, start fresh. Pick them up. Help them take next steps. Give room for growth. Most growth is barely perceptible. Allow time and create environments where people grow.

I’m suggesting “Start Fresh” environments foster growth. What environments helped you grow?


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