Today I want to share with you one of the biggest mistakes I see leaders making with their teams and what to do instead.  Imagine your big project has kicked off and the early momentum has come to a screeching halt. You have hit your first obstacle. The temptation as a leader is to step in, take over, and fix the problem.  To move our team past the roadblock as quickly as possible.  Instead, I want to challenge us as leaders, that we must learn to embrace these obstacles as opportunities for growth.  Rather than fixing the problem, we must lead and teach through them.

Nothing grows on the mountain top, all the growth happens in the valley, but we miss this opportunity if we don’t let our teams learn how to persevere and overcome the depths of the valley. As humans, we learn through adversity, challenge, and difficulty.  Hard times are our greatest opportunities for growth.  Think back to the times in your life where you experienced the most growth.  Odds are you will remember something difficult that you had to walk through.  Your job as a leader is not to help your team avoid these valleys, but rather to lead your team through these valleys and help them maximize their growth as a team and as individuals.  I like to call these teachable moments.  Moments pass quickly but if you stop and teach through one of these moments they can serve as vital lessons that will stick with you and your team for life.

So the next time you hit an obstacle, be careful not to rush in and save the day, instead consider how you can turn it into a teachable moment and create space for your team to grow.  In the end, you’ll have a stronger team and you will be a stronger leader.