Put Me In Coach

Yesterday I talked about "winnable games" - the idea of breaking larger goals into smaller, more accomplishable chunks.

Today I want to talk about something seemingly contradictory.

To wit: biting off more than you can chew.

Or, rather: serving someone more than they think they can chew.

Because as a manager, sometimes I have to determine when a there's a winnable game for someone who doesn't realize it himself (or herself).

Just because someone is capable of doing a job doesn't always mean they have the fortitude to say: "Put me in coach!"

Of course, that new role might involve some discomfort, but as we've talked about - that's the only way to grow.

When I coached Little League, every now and then I liked letting a kid play his dream position when he didn't expect it, even if it might have cost us a game - to see how he performed.

Because sometimes a kid can step up, but neither of you necessarily realizes it until he's in that sink or swim scenario.

(Here's an example.)

And it's the same with employees. Every now and then you have to take a chance and put them in a situation that's ahead of themselves.

Sometimes you have to take a rep off the sales floor and put them in a manager's office - even if they didn't ask for it.

Maybe they were averse to or scared of managing people before - but once they're in that position, they take to it like a fish to water.

Sometimes it just takes someone with a vision for them, someone willing to take a chance on them.

Because really, people have weird visions of themselves that are not always realistic. Some people see themselves as they would in a fun house mirror - totally distorted. A good manager can come in and straighten that image out.

Good managers provide a little more magic for their employees - and a little more risk. Good managers look at people and see more in them than they see in themselves.

SO - Are you realistic in the way you see yourself?

Do you have fair expectations for yourself?

Why not discuss your vision of yourself with your manager - or someone else whom you trust?

Maybe your particular issue is not needing a winnable game.

Maybe it's saying: "Put me in, coach!" in the first place.


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