It felt like spring. One of those first days I noticed the sounds of birds, and the sun had already lit up the sky by 7 am. Instead of driving the boys to the bus stop like I had done all winter, I decided based on the warm air to little boy energy ratio, it was best to walk to the bus stop — our first walk down of the year.
We seem to get to the bus stop early which usually give us time to watch youtube videos, rock out to Jordan Feliz’s, Down to The River,or when parking lots are covered in ice — do donuts in the van.
But today we are standing on the sidewalk when Clark, my 6 year old, mentions we should play Simon Says. Clark’s personality naturally leads to offer suggestions and then take charge, so he jumps in front of Charlie, who is 4 and I stand back to play the game.
Clark can play at a pretty high level. He’s a bit older than Charlie, but he also carries a particularity about rules and games. Charlie is not as serious of a person and a little goofy. He doesn’t care so much about doing it right. Fun and goofy are his number 1. So as Clark goes through each command, I follow through on each one, only doing ‘what Simon says.’ Charlie doesn’t seem to get the concept of only doing what Simon Says, he just does whatever he feels like doing, and it drives Clark crazy. Clark tries to correct Charlie; Charlie just smiles and continues to have his fun. As we continue with this, Charlie says he wants to be Simon for a little bit. He wants to the leader.
Clark is not down with this, and his thoughts flow right through his mouth and become words. “Charlie can’t be the leader; he doesn’t even know how to play!” I reckon with Clark to go along, and we will let Charlie lead, if not only just to process through to entertain him and give him a chance.
As we progress through Charlie being the leader, a more directed, attuned and conscious version of him comes out. It seems he does know a bit more about Simon Says than he led on. When he is Simon, he has to be more attentive; he brings his mind to the role. I help him, and in a few rounds, he has a better picture of the game by being the leader. As a player, his actions only really affected himself, but now he’s responsible for the whole game.
The same is true in working and leading. Sometimes someone might not seem ready to lead. They don’t seem to fully understand the game and seem unfit for the role. But what’s wrong with trying; With giving someone more responsibilities to see how it plays out?
(I’m not talking about blatant lack, I’m talking about where someone shows potential, but they don’t seem ‘fully’ ready.)
Let’s say Charlie just bombed being the leader. Who cares? We let him run his course, and then put Clark back in the role. If nothing else, it’s clear, that now might not be the time.
If I’m not willing to give Charlie the opportunity; when should I wait for Charlie to lead, until he’s 100% there, then give him a chance? By that time he will be so bored without having a turn, the game might not even seem fun.
I’m more for putting out opportunities and then letting people grow into them, rather than making sure everything is ‘just ever so right,’ and all the boxes are checked before moving forward.
I’m Going to Screw Up.
Sometime’s I move to fast, and people will say “I told you so,” they will say I’m too impulsive, too trusting. But to the ones I let blossom and grow into a role, I have a feeling those people; those underdogs, who were not 100% ready are grateful for the opportunity.
Our business will continue to be a place where you don’t have to wait for seniority to lead. You don’t have to be a certain age or have some sort degree. It will be a place of action. A place where people get chances, and we watch them step into new roles and more responsibilities, and if they’re not ready, we continue to nurture, and we try again.
This is part of how we try to ‘Make everything we touch, better.’