What happens when a team member (be it paid staff, volunteer, etc.) discovers they’re not passionate about something that’s part of their job?

Worse, what happens when you discover it before they do?

Maybe their job requires up-front people skills, but they’re more comfortable behind a desk. Maybe they have to be crazy proficient at administration, but spreadsheets aren’t something in which they excel (pun!).

Maybe you’re asking them to perform outside of their niche.

Everybody has something that they’re great at. Something that they’re actually quite proficient in, and they leave you scratching their head about (a) why they enjoy that so much (because you don’t) or (b) how they developed that skill (because you never have).

One of my painful leadership lessons is that not everyone works out of the same niche that I do. That’s caused conflict on the teams I’ve led over the years, because I expect that everyone will love the same things I love. I can’t understand why my team doesn’t give 110% in the same areas where I give 110%

What I’ve realized is that while it may not be their niche, it can be something they learn and improve in. And yes, if a team member is functioning outside of their job description, then that requires a deeper discussion.

But part of my job as a leader is to help them discover their niche and use that to our team’s greater advantage. I’ve never had a team member that couldn’t use their passion to improve our team. True, it may not have been a core component of their job, but it was a core component of their soul. It was what made them, them.

And when you free your team members to be who God wired them to be, the whole team improves.