The Dragon Reborn - Chapter 20 [#100Days, Day 90]

Through The Fire And The Flames

    The Amyrlin gave an exasperated sigh.  "You remind me of my uncle Huan.  NO one could ever pin him down.  He liked to gamble, too, and he'd much rather have fun than work.  He died pulling children out of a burning house.  He wouldn't stop going back as long as there was one left inside.  Are you like him, Mat?  Will you be there when the flames are high?
The Amyrlin Seat, The Dragon Reborn, p. 183

    I've always been a fan of this passage.  It's an apt description of Mat, although at this point, it's mostly the carefree gambler we see.  Yet, sometimes we see the man willing to charge headlong into the flames, like Huan.  As leaders, it's our task to provide opportunities for our people to develop, as well as opportunities to showcase what they're made of.  It's often a tough balance.  Training is critical, yet often cut in favor of organizational priorities.  Along the same vein, taking a risk and providing an opportunity for unproven talent to step into the spotlight gets pushed aside in favor of the known quantity; especially when the organizational stakes are high.  Instead of looking for the burning house, maybe start with the small campfire.  The risk of failure needs to be real, but also manageable.  Expecting an expert after a lengthy training session is just as unreasonable, especially if they've had no time to implement what was taught in the classroom.  As they shine, continue to challenge them in different ways, not just with bigger risks of failure.  It's incredibly hard work; but the idea is to one day walk in and realize you're not needed.

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