Nothing grows in the deep end.

DrowningRecently I discovered a number of entrepreneurs and business owners who hired managers and threw then into the deep end of their pool.

When they started to drown . . . they fired them.

That’s a poor strategy for a swimming teacher or a cruise ship line, and it’s not a very good one for a business owner or leader.

The best business people don’t make the mistake of projecting their own skills and talents on other people.  Smart leaders realize that if everyone they hired had all of their own good qualities, they would be running their own companies — not looking for a job.

There’s a good chance that the entrepreneur or leader has risen to that spot because of their natural talent, drive, education, upbringing or a combination of all four.   Talented people may not have these attributes, but they are still smart and able to learn. Business leaders often make the assumption that all people are like them and don’t need very much development in order to be great.

Effective leaders realize that their organization’s true strength comes from taking people with good experience, intelligence and raw talent, and developing them to be great.  Often they get to show people that they can be more and do more at work and in life than they ever dreamed they could.  That feels great.

Once a company is stocked with people who have been developed others will duplicate that process. They spot those who could be developed, and provide a continuous flow of talent to an organization.

And the people who got fired?  Our hope is they land in a more nurturing and supportive environment, where they can be developed.

Know any of those people?

photo credit: Luis Hernandez – D2k6.es via photopin cc