One of my deepest disappointments with myself is judging people through the lens of my strengths. If they aren’t like me, they need to be fixed.
Fixing is rejecting. Judging blocks growth.
Disrespectful leaders look with contempt on talents and strengths that differ from theirs.
Better by respect:
I never appreciated the value of protecting gains until I came to respect leaders who anticipate problems. I thought protectors needed to be fixed, until I respected their perspective.
Planning was a pain to me until I valued the organizers in my life. As I learn to respect others, I benefit from their talent. But, when I expect everyone to be like me, I miss opportunities.
It goes both ways. The people I most influence, respect my passion to maximize their talent. Those who want me to be more like them, miss the greatest value I might bring.
Respect expands potential by opening minds and hearts to the talent of others.
5 ways to stop fixing and start developing:
Lousy leaders worry about receiving respect, but not showing it.
- Honor how teammates are better than you. (I sure hope you aren’t better than everyone on your team.)
- Explore how alternative perspectives might be “right”.
- Thank those who challenge you to grow, rather than resist them. Few things are more self-limiting than resisting those who challenge you.
- Reject frustration with the “wrong” way others approach opportunities and challenges.
- Put an end to snap judgments when you lead teams. Explore alternatives. But when you’re on the team, tenaciously advocate for your ideas.
Bringing out the best in people means adding their talent to the mix, not fixing them.
Reflect on your leadership journey. What have you learned from your deepest disappointments?
How might leaders show respect for the talent and strengths of others?