I was being filmed for a TV show last week and the interviewer asked me, “how do leaders tap into the unseen potential of their people?”
Great question. Tricky to answer! (especially with a camera pointing at you)
I am not so sure I have the definitive answer to this, but I will share with you what I told the interviewer and what I believe works.
All of us, with ambition, are on a quest to grow ourselves from where we currently reside to our full potential. Given the nature of the journey, it is something that is largely an individual endeavour. Its not a competition and given we all have unique starting points and baggage to shed along the way, it can be lonely and confronting at times.
Business leaders can do two things to assist; Firstly, they can invest time and smarts developing their people’s skills and knowledge. That is nice, its vital, but its mechanics.
The second thing they must do is to breathe healthy doses of belief, empowerment and courage into their people. Now, this all sounds a bit “soft” and “motivational speaker-ish”. But, it works.
My observation (just my take on things having lead and developed sales teams for years) is that most people battling their way through work, career and life are not particularly well supported and encouraged, believed in and empowered.
As a leader, there is an opportunity to do just that for your people; and if you are lucky people allow their potential to start showing up. Not all of the time, but glimpses. Its the leaders job to notice and tease more of it out.
So just start by creating an environment where your people are encouraged, supported and empowered to be more of who they are.
You might find that you too become more of who you are…and isn’t that the point…?