“So, do you think I can fix him?” asked my client. Her tone was hopeful, eager.
Her face fell as I answered, “No, you can’t fix him. You can help, guide and point the way for him but only he can fix himself.”
Many leaders fall into the quicksand of believing they can fix others. For some, their motivation is a sincere desire to help others be their best. But at the other end of the continuum are those leaders whose “I can fix them” mentality is an ego-centric need to be the hero who saves the day. The ideal position is closer to the middle of this range – a place where leaders embrace their responsibility to develop people yet balance that withtough empathy and a focus on getting the job done.
We fix cars or processes or machines. Leaders don’t fix people; people fix themselves (only if they want to be “fixed”). So, in your quest to be a character-based leader who develops those on her team, how do you get to the sweet spot between caring too much and seeing yourself as the white knight?