Do you have something big inside you, but just can’t seem to get it out? Is there someone in your life, either at home or at work, who you know has great potential, but can’t seem to realize it? A big part of a leader’s job is to draw the best out of the people around them–including themselves. Here are a few tips for enabling yourself and others to translate potential into to results.
1. Discipline. Most people consider discipline in a negative light–all they see is what they can’t do. The real power of discipline is in its positive side–all that it allows you to do. Discipline exists to let good things run free and wild. True freedom come from discipline. Disciplining yourself and others–by setting boundaries, scheduling time, devoting resources–allows you to focus your attention, talents, and efforts. Then you are free to do what you truly want to do.
2. Education. Learning is one of the most important disciplines. In order to fully realize potential, you’ll have to add knowledge, skills, and experience. Don’t expect your people to do their best if you don’t equip them with the training they need to perform. And don’t expect your potential to spring forth in a final draft; it takes time to hone your skills and build your confidence. This could come from formal schooling, from the school of hard knocks, or from both. Either way, your education is the house your realized potential will live in.
3. Trust. Underneath all the discipline and behind all the education, you’ve got to believe. As leaders we need to approach the potential we sense in others–and in ourselves–with as much certainty as we can muster. What you really believe is always revealed in how you act. If you truly believe in someone, you’ll trust them with greater responsibility. If you truly believe in yourself, you’ll step out and go for it. Look for the opportunity to put your trust to the test.
What have I missed? How do you empower yourself or others?