Everybody Matters: “I didn’t think they had it in them!”

Abhishek Paul
1 min readMay 7, 2019

Continuing my learnings from the book “Everybody Matters”. We’re still on chapter 2. The series began here.

Post a successful turnaround of a team, made the VP blurt out another classic management statement: “I didn’t think they had it in them.

We hear this all the time in business. It’s always them that’s the problem — “they don’t get it.” But what’s the real issue here? Is it that “they” don’t get it, or that leaders don’t know how to allow people to express their gifts fully? Does a leader ever say, “You know, I probably didn’t do a great job with my team.” Imagine if someone did that!

One team member put it beautifully, “There is no such thing as an underperforming team, only underperforming leaders. Look for problems in concentric circles around your desk.

Bob did correct the leader when he said,”You know, they had it in them all along. You just didn’t have the leadership skills to allow them to be what they’re capable of being.” Talk about taking a look into the mirror. But it really isn’t the fault of an individual, he was after all simply behaving as most managers do and had never been taught how to inspire behaviour.