We all remember that one teacher or coach or boss or trainer who really challenged us. Though we hated being pushed and thought unpleasant things about this perceived tyrant, at the end we were better as a result.
It’s the leaders job to challenge their direct reports, empowering them to grow along the way. Leaders understand their direct report’s specific role, their particular set of skills, and where they see them contributing in the future. Leaders should figure out what else their direct report can do that is a step beyond what they are doing today.
Leaders need to push hard; most people don’t want to stretch beyond their existing skill set or comfort zone if it involves taking risk. Leaders should encourage direct reports to embrace the opportunity and discover what else they can do beyond the status quo. For all his faults as a leader, this is where Steve Jobs excelled.
Most people, when left to their own devices, will choose to stay inside of their comfort zone. However, there is nothing motivating for someone doing the same thing they’ve done before, and long term they will be unhappy.
Leaders should do their direct reports (and themselves) a favor and empower them to achieve greater future success by challenging growth.
Challenge Direct Reports To Continuously Develop
The Internet has made things much easier for our brains. But the brain is like any other muscle and needs to be exercised or it will atrophy. Leaders must ask themselves: How they are challenging their direct reports to exercise their brains?