Ask The Experts

Instilling confidence and accountability in others

Question: I am now grooming my next line of young leaders to take over some key positions in the company soon.

Being young, they are not very exposed and have not much experience, which also explains why they lack a certain measure of self-confidence.

Due to this fact, they often ask for favours to handle tasks which are theirs, but which they have little confidence doing. I have been keeping tab on this and have been waiting for them to be fully independent, which is something I measure based on how much time I spend babysitting them.

It is frustrating and I am losing patience, for judging from the frequency of their requests, it seems that this day may never come..

What should I do?

Answer: This is what I callthe Rescue Model of people development as opposed to the People Responsibility Model that you may be using without consciously knowing this.

The Rescue Model not only makes you the permanent leader in their minds, but also deepens their dependency on you for solutions to their issues.

Unless there is a strong resolve to cut over, you can expect them to take a back seat with you doing everything from facilitating, training, advising and making decisions for them.

Taking the opposite direction of the people development path means you take a back seat and believe that your people can do it.

Guide them with clear parameters on what they should do in selected cases. Allow room for risk taking and failures.

Show them once or twice, and then firmly inform them of the cut over period for them to own the goal, the process, the solution and the decision as well.

Stay out without giving up.

Powerful questions you can ask yourself:

What is the outcome you are getting from the current ways you are managing them?

How beneficial is it?

What change will produce the desired results?

How will this also benefit the other areas of the organisation?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with