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?
Don’t miss a single issue of Leadership Freak, subscribe today. It’s free. It’s private. It’s always practical and brief.
Go to the main page of Leadership Freak by clicking the banner at the top of this page, look in the right-hand navigation bar, enter your email and click subscribe. Your email address is always kept private. Note: if it doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter for a confirmation email.