Five Ways to Find and Tap Potential

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Leaders fail when they think too much about things they want and too little about things others want. Immature vision-driven leaders flounder when they believe it’s all about their vision.

Think of leadership as helping others win. But, what is helping and what is winning?

Leader as helper:

The first step toward winning is defining it.

Describing wins always comes before achieving wins.

Successful leaders help others define their wins. They awaken others. Sleep-walkers haven’t defined winning they just walk around doing stuff. Leaders provide new definitions of winning that awaken possibilities and align with potential.


Leaders help people paint themselves into pictures of what’s around the corner in the universe of “not yet”.

Potential is always untapped. That’s why it’s called potential.

Potential is in them not you.

Winning in leadership:

Winning in leadership is helping others do things they aren’t doing yet; things they define as winning. Leaders clarify and align pictures of winning.

Potential moves toward reality
when separate pictures of winning align.

In order to help people win, align their picture of winning with organizational wins.


Passion ignites when people see their potential in new pictures they help paint.


Leaders awaken potential.

  1. Keep them talking when their eyes light up. Then find alignment.
  2. Avoid locking people in. Help them see themselves in new ways.
  3. Push through resistance with them. Every significant change faces resistance.
  4.  Explain organizational wins in terms that align with their wins.
  5. Call them to step up and make a difference.

How can leaders help others paint themselves into new pictures?