In his book Give and Take, Wharton business professor Adam Grant shares some extraordinary truths about how and why people succeed. He writes: "For many years, psychologists believed in any domain, success depended upon talent first and motivation second. Today, we have compelling evidence that interest precedes the development of talent. It turns out that motivation is the reason that people develop talent in the first place."
Grant recounts how young pianists became so much better than their peers because they practiced many more hours. As true "givers," their teachers were caring, supportive, and patient. They made piano lessons enjoyable which then served as a catalyst for the long of hours of practice to develop the pianists' talent.
Tiger Woods became an exceptional golfing talent in early twenties not just because he started playing at a very young age. His superior talent was developed largely because his father was there for him all the time while Tiger practiced year after year for two decades, encouraging, coaching, and pushing him to be better.
Research has shown that a teacher's belief will create a self-fulfilling prophecy. When a teacher believes his/her student is a "bloomer," he/she sets high expectations for the pupil's success. As a result, the student feels motivated to work harder. And the teacher tends to engage in more supportive behaviors that boosts the student's confidence, speeding and refining his development. When a pupil makes some mistakes, a good teacher would see these as teachable moments rather than believe there was any lack of ability.
Are you currently acting as a teacher for your team? When the economy is doing well, as it is now for many dealers, it's common to jump to the conclusion that it's time to hire new designers and staff! But look around your office first. Are there members of your team that are willing and able to move to the next level? Have you shown the necessary support for your current staff to shine and show their true potential? Perhaps there is a Design Assistant that can be promoted to Sales Designer in just a few short weeks or months if given the tools. Then, your search becomes for a new assistant to begin grooming, rather than an outside Designer who may be unfamiliar with your processes.
Continue to lead, and teach, and watch the success come your way.