Tom Peters once said, ” Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
People limit themselves all of the time. They put up false barriers and struggle with imaginary problems. One of your skills as a leader(parent or friend) is to show your people that they can accomplish more than they think they can. One of the reasons your people wind up respecting you is beacuse you always see their potential. You always see the best side of them and you tell them about it.
It could be, that you are the first person in that person’s life to ever believe in them. Because of you, they become more capable than they thought they were. They love you for that, even though your belief in them sometimes makes them uncomfortable. Discomfort may return every time you ask them to stretch, but you don’t care. You press on with your belief in them, stretching them, growing them.
One of the greatest leadership gurus of American business was Robert Greenleaf. He developed the concept of “servant leadership.” A leader is one who serves those following-serving them every step of the way, especially by bringing out the best in them, and refusing to buy their limitations as achievers.
Your people may be flawed people, but, as achievers, they are certainly not. Greenleaf said, “Anybody could lead perfect people—-if there were any. But there aren’t any perfect people. And parents who try to raise perfect children are certain to raise neurotics. It is part of the enigma of human nature that the “typical” person—immature, inept, stumbling, lazy—-is capable of great dedication and heroism if wisely led.”