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Connect the Dots...

I continue to learn leadership lessons from my four-year-old.

The last lesson I learned had to do with drawing and coloring. He is capable and able of drawing but can get frustrated when I ask him to draw something he doesn't know how to draw. Imagine I ask him to draw a dog. He knows what a dog is. He just doesn't know how to create that with pen and paper.

I have to help him gain confidence in drawing a dog by showing him a picture. Sometimes I have to draw dots for him to trace. Sometimes I have to do it with him. All the time, I have to encourage him to go somewhere he has never gone before. It seems fairly easy for me, but for him, this is uncharted territory.

I see this happen all the time in leadership. Leaders often ask their team to do something that seems easy to them. Something maybe they have done thousands of times. The people know what is being asked but they have a hard time conceptualizing what it will look like. They have a hard time making it happen. All the dots aren't connecting.

A leader's job is to connect the dots and help them see what you see.

Sometimes we might have to draw out an action plan, connect the dots, and even hold their hand. We have to be willing to show them what we are asking them to do.

The results are incredible. Their engagement goes through the roof. Their confidence soars. Their willingness to tackle hard challenges increases.

As a leader, we then get to admire their progress and coach them to continue to refine their craft. We get to offer praise and celebrate them.

I love encouraging my son in his pursuits. I love watching him draw. I love when he doesn't see a possibility out of a situation and by coming alongside him and offering guidance he is able to accomplish something great.

I also love watching people overcome. I love cheering them on to places they never thought was possible. Sometimes all it takes is to connect the dots.


If you need help encouraging your team to accomplish what they never thought possible, have you thought about development day or half-day?

I provide coaching and team development.

Check out JustinsmithConsulting for more info.


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Justin Smith

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