We should let them be, and flop and flounder and flail until they find out what they're good at.
We should hire for attitude and train for technical skill.
Domino's Pizza has a great ad out on TV now. It talks about their various bad ideas, and ends with a little brag about a pretty good one.
(It's a chicken dish with cheese that kosher folks can't eat and so I will have to trust them.)
Why, in workplace life, do we insist that every venture be an unparalleled success?
That left handed people be ambidextrous, or able to flip to right-handed?
That mistakes are unforgivable and bad?
Why is the subtext of organizational life the irrational expectation that we employ superhumans?
That every person be able to accommodate every whim, every change, every quirk of strategy and workload that the organization sets upon them?
The truth is that great fortune comes from allowing people to breathe, plans to fail, adjustments to be made along the way.
It's called innovation, and it comes from necessity, not plans and schedules.
Great management is about nurturing people's humanity. And making adjustments along the way.
* All opinions my own.