The timing is perfect, really.

Through the years in this newsletter, you’ve heard about a few different home projects I’ve undertaken. One in particular I’ve waited to do until now: the stairs.

Stairs are a tricky project, for lots of reasons. First of all, they’re essential to the functioning of the house; all our bedrooms and my office are upstairs, so it’s not like I can just take them away and start over. Secondly, they’re essential to everyone in our house, which means everyone in your house has to be ready for the change when it comes.

Have I mentioned their essentialness?

This was one of the first projects we wanted to tackle, but if you have young children, or elderly parents, or anyone with an injury that relies on handrails, this project is far too dangerous and irresponsible. Everyone in the home needs to be able to manage the stairs safely if there is no rail, or no carpet, or the stairs are filled with tools as they are all weekend. That’s why we’re doing our stairs now: the girls are old enough that I trust them to be safe, and (knock on wood) Julia and I are physically stable enough (well, most days). We still have to be cautious, sure, but we’re all at a place where we’re able to do that.

This is a mentality I wish more leaders would use as they approach their work. Too often leaders tackle what they want, without consideration if the timing is right for the team. If you’ve got a project you desperately want your team to undertake, consider asking yourself: Is now the right time? Is the team experienced enough, and can we mitigate enough of the risks?

Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of times to take risks, where we learn as we go and build as we sail. But an important question to explore is whether your team is really ready; once they are, you can achieve anything.  Moving too soon, on the other hand, can cause harm, damage trust, and undermine the cohesion of the team. And who wants that?! Maybe there are other equally as important things that can (and should) come first.