I was at the beach over Memorial Day weekend, and my 2 ½-year-old daughter wanted to go to the pool. A few weeks ago she was scared to jump in, but I was amazed at how quickly she has gained confidence thanks to swimming lessons.
We played the exhausting (and somewhat stressful) game of jump in, swim about 2 feet to me and then swim back to the side. She has to wait for the ready signal before jumping, and it’s always a little nerve-wracking before her head pops back up from the water while swimming back and forth. We kept going and going, and every few times I moved further back until she had to swim about 4-5 feet to reach me. She finally tired out and of course cried when we pulled her out of the water to rest.
The experience reminded me of how rewarding it is to watch people grow in their careers. I started recruiting for Andersen on college campuses in the late 80s, and in the last 20+ years I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of young people “jump in the pool” for the first time.
As a manager you know there are risks, and you want to protect an inexperienced person from getting hurt. But as the person grows stronger, gets more confident and perfects their stroke, the pool gets bigger and you can let go. I’ve always found that people who conquer their fears and jump in (knowing there is a safety net) want to learn, and they typically grow more successfully. It makes me proud to think about some of our folks who started in a very small pool at Tribridge years ago and now lead practices.