ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Here's Your Next Quote to Use With a High Potential Who is Performing Average at Best...
I'm serving up perhaps the best quote I've ever seen related to coaching talent today. It's pulled from the the blog Letters of Note (hat tip to Tim Sackett), from a letter that resulted when F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his friend, Ernest Hemingway, and asked for his honest opinion on his new book - Tender Is the Night. Hemingway wrote him a pretty interesting letter that included the aforementioned quote:
Think about that quote for a second. Coaches of all types are known for being hard on their students, and of course, those same students tend to tune the coaches out over time. That's the way it works, right? That's why leaders tend to have a shelf life of 2-5 years. People start tuning out over time.
Why do people tune out? Because you're telling them what to do too much, dummy.
So imagine the power of you interrupting that pattern and falling on the sword - telling them their performance is better than you sometimes give them credit for, but the real standard they should be measuring themselves against is their own potential/capability.
Do better not because I tell you to. That's lame.
Do better because you've got gifts from god, Billy.
See the whole letter here. Then share it with your team and use the quote often.