Having My Back Without Sheltering Me

We all know that crazy things will happen in life. There are daily risks and opportunities to learn something. For many of us sometimes we have to walk through a challenge to learn our lessons. When we are young our parents told us a thousand times to be careful by the stove, it is hot. It often never really stuck with us until the one time we accidentally touched it and we learned what they meant when they said it was hot. Next time I guarantee you were much more cautious around the stove.

We protect our kids, when they are really little we don't let them near the stove. When they get older we might stand next to them and warn them as they get too close. Protection makes sense up to a point. If your kid is about to go off to college and you've never let them in the kitchen for fear they might get burned you are going to have a problem. Sheltering them is not helping to protect them.

Any team, any relationship, you want to have a culture where everyone feels others have their backs. Teammates should protect each other. Family is a team, you should protect each other. Your company is a team. Do you shelter your employees from having to deal with challenging projects or have hard conversations with customers? If they never have a hard conversation because you are covering for them they are never going to be able to handle it in the future. Don't shelter them, don't hide them away from the heat. Protect them, let them know you have their back and you are on their side. Let them feel the heat without letting them get burnt.

We all have circles that we run in, I hope you feel protected in each of them and will do whatever you can to protect the others beside you.


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