What Potential Do You See In What’s Around You? In The People, Places, And Ideas?

Leadership Lesson: Leadership is not only about enjoying and building off of what is already established but also about investigating, empowering, and building up that which is all around us, unseen by others, and holds untapped potential.

Leadership is about more than you. It’s also about more than others. It’s about more than what either you or them brings to a situation or environment.

It goes beyond that.

Nothing is ever solely about what a leader brings to an environment. It’s also about what they see in the environment they’re entering that maybe no one else has — or can.

Leadership is never about moving an environment, team, or situation forward as it is. It’s about retooling it from its current state or form and making it better, most often utilizing its own resources.

It’s about bringing to the surface that which isn’t so obvious — that which you have to dig for and extract.

In the case of teams or workplaces, the greatest leaders, whether titled or not, do not only work with what people demonstrate at first. They dig deeper to pull out qualities, skills, and abilities people hold back.

Related: In Working With Others, How Do You Challenge Them To Make Them Better?

So, how do you do that?

How do you dig in and see what’s possible under the surface? How do you see the potential in anything?

That vision comes from curiosity. How curious are you? How aware are you…that you should be curious?

Do you just merely react to what’s going on around you, or do you proactively investigate?

So, consider this: How do you look for the potential in each of the following?


How do you look past the façade of who and what you and others believe someone is? Do you just take a person at face value, or do you seek to find out more?

It’s important to draw out the best in others, whether that person knows what they are capable of and doesn’t want to show it, or doesn’t know at all. It’s amazing to see, if you pay attention, how many of people’s talents, skills, and desires go under-utilized, or not utilized at all.

We all seem to be reacting and just coasting through life without being really, genuinely curious about each other.

Looking for the potential in others make them better as they can finally begin to demonstrate who they are. It also makes you better because you are able to empower others and get the best performance and results out of them.


How do you look past the façade of what you and others see in a place, to see either the inner-workings of an organization or the possibilities of an actual physical location? Do you just take a location, city, state, etc., at face value, or do you seek to find out more and envision what’s possible?

It’s the same question, fashioned for location and place instead of person and personal attributes. It’s important to see the potential in anything, whether it be a person or place. Through seeing the potential, you help find and tap into the resources of an area or community, and help revitalize it if it’s in need of some rejuvenation.


How do you investigate an idea or a proposal? How do you review something deeper, further beyond what others may be saying about it or even dismissing?

Again – same questions, different target. So much of what we do may be going along, generally, with the crowd, because it’s generally easier and takes less effort than digging deeper to do our own due diligence.

So much value can be found just outside the periphery of group think, in the unique and the different. Others may not see the value due to the risk that comes with a different, foreign idea. They choose to go with what is safer and less risky.

Be sure the look for the value in a vision. You never know when you’ll find that diamond in the rough.

Related: In Your Leadership: How Do You Help Others Articulate Their Ideas? Part 1

Too often, we go by what we see, whether it’s in life or career. Yes, we’re busy with our own lives and therefore can’t overturn every stone or vet every idea. But we should take steps to learn a little more – or a lot – about what’s around us.

We forfeit value from what we’re not curious about. Everyone can benefit from more curiosity — both those who can build up their own curiosity and make great finds and those (or that) on the flipside who are (which is) found, engaged, and empowered in that process of discovery.

There’s a ripple effect that can move through our various environments, if we extend that curiosity to find what’s possible below the surface and façade.

What might you see which no one else can? What value can you find which others may ignore? What does your vision allow you to see to which others may be blind?

Be sure you don’t bypass all the potential greatness that surrounds you, and which you can draw out.

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