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How people start flying when you give them responsibility
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How people start flying when you give them responsibility

Every person has talents, but they are not always recognized or acknowledged. That’s a mortal sin. Find out what your colleagues can do, make them responsible and they accelerate. They get into a flow and make others fly as well.

Stop with: I only have havo

“Please stop with that perpetual ‘I only have a havo diploma!’ That’s what I received from my family about fifteen years ago. I constantly belittled myself, even though I had some potential. Since I was fifteen, when I became a basketball coach, I’ve been able to inspire and motivate ‘players’ and teams. It led me to become an assistant coach in the basketball premier league. Not because I possessed an exceptionally tactical basketball brain, but because of my ability to help people maximize their talents, improve teamwork, and foster team spirit.”


It is wonderful to do those things you’re really good at. You get wings, start to fly. I remember well how this felt at the debt collection organization where I worked. There I dared to take on a leadership role. When my team’s performance and cooperation improved significantly, I got into a flow. The request came to lead more teams and take on less well-performing employees. Colleagues told me that what I could do with people was quite extraordinary. So it came about that I developed my talent further and started a study in education at the university. Employed by iPM Partners, I now work with teams at various organizations in education and business.

Certain employees tune everything out and never stick their head above the line.

Rose-Marie Manders – iPM Partners

Making others fly

What I really like is that I can also make others fly. That starts with making people emphatically responsible for tasks that match their talents. If that doesn’t happen, you breed gray mice — individuals who go unnoticed, exhibit mediocrity, or fail to stand out. Certain employees tune everything out and never stick their head above the line. Like an employee at one of my iPM clients. She was involved in everything, but she was not given any trust, mandate or decision-making power. By the way, this was not only due to the organization but also to her appearance and compliant behavior; she looked up to the hierarchy. As a result, her boss did not see what she had to offer. While this lady organized outings for friends, raised three children, was a source of questions in the organization, took a scrum master course of her own accord and went to all kinds of conferences. I suggested to her boss that I make her team coach. After she was given that responsibility, she got into a flow and made others fly. She is now a linchpin in the change the organization is going through.

Washing test tubes

Getting talent to fly doesn’t happen overnight. It requires genuine attention and time. Figuring out where those talents lie is often a matter of trial and error. I have also experienced this in practice. A colleague at the collection company where I worked as an executive handled collection files. She had a serious car accident after which she was unable to reintegrate. It threatened to become hopeless. After all, everyone had given up on her, including herself. It was even so far that the UWV advised substitute work: washing test tubes. I thought that was far below her level. Together we started to investigate what she could do. That didn’t go well right away. The first task we came up with turned out not to suit her, but we didn’t give up. Eventually she turned out to be an expert in analyzing the opportunities presented by dossiers. As she got into a flow, her workweek developed from two hours a week to full-time. She is now a project manager. She, too, now lets others fly.

Tim Krul

Let’s give people a chance to take responsibility more often. We don’t do that enough. While it can work out very well if you take the lead as a leader. As soccer coach Louis van Gaal of the Dutch national team did during the World Cup in Brazil. He replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the quarterfinal against Costa Rica in the penalty kick sequence with the unknown “penalty-killer-talent” Tim Krul. And with success, Krul flew. Why does hardly anyone in Van Gaal’s position dare to do this? Why do we often choose the familiar path and assume how things have always been? Why don’t we think a little more often: what talent can I use right now?

People are much more than just a backup goalie or a high school student.

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