“...in one sentence, he lifted me, put me back on my feet, and taught me that leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.”
Stanley McChrystal says in his TED talk entitled Listen, learn ... then lead
I was recently working on a project where a manager told me that someone wasn’t capable of a certain task because they probably weren’t familiar with the particular tool that was necessary. I knew that this individual had the skills necessary to learn so I gave them a shot, and the project was a smashing success, the client was impressed with the solution that we arrived at and the individual who worked on the project felt really good that they were able to try and learn something new.
The trick here was that the individual wanted a chance to do something new. We took a step back and listened to what they had to say and they wanted to prove that they could push themselves out of their comfort zone. I knew with those type of expectations that they were going to be successful.
And if we weren't successful? Well at least we had tried something out of the box and learned something new. We would take it as a learning and apply it to items in the future.
A dumb example -- There has been some chatter recently about the new Mike’s Hard Lemonade advertisements, thinking that they totally missed the mark, but you know what? They’re trying something weird. It might miss the mark, but how many other advertisements are out there that totally fly under the radar due to their mediocrity.
For an industry that prides itself on being innovating and on the cutting edge, we sure like to shit on everyone who is trying something out of the box -- and if you do -- take a long look in the mirror if that’s the type of energy you want to put out into the world.
Some of you might say “My manager doesn’t empower me to take risks” -- a coach doesn’t have to be someone with seniority over you. You can look to the individuals that you work with on a day to day basis and find those who listen to what you have to say, learn what you can do and bolster your confidence and abilities.
If you don’t have someone like that in your life -- I’m giving you permission to try something new. Learn something you’ve been putting off for awhile. If you need someone to listen -- I encourage you to reach out to me.