The latest round of the NCAA Mens Basketball tournament just finished and I find myself in 8th place in my family pool. But the reality is that according to who I still have left in the tournament and the teams that I predicted would win in the next two rounds I have the potential to score more points than anyone else in my pool and I can in fact win our little competition.
In addition to one’s current ranking in any NCAA pool there is also the total possible points you can achieve, or your potential high score. Potential is most important because that tells you where you have the ability to end up. You can be in last place, but if you have the potential, you could score the most points and win, it can happen.
Where you are now, today, does not have bearing on where you can be in the future. In real life, potential can be covered up by experience and expertise. Those are positive attributes but can actually negatively mask your true potential. As leaders, it is easy to see someone’s strength and then put them in a position to utilize that strength. While that may be good on the surface, that strength could actually get in the way of discovering someone’s true potential. Their true potential may very well take them farther, allow them to achieve at a more significant level and achieve greater happiness.
It takes someone else to see the ultimate potential you possess. Have you ever had a great teacher or coach who pushed you past what you had previously achieved?
As a leader, it is our responsibility to take the time and make the effort to discover the potential that all of the people we lead have. This means getting to know them, encouraging them, helping them and allowing them to safely fail and start again.
When you invest in people and discover their potential not only do they grow but your relationship grows to a deeper level. That’s when all of the traits that we admire in people like trust, accountability and loyalty show up in abundance.
Whose potential have you discovered recently and to what greatness have you led them? Think about the magnitude of impact you can have on someone’s life and everyone they connect to. Discover your potential as a leader as you discover the potential in the people you lead.