I worked with a new leader who was struggling with her team’s initiative. She would tell me how the team was lazy and unmotivated.

The previous leader had set up a rigid process due to a past problem. The team was to ask permission for almost anything, beyond their routine tasks. He had inadvertently taken away their power of initiative.

No initiative? Lazy. Working exhaustive hours? Superstar. Constantly interrupting? Disruptive.

Pay attention to the times you apply a label to someone. A label is a sign you have evaluated them as good or bad. The evaluation will deny you the opportunity to see what is true. No initiative might be a cultural problem. Exhaustive hours might be covering up mess. Constant interruptions might be unclear expectations.

Applying labels is easy. Finding the truth can be hard, but it’ll be worth it!

You’ve got this.