"No, Mommy! Graycen do it!" shouted my 2 1/2 year old niece. My sister and I were in a hurry to get out of the house to attend our first hot yoga class together. Graycen insisted on opening the heavy 9' door to let us out of the house. Clearly we could have done it much quicker, but my sister took a deep breath and said, “Ok, Graycen, you can do it.” Graycen ran to the door and pulled and tugged, but wasn't strong enough to open the door. My sister guided her by telling her what to do and then, with a little help, the two of them opened the door together. Graycen was elated and so proud she did it.
Many people you lead may be like my niece who has a high desire to do the job, and do it well, but needs help developing the skills to do the job successfully. You’re going to have to take a deep breath, be patient, and sometimes do it together before it is done at the speed and standard you want, but it is well worth it. Trying to take over or just doing it yourself will kill the will, but being too passive and not providing enough direction isn't effective either.
The model for leadership when someone’s skill level is low but will is high is to teach through an approach that:
- first tells them how to do something
- then shows them how to do it
- then allows them to do it on their own, first with you observing
- then moving to doing it totally independently
How do you build up a person’s skill level when they have a high will to do a job with excellence?