Leadership Information

Unleash It!

On airplanes, in restaurants, in the newspaper and on television, I often hear people saying their businesses are not growing to their satisfaction or that they are not reaching their objectives. The explanations that follow consist of reasons like:

?It's the economy
?Our customers don't get it
?I don't have the right people on the team

I could go on, and so could you.I think that is all a bunch of hogwash.People (both those doing the talking, and those they are talking about) are not all they can be. The organization is not all it can be. Both have tremendous untapped potential sitting there, waiting to be recognized and tapped. Both have potential waiting to be unleashed.

Dictionary.com defines potential as "the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being, or something possessing the capacity for growth or development."

When we point to others and other factors as the cause to our problems (in business or any part of our life) we are missing the point. We hold many of the answers ourselves. Maybe not in this moment, but when we unleash our potential, we unleash talents, skills, perspectives and ideas that can help us solve the problems we face and (as no small side benefit) become more fulfilled in our lives. Simply stated, as caretakers of our own lives we are cheating ourselves if we don't do everything we can to unleash our potential - that innate ability within us waiting to be developed.

As leaders in organizations, our responsibility for unleashing potential is at least as great as it is for us personally. We are responsible for results, for meeting the needs of Customers, for helping and empowering people, and for generally doing the good things our organizations exist to do. If we aren't helping those around us unleash their potential, are we really doing our job?

You know the answer.

So the question isn't, are we doing all we can to unleash the tremendous potential that exists, but how do we do that?In very short form here are some of the key steps you can take to begin unleashing your potential or the potential in others. As you read these steps, think about it in both ways - both from the perspective of helping others and of helping yourself.

1.Believe. Tug McGraw, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies said throughout an improbably run to a World Series Championship, "Ya Gotta Believe!" An entire team, and an entire city did, and the team went further and accomplished more that they initially believed they could. Tug helped that team unleash their potential, because he believed, and helped others believe too. If you don't believe your team has the ability to achieve or accomplish more, how likely are those accomplishments to occur?

2.Recognize. You can believe the potential is there and you can start by doing that on faith, but then you have to recognize exactly what is there. The specific mix of potentials that I possess is different than yours. The mix is different for everyone. Recognition helps us target the ways we can stretch and gives us clues about what to do in the steps that follow.

3.Expect. There are all sorts of studies that deal with expectation and how powerful it is. Want to do just one thing to help a team you work with improve? Really expect improvement. Let the team know that you have a positive expectation, based on your belief in them and the skills they possess. Act on this belief and this expectation. Let your behavior prove your words. You will be amazed at the change you will see, almost overnight. If we know this to be true with our expectations of others, while you are at it why not raise your expectations of yourself too?

4.Plan. You need a plan. Once you see potential and have higher expectations for it, you need a plan to help unleash that potential. That plan might include study, a mentor, courses, books, new habits, changes in environment and many other things. You will be able to build your plan based on your specific situation. Use this step to help others tailor a plan for themselves too.

5.Invest. You have to invest in the plan. The plan isn't enough. You must take action. Putting your plan into action requires investments in discipline, time and perhaps money. You can't unleash potential without some investment.

6.Effort. Sustained effort is required. Notice I said effort, not work. If you are moving towards your unique innate potentials it won't always be work, but it will take effort. You've heard it said "there is no free lunch." It is true for your potential. Yes the potential is inside you, but it takes effort to bring it out. You might ask is it worth it? Well, what is it worth to raise your self confidence? What is it worth to raise your skills? What is it worth to meet your objectives and goals? What is it worth to feel more fulfilled in your life? What is it worth to be happier? What is it worth to have greater earning potential? Continually moving towards your potential will give you all these things. My guess is it is worth the effort.

7.Patience. Sometimes you will make fast gains, other times the advancement may seem slow. Be patient. Be persistent. You are worth the wait. Help others and be patient with them. They are worth the wait as well.

8.New Targets. The master violinist, Jascha Heifetz said, "There is no top. There are always further heights to reach." So it is with our potential. Each of us (and each organization) is brimming with potential. When you recognize some potential skill or talent some and master it, the pool will still be full. When you have made the gains identified in your plan, go back to step one and with the great excitement of knowing that this process works, begin again.

This isn't a topic that can be covered this briefly - this is only a start. There are many facets to potential, both for us as individuals and for unleashing the potential in those around us. Right now, don't worry about that - just get started.

I encourage you to do at least three things with this information:

1.Think about the steps laid out above, and start believing in your own amazing potential.
2.Begin to recognize your unique set of potentials.
3.Share this article with others you know who would benefit from these ideas.

2004, All Rights Reserved, Kevin Eikenberry. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/current.asp to read the current issue and subscribe. Kevin is also President of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. You may contact Kevin at toll free 888.LEARNER.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Washington Post

Fortune just named the 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders.' Only one current US elected official is on it
Washington Post
Fortune Magazine released its fifth annual list of who it deems the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," and for the first time, there's not a single name at the top of the list. Rather than naming a CEO, a pope or a baseball executive to top the annual ...
Fortune's World's Great Leaders ListFortune

all 38 news articles »


James Comey's new book "A Higher Loyalty" offers four key lessons in leadership
In the midst of the Twitter attacks by Donald Trump and his unceremonial firing by the US president in 2017, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that in his 30-plus year career, James Comey prosecuted mafia members, worked in the private sector as the ...

and more »

Council on Foreign Relations (blog)

Working on World Order: Help Wanted for Twenty-First Century US Leadership
Council on Foreign Relations (blog)
To help address the myriad challenges stemming from technological innovation and automation, the Council on Foreign Relations recently released an Independent Task Force report, The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First ...

Singularity Hub

How Thought Leadership Inspires Action With Ideas
Singularity Hub
Denise Brosseau believes that leading in today's complicated world requires clarity of intention, voice, and focus. In essence, it requires thought leadership. In Denise's view, thought leadership isn't just about being famous or being known, it's ...


The Reality And Rewards Of Leadership
Leadership articles are a dime a dozen. I should know, I read them daily and I write them. Most of them are uplifting and inspiring, discussing things like authenticity, trust and transparency. That's why I read them and I unapologetically love it ...


The Secrets Of Leadership Presence For Every Woman Leader
By: Ellen Keithline Byrne, Karen Kirchner, and Denise D'Agostino. You know that woman who walks into the room, delivers a message and everyone's eyes are glued to her, listening to every word? She stands tall, even if she's 5' in height. She commands ...


6 take-aways on leadership from Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk
A shareholders' letter and a memo are offering readers some interesting insight on the leadership styles of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. On Wednesday, Amazon's CEO released his annual letter to shareholders, which included the first details of Amazon ...
Jeff Bezos found a leadership lesson in a friend's quest for the perfect handstandQuartz
EX-99.1 - SEC.govSEC.gov

all 372 news articles »


3 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Southwest Airlines Pilot Tammie Jo Shults
Despite discrimination and resistance, Shults remained courageously focused on her goal, an essential leadership skill that paved the way for women far beyond the aviation industry. 3. Show your team you genuinely care about their well-being. A good ...
Heroic Southwest Airlines Pilot Tammie Jo Shults Just Displayed 4 Keys to Remarkable LeadershipInc.com

all 285 news articles »

Harvard Business Review

The Best Leaders See Things That Others Don't. Art Can Help.
Harvard Business Review
I don't often start essays about leadership with insights from French novelists, but in this case it seems appropriate. “The real act of discovery,” Marcel Proust wrote, “consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Today the most ...

The Hill

Restoring American diplomacy starts with leadership at home
The Hill
April marks the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. The creation of an enlightened and visionary State Department, the Marshall Plan rebuilt war-torn Europe, resuscitated markets for U.S. exports, and thwarted communist expansion, at the cost of ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007