We can see people as either geniuses or not.
If they are not, they are like machines; they have a fixed performance capacity. And we believe our job is, first, to figure out what that capacity is. We ask them to step up. Then we give them tasks that meet that capacity. We monitor them for mistakes. When the work we have for them exceeds their fixed capacity, we replace them.
If they are geniuses, they have indeterminable capacity. Our job is to release more and more of the genius. We still ask them to step up. They still take on new tasks. When the work we have seems beyond them, we step up. With a quiet, respectful curiosity, we expect they will be able to grow. And we coach them to find the key that unlocks this growth.
Let’s be very clear. It is a heck of a lot easier to think of people as not geniuses, like machines.
It’s a heck of a lot more profitable (and delightful) to think of people as geniuses.
In your corner,
PS: Yes, I am saying that it is your call. You get to choose whether people are geniuses or not.