As leaders part of our job is to unlock the potential of those around us and provide an environment for it to grow and flourish. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the very best professionals in their respective professions, and I am continually amazed at the seemingly limitless potential of each one of them.
An experience that left a lasting impression on me was seeing Cirque du Soliel live for the first time. This experience left me questioning everything I thought I knew about strength, determination, and the very laws of physics.
Given the proper environment (open, trusting, freedom to be a little crazy and make mistakes) talented people can do incredible things. Not providing this kind of environment is dousing your superheroes with water each and every day. It does not take very long for that superhero to either move to mediocre output levels or leave you entirely.
Who are your superheroes? It’s not one or two of your people. It’s not the top performers or the upper 20%. It’s everyone – that’s right – every single one of your people has unlocked potential in one way or another. Talent they are just aching to share with your organization – if only you will let them. Who doesn’t want to be a hero? Who doesn’t want to show their knowledge, talent, and save the day?
It is an accepted in business that everyone has strengths and weaknesses right? The strengths are your super powers, and the weaknesses are potential super powers. Look for the strengths – notice them, praise them, encourage them. (Make sure you don’t forget to praise in public!). Work on the potential super powers – talk about what interests them, what they want, then work on it TOGETHER. Leadership is WE, not you or me. You may be surprised at the super powers you never knew your team had!