Three Neglected Skills that Sabotage Sincere Leaders

The ability for sincere leaders to sabotage themselves spoils talent.


Don't sell all the peas. Eat some. Reward gives meaning to work.

3 neglected skills that sabotage sincere leaders:

#1. Selling all the peas.

Don’t sell all the peas, eat some.

Harvest is reward for labor. Reward gives meaning to work.

Don’t rush from one thing to the next or you’ll end up hating work. Busy is good, but you weren’t made to constantly grind.

You need unfocus time to maintain focus, be helpful, and refuel energy.

Coach Wooden said, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

Eat some peas:

What happens when you finish something early?

  1. Don’t rush to the next thing.
  2. Take a few breaths when you finish a task.
  3. Walk around the building a couple times if you get done ahead of time.
  4. Forward happy-customer-emails. Share the peas.

#2. Over-protecting novices.

Put the kids to work.

A three-year-old on the farm might hold the feeding bucket for a young calf. Of course, there’s supervision and it doesn’t happen every day. They’re proud of themselves. More importantly, they learn to contribute.

We operated machinery long before we had driver’s licenses.

Give stretch assignments to novices, but don’t violate child labor laws.

Recently a leader was excited that a team member volunteered to take on new responsibility. I suggested she was too slow to challenge people if her people need to volunteer.

What if people want to stretch their wings? If people are volunteering, maybe it’s time to proactively assign new responsibilities.

  1. When someone is 70% or 80% ready to take on a new responsibility, give it to them.
  2. Delegate inward-facing responsibilities to novices where learning is safe.
  3. Don’t delegate customer-facing responsibilities to unverified talent.
  4. Provide support.

#3. Circling the black hole.

Move down the road and begin again.

Which of the neglected skills above do you frequently see?

What neglected skills that sabotage sincere leaders might you add to the list?