Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
The greatest gift I ever received at work was nothing flashy or even something I could display. I was given the gift of development. I had a boss who believed in me and felt I could move up in our organization with some fine tuning of my skills. Craig pushed and prodded me to grow and learn. He gave me “exposure” and “developmental opportunities”. This typically meant I was going to be uncomfortable and in things over my head. There was one year where my comfort zone was so far away I forgot what it looked like.
While I hated the situations I was in on a fairly regular basis I have to admit I would not be the person and leader that I am today without those experiences. At times I think Craig saw something in me that no one else saw. I know I wasn’t convinced in what he was telling me was possible. When I went to work in his area I knew I wanted to do something different and something more than what I’d been doing the previous 9 years. I honestly didn’t have a clear vision of where I wanted to go, it was more a case of knowing where I didn’t want to be. I learned more from working in his area in 4 years than I think I did before or since.
It was with huge mixed emotions that I left that organization to move to another part of the country. However, the confidence and growth I experience in those last 4 years gave me the courage to change careers and pursue new passions. What I learned about myself and leading others during that time created the momentum I needed to take a chance and go down a different path. It’s been a wonderful journey that is still unfolding.
I am so fortunate to have had Craig as a boss at a time when I needed someone to believe in me and then push me towards my potential. Even when I was kicking and screaming. He showed me my potential and urged me to reach for it. He also showed me the power and impact that leaders can have when they take the time to unlock the potential in others.
As leaders when make an impact each and everyday on those around us. It’s our choice whether it’s a positive one or not. Helping your followers unlock their potential is the greatest gift you can give them and give to your organization. Take the time to help someone grow and learn. You will be amazed at what can happen when you release their potential. It might just start a chain reaction of growth in your organization.