Recently an incredible candidate asked for a job. He had decades of experience and had multiple job offers. But he wanted to work for us. I was overwhelmed by how this incredible person wanted to work for us.
There was only one problem. The job position he wanted was already filled.
The employee that held the position was relatively inexperienced. But he had the right “stuff”. He was passionate about what he was doing and was eager to learn.
So, I had a dilemma:
Do we hire the incredible candidate who was clearly one of the top experts in the field but then displace our less experienced employee? Or do we recommit to working with our less experienced employee that shows great promise?
I brought that question up to our leadership team. But for us, the answer was easy.
We chose the less experienced employee because I believe he has the potential to be great.
The Power of Believing in Someone
When we are starting out on a new career it’s easy to lack confidence in our own skills. It’s a vulnerable time as we look for validation. We hope we have what it takes. But we just don’t know. That unknowing can be debilitating.
But it can be life changing when a leader tells you that you have what it takes. Leaders who believe in you are powerful because then you can stop doubting yourself. It’s even more powerful when you know they have your back if you fail. Great leaders see failure as just part of the growing process.
This gives you the space and freedom to give it your all. You stop worrying about what you can do and instead you start focusing on how far you can go.
The magic is that in this space provided by a great leader you eventually develop the skills to be excellent. In some sense, you have faked it until you made it. And now you have your own internal confidence to believe in the next generation. It’s a powerful cycle.
I’m so lucky to have great parents who believed in me even when I wasn’t so deserving of that belief. They let me fail and grow. They gave me the confidence and support to try things. Because of their strength, I was able to suspend my disbelief in myself. I would not have become the person I am today without their support.
So, who can you believe in? It is so powerful, and it might just change their life forever.