My son, Ben, fractured a bone in his pinky a few weeks ago, and the doctor put a cast down to near his elbow. Seemed a bit much to me, but then I learned that it was close to one of his growth plates, and since he’s 12 years old they wanted to be extra careful. I didn’t realize that a person has growth plates in multiple places in his or her body and those plates allow the person to grow later in life.
Then it hit me that we all have leadership growth plates in our body. Sometimes we need to be faced with a certain set of circumstances for our leadership capacity to be stretched and to be put into motion. Sometimes we need an opportunity to step into in order to demonstrate our ability to influence other people.
If you have an employee who has not yet demonstrated great leadership skills, you might just want to be patient. The person may very well have leadership growth plates inside waiting to emerge. See if you can’t put that person in situations where they can step up as a leader and influence how other people think.