A few weeks ago I introduced you to Kermit who is a Case Study on why nurturing future leaders is crucial to your organization’s long-term success.

Kermit Needs to Lead

Kermit is your employee who you want to promote to a leadership role. However, Kermit says , “No thanks!” You believe Kermit just needs the right motivation to lead but the truth is Kermit is a Reluctant Leader™ who feels forced to lead. The unwelcome news is that the more you push, the more Kermit will resist. If you promote Kermit into the role anyway, I guarantee that chaos will ensue in the form of your company losing money, good employees, and customers!

The solution is for you to recruit Kermit into a new role, the same way you would recruit a remarkably talented person to work for your organization. Your goal is to tap into Kermit’s motivation so that their reluctance stops. Kermit’s reluctance will end when influencing others becomes an aspirational goal because they feel motivated to have greater impact. Motivation is the energy that drives Kermit to do something.

However, Kermit will not grasp the importance and benefits of this new role without proper training and guidance.

Capitalize on Reluctant Kermit’s Aspirations

Every human, including Kermit, has an innate desire to have influence and impact, even though they do not recognize that. Because of their desire, reluctant Kermit is the ideal person for leadership development. However, you cannot just push Kermit into a leadership role and expect them to be successful, no more than you can expect Kermit to be a good driver in their first attempt.

I suggest that you be purposeful in looking for Reluctant Kermits, wooing them to consider a future leadership role, and then providing them with huge doses of experiential training, caring support, and ongoing coaching and mentoring. Provide guardrails for Kermit to experience leading and to fail safely. As Kermit’s skills, confidence, and good judgment all grow, you will decrease the amount of guidance and soon you will believe that Kermit’s guardrails are unnecessary. Should Kermit make a serious mistake, you reapply the guardrails.

Kermit Will Step Up
You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly Kermit’s reluctance fades away. How can you tell when  this occurs? The moment that Kermit’s desire switches from an outside impetus to an internal desire because Kermit experiences the good feelings of having impact. Their mindset switches from “I might be able to lead” to “I am a leader.”

You will know that Kermit makes the choice to become a leader when they think and act like a leader. Kermit will breathe leadership.



Ron Rael Leadership Provocateur, is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author.

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