RSS Kid Brothers Grow Up Too

My middle daughter recently shared with me that what she most appreciates about my blog postings are the stories where I reference a personal or family experience to help reinforce a leadership point. While I’m not sure that all of you find these personal stories to be of similar benefit, in her honor, I want to share the following experience with you.

I was fortunate to grow up in a big family as the fifth of six children and the middle boy. As you can imagine, the family dynamics were, and continue to be, quite interesting. As my siblings and I have aged and created families of our own, on the few occasions we have been able to get together for family reunions, it’s interesting to note how my older siblings continue to see me and treat me as their “little brother.” Not that I mind necessarily, however, I’m obviously a very different person from the kid brother they recall from our days growing up.

The reason I share this personal perspective is simply to convey an important business truth: that people can and do change over the years. I wonder how much thought you might give to a long-term employee who has been reliably doing their work, but not necessarily deemed capable of doing anything more, or doing things better.

As a leader, not only is it important that you get your talent to perform the job that they are best suited for, but it’s equally important that you continue to reevaluate your own assessment of their capabilities. It is entirely possible that one of your team members has been taking classes on the side, reading books or online material on management or leadership. This personal initiative quite possibly could translate into untapped professional growth and additional perspectives that could provide additional value for your organization.

If you don’t take the time to update your understanding of an individual employee’s potential, which to me is the low-hanging fruit of opportunity for any business, then you may be minimizing your organization’s potential. At times, I am confronted with a “stale” perception of a team member, only to learn that they have evolved professionally in ways that I have not been privy to. In this instance, while I may have failed to maintain an active awareness of the growth of this employee, I take solace in knowing that I have helped to create the type of environment that encourages an employee to demonstrate this type of personal initiative.

As a leader in your organization, don’t underestimate the professional development of your talent that may happen outside of your watch. It can be significant both to the employee and to your organization.

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2 Responses to “Kid Brothers Grow Up Too”

  1. Melanie Bardales says:

    I’m unsure if I agree with everything written but this was definitely informative and well-written.

  2. Jed Mickel says:

    Thanks alot this made for intresting reading. I really like your site, the theme is really cool. I have visited here a number of times but have never left a commented, just wanted to let you know… Keep up the great work!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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