10 Power-Tips that Build Potential
You aren’t the future. The passion, potential, and skills of your team are the future of your organization. Vision cast until the cows come home but others make it happen.
Organizations don’t rise above their leaders. Leaders never rise above the leveraged potential of their teams.
It’s always about the people. Your future is black unless you:
- Attract high quality people.
- Enhance your team’s talent and potential.
- Retain great people.
- Focus, apply, and develop your team’s skills.
10 Power-tips that build the potential of others:
- Always believe in them. If you believe in them, they’ll believe in themselves.
- Put them under moderate levels of stress. Nurturing-leaders hobble their team when they protect them from pressure.
- Support them when they are challenged by honoring their energy and efforts.
- Provide resources; but remember too many resources stifle creativity.
- Focus on their strengths not their weaknesses. Don’t get sucked into what you wish they could do.
- Engage them in the process of setting goals and creating vision.
- Give them opportunities when they are ready; 80% ready is ready enough.
- Expose them to others who are doing what they could do.
- Shorten the time-line for completing projects.
- Help them press through excuses.
A word on pain:
Young and emerging leaders always rise to the point of pain; the discomfort of moving from average to remarkable. Passion takes people to the point of pain but conviction, vision, persistence, and courage help them break through.
When the pain hits, let them falter and then come along side. Learn if it’s a word of comfort or a kick in the pants that bests challenges them. Give them a fresh taste of vision for success. Their pain is your moment.
How do you enhance the potential of others?
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what’s the funda behind the pictures you use for your posts??
how to relate them?
The thought behind todays pic is potential energy. I choose pics that reflect a main concept.
Yesterday’s pic of a guy “walled in” reflects being walled-in by “or” thinking but walking out into the open = “and” thinking.
Thanks for asking.
Wow, there’s a lot of good stuff in this post!
Item 1, I agree completely. Most people will live up (or down) to expectations. Think about international diplomacy hanging on the actions of 19-year-old kids with only a high-school diploma at check-points in the Middle East. Only the military would ever trust them with that kind of responsibility, yet they handle it well.
Item 2. Stress finds the cracks in your systems and people, stress also motivates to fix them. Once again, agree.
Best point of the whole post, and my take-away for the day: “Their pain is your moment.” At the point of pain they’re open to help; at the point of pain they clearly understand their current limits; at the point of pain they are most likely to give up. All great opportunities for mentoring.
Thanks for the good word.
Writing is an evolution for me. I’m glad you appreciate the idea of their pain is our moment. It’s a statement that just popped out while I was finishing this post.
I’ll go so far as to say that leaders may actually create pain points that stretch people. In these cases the combination of tough/tender qualities really shines through.
You have my respect,
Good take aways, Greg. Appreciate your insight.
Dan, great tips. I would add:
11. Help them to learn to critically think.
12. Create assignments that force them to write. Improve their ability to write in a concise, engaging way. 300 words or less (for you Dan – :))
13. Have them involved in presenting – to their peers, to leadership above them; outside of the organization.
I have found that these three enhance their confidence and teach them how to get to the essence of their message.
Jim, I like the focus on communication skills. Someone recently said to me that people who talk well have a lot of power — their ideas are heard. Others can have better ideas but never get the attention they deserve because they never learned good communication.
Of course, maybe I’m just guilty of thinking my English major applies everywhere.
“It’s always about the people.” Absolutely! A simple concept so frequently ignored, yet it holds the power behind the potential success for the organization.
Every time in my career that I’ve made moves to the next level of my skills/capabilities, it’s been because someone put the challenge out there for me with the expectation and belief that I could do it. Followed by every other one of your 10 power tips. Great stuff, Dan!
My favorite is number 1 – believe in them and tell them you believe in them. Whenever giving someone a first time challenging assignment, I remind them we are giving them this assignment because we believe in their ability to get it done. Even if they think they are not ready, they will gain confidence from know that we believe they are.
Bonnie, I like that you push your people a little bit, instead of letting them decide when they’re ready. No one ever feels ready for the next step. That’s a great application of Dan’s No. 7.
oh! that ways! good.. deep
With pain comes vulnerability, tread softly and as you noted Dan, walk with, not behind, not ahead, be with.
Done well, amazing moment shared, amazing engagement for a lifetime and an organizational culture flashpoint for the challenging future times to embrace and see a path of what can be.
Hi Dan like it already has been said “their pain is your moment” is indeed a very powerful insight. I will remember that one for sure and goes into my evergrowing quote book, a lot of the entries having their origen right here in LF.
I think one of the key challenges for leaders at least for me is trying to strategically position people in environments where they will not only succeed but thrive. We can charge their “battery” all day long but is not until the training wheels are off the bike that they find the “zone.” This is quickly followed by passion and a shifting into cruise control whereby we sit back, relax, smile and enjoy the ride. Everyone is happy. utopic? yes true but something to reach for and dream about. Bumps in the road, detours and breakdowns are all part of the course and for sure the team, leader included, are there as the “pit crew.”
The good news is “everyone gets a chance to drive.” Sorry if I got carried away with the “story” and just one too many metaphor. I apologize to those who don’t like fables but they work for me and those I “hang” with when we learn from each other. Cheers and I hope Dan does not censor me for my “antics.” 🙂
Hi Al, Maybe we’ll have to put you on probation?? 😉
Love the idea of adding opportunities for people to give traction to their skills in addition to charging their batters, fueling their tanks, and airing up their tires… 😉
Thanks for adding enjoyment and insight,
Al is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/al-diaz
Love these tips!
I love the concept of believing in others. It truly does make a difference. I worked in Higher Education administration for a while, primarily advising young student leaders. Listening to their goals and then expressing confidence that the students could reach those goals was absolutely important. I found that people tend to let themselves be pigeon-holed by what others have told them they can or cannot do. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to tell them that they can be the person that they want to be, that they don’t have to be the person everybody else wants them to be.
Reflecting back, I realize that in a sense I did what you have posted here – allowed people to find themselves as leaders. As we matured in our relationships – i found their weak and strong points, their comfort zone, their career aspirations, their passion and persistence to pursue goals, their way of achieving goals etc. and they understood where i was coming from and where i was going – I let go and trusted their ability to make decisions and execute (and even kept myself ready to jump in when mistakes happened – to advice, correct and move on), and build their working relationships with colleagues and customers. In fact, I have to say at times they did better than expected and proactively took charge of a situation; i praised them for doing a good job, with cc’s to my boss / the ceo of the company and even HR (for being remembered when it came time for ….).
Highlighting their accomplishments did two wonderful things that I wanted to happen – raise their level of confidence in themselves to do good and slowly build a picture of them with my seniors, which would lead to the 2nd and important thing which is that when I left the company, they would be able to work with my seniors and the senior management knew they could trust this person to meet business demands and do the right thing and take lead when required. I effectively wanted to make sure I built growth for them and created the path for my exit leaving behind an organization and people who could pick up from where I leave and progress in their career as I made way. This has been my modus operandi in all my jobs wherever I have led – get things organized, recruit and mentor future leaders, stabilize the environment into a smooth operation, make myself redundant and finally move on. Mind you, while doing this multiple times, i have learnt a lot about myself and have tried to do it better each successive time – so theres been a sea of learning and growing for me too on the journey which I have enjoyed much :-). I am humbled by and thankful for those opportunities that i got to make such differences in peoples careers.
Enough for today I guess :-). Have a great day!
Thanks for the post.
Have just found this blog site from a twitter post and can’t believe I haven’t found it sooner! You have some great tips on this post and although we probably know many of them it is great that you have highlighted them so that we can keep them fresh in our mind!
I don’t have employees, I work alone. I am using all that I’ve learned in your posts, Dan, to implement, where it fits, with those I come in contact, as my clients. I am in the field of alternative healing (vs a more Western modality, for which I have great respect). Clients who are in it for more complete healing, and persist in their healing process, get great results. And, yes, I challenge them gently, in spaces they may not want to look at, all the while being there in support. Some drop out. People use coaches in business, people use coaches in their growth and healing. Your (I’m) there to keep the focus and vision, and apply the resources of my trade, as needed. I love what I do.
Thank you Raphael… best to you
Very useful tips to ensure good team performance. Developing good trust and giving independent responsibilities with operational freedom are the keys to success. Everything is possible with collective, focused efforts.
A positive mind-set and solution-oriented approach with team’s commitment will certainly bring the desired results.