How to be the Leader who Gets Novices to Step Up

Challenge people to do things they never thought they could do.


#1. Relationship:

Caring relationship is the environment of growth.

  1. Find things to like about the people around you. Don’t let dissatisfaction with the present be the reason you become negative about people.
  2. Respect the abilities and skills of people on your team.
  3. Honor efforts to improve.
  4. Provide honest, specific, caring feedback. Candidly confront dark realities. Aggressively celebrate effort.
  5. Avoid false compassion that makes excuses for poor performance.

#2. Belief:

  1. See in others more than they see in themselves.
  2. Explain their positive impact on others. Help others believe they’re making a difference.
  3. Remember that people often have loud inner critics.
  4. Expect people to live up to their talent.

#3. Challenge:

  1. Connect with their aspirations.
  2. Ask people to do things they’ve never done.
  3. Explore new expressions of talent and passion.

Get comfortable making others uncomfortable if you expect to bring out their best.

#4. Tolerance of failure:

Excellence is the result of learning from failure.

Growth requires trying again after falling short. If you can’t fail, you can’t learn and grow.

Show compassion for those who fail while trying. Confront those who fail because they didn’t try.

Compassion from you instills courage in others.

Bonus: 7 steps to help novices step up:

Excellence requires preparation and practice.

Novices need to:

  1. Watch it. What did you see happening?
  2. Explain it. This is what was happening. Experts make it look easy. Novices don’t see the nuances of peak performance.
  3. Try it. Provide a safety net when people try new things.
  4. Learn it. What are you learning, when you try it?
  5. Repeat it. What do you want to do next time?
  6. Confront it. Talk about falling short.
  7. Repeat it.

How might leaders challenge people to do things they’ve never done before?