I just had the opportunity to interview an influencer who has led people and organizations for over 30 years. Picking his brain on the important things he has learned was a highlight of this year for me.
There were many lessons he shared during our two hours together but this one stood out in our conversation.
He said be careful not to “prop up” the weak players in your organization.
This came across a little cold at first but then he began to discuss how we do great harm to a person and or organizations if we keep compensating for our weaker team members by, in his words, “propping them up”. People have to want to grow and succeed much more than you want it for them. If this is not the case, its just not going to work.
As I thought about this I considered how many times I have done this over the years and had success? It just hasn’t happened. If someone just doesn’t want it badly enough to sacrifice, to deal with some discomfort and to exert themselves then I can’t really help them. Sound cruel? It does to me too but I believe it is the truth. How much time have we wasted trying to get someone to get serious about their performance enough to get to the next level?
Desire, drive and teachability must be in place for us to really help a person grow.
Think about someone on your team who, over a long period of time is just not growing even though you have invested in them. Are you “propping them up”? They may never learn the lessons that they truly need in life if that continues.
Leadership is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes we need to move our focus away from someone for their best. It will hurt, but it just may be the help they need.