Untapped Potential

A number of things irk me, and one of them is when I see untapped, underutilized or potential in someone or something being dismissed. I recently experienced an entire roomful of players verbally telling one of their teammates how they could see how much potential he had. Whether this person believed or could see what the others were seeing was in question, and unfortunately about a week later, it was clear he did not see what they could see

After hearing about the person essentially throwing away their potential by deciding not to participate on the team anymore, I was really upset that this happened. The fact myself and the rest of the team could see his potential was as obvious to us as the nose on our face, but for some reason, this person did not see or want to leverage what we were seeing. This should not have happened, and although it did, there is still an opportunity to help this person see what they could not see.

One of my abilities is helping to see potential and strengths in others they may not be aware of. In the case of this player, his potential was so obvious to everyone else, it truly amazes me he could not embrace and seize the opportunity to capitalize on his potential. Instead, he chose to dismiss the potential talent he had, and what others admired in him. There are a number of reasons why this happened, but the main thing to concentrate on is how to help someone in this situation.

If you or someone else you know is dismissive or unaware of their potential, I honestly believe it is each of our responsibilities to help this person. I guarantee you at some point someone helped you when you could not see your potential, and I’m also certain it made a tremendously positive impact on your life. Perhaps you are not even aware of this having happened to you? If not, you should take a few minutes to think about when this probably did happen. Why? Because doing this will allow you to appreciate and then see from a different lens how to recognize potential in others.

You do not need to be a manager, parent or coach to see potential in others. You simply have to be willing and open to looking for it.

So, now you might be thinking to yourself, what does this untapped or unrecognized potential look like? It can look like many different things, and some of it is recognized by your gut instinct, and other times it is 100% obvious (e.g., singing, writing, mathematical, drawing, athletic talent). If you are willing to look for it, help others to embrace and take advantage of it, you will be giving them one of the best gifts we can give to another human, recognition for their untapped talent and potential.

When people are recognized for their potential, a funny thing happens. It is as if you are giving them an imaginary key to help them to unlock their potential. By doing this, you are allowing them to see what you see. By showing them and making them aware of their potential, you are helping them to develop the talent they were unaware of.

Imagine if everyone was looking out and helping others to tap into their potential? Everyone has potential, and it is sheerly a matter of other people being proactive and helping them to recognize it. Here are some ideas on how you can more easily spot untapped potential in others, and what to do when you see this:

  • They are naturally better at something than anyone else. Ask them if they are aware of what they are doing comes easily to them?
  • Someone who is empathetic may not be recognized for their gift of being this way. Tell the person who has a high degree of it, how much you appreciate this talent, and ask them how they are using it to help others on a daily basis?
  • Being a good listener is becoming a lost art. When you come across someone who is a strong listener, let them know how much you appreciate their talent, and ask them how they became such a good listener?
  • Seeing acts of kindness should not go unrecognized, and some people are simply more kind than others. When you see someone being kind, let them know you appreciate their act(s) of kindness, especially if they were kind to you or someone else.
  • If you see obvious, or not so obvious potential in someone and can do something about it, let them know you see their potential. Then, go one step further and either help them yourself, or find someone who can do so.

Never let potential go unnoticed or allow it not to be properly channeled. Everyone deserves to have their potential recognized, and given a chance to make the most of the potential they have. Don’t just be a bystander in witnessing potential, get out there and do your part to help others. The potential out there is unlimited, and will produce amazing results and opportunities when it is tapped into.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

The Power of Resilience

Everyone has the power of resilience, but some have had to rely upon this skill more than others. When they do, and apply it, it is what seriously separates them in an extremely positive and impactful way from others.

According to the American Psychological Association, they define the word Resilience as an ‘adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or stress: family/relationship problems, health problems or workplace/money issues.’ I like this definition based on the word adaptation, as it is such a powerful trait which we can all learn to develop.

As you know, I’m not a big news watcher, but typically when I do catch the news, it tends to be focused on the negative events happening in our lives. Unfortunately, the format of news broadcasts does not have a follow-up element which allows you to see the negative or positive outcome of what was reported on. Unless of course it was a fatal situation. However, when I do witness an adverse situation either via the media or in life, I always try to imagine how to turn the situation into a positive one.

When you focus your attention on turning a negative into a positive, this is the essence of applying resilience, as you are in the process of learning how to adapt. Just about every situation provides you with an opportunity to practice adaptation. The trick is to recognize this, and look at how to do so.

This past week I had an opportunity to attend an event via the Agile New England organization. They hosted a talk about a subject which was fascinating to me, People Analytics. Kate O’Brien from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was the presenter. She spoke about how her organization applies predictive analytics to understanding how and whether the employees in her organization are happy with where they are working, and whether they are also happy about what they are working on.

By analyzing the employee’s responses, Kate and her team have the ability to predict which team has potential upcoming retention rate issues, whether the team is a healthy and happy team, well managed and how confident they are in the success of the work they are doing. Using what is referred to as predictive analytics, and based on what Ms. O’Brien shared during her presentation, the Broad Institute is certainly doing something extremely well. This is evident in their retention rates being incredibly high, along with their employee satisfaction rates too. Almost to the point of disbelief.

So, how does the Broad Institute achieve such amazing retention and high employee satisfaction ratings? Part of the reason is because they allow their employees to exercise resilience in the work they do, and they can legitimately state they are in the process of curing cancer as an organization.

The fact the Broad Institute interacts with so many different countries and companies to do their work, strongly supports their employees having to be resilient and adaptable at all times. Especially when their work does not go well. Instead of being focused on overcoming the adversity of their experiences, they focus on adapting and continuous improvement, which is a foundational agile concept.

If you were to take a page from the Broad Institute’s playbook on always remaining resilient and adaptable in the face of adversity, you will have a tremendous model to replicate. This can be achieved either personally or professionally, as so much of the success behind being resilient is having an open mind and the best attitude you can possibly have.  The right attitude combined with the power of resilience is what will allow all of us to not only thrive, but to exceed any and all expectations placed upon us.

If you cannot frame your mind around the concept of resilience, try applying the other power of visualizing your success when you are in an adverse situation. When part of your mind can visualize your success, the rest of your mind and body can help you to achieve it. I exercise this concept regularly, and can tell you it works incredibly well. Give it a try, and not just one time, keep trying it until you get the results you are looking for.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Stuck? How to get you, your team or company in motion.

There are numerous reasons and ways to what I refer to as getting stuck, either personally or professionally, and no one is immune from having this happen to them. If you are immune, give me a call, because you are a true “unicorn”.

Generally, when a person, team or company is stuck, there are Drano-like techniques you can apply to resolve this dilemma. However, often it is difficult to come up with the getting unstuck solutions because you are too close to the issue or issues which caused it. So, what do you do?

Obviously panicking about your being stuck situation is not going to solve anything, nor will ignoring it. Although many people and companies try out this approach and what happens? The unstuck situation does not get resolved, can in fact get worse, and the negative domino effect starts to kick in.

So, depending on who is stuck, the first thing to do is to commit to addressing and resolving the matter. Doing this will take immediate pressure off of the feeling of being stuck, and if a team or company is stuck, you will need to communicate with them about the fact you are addressing the matter.

By the way, “you” is either the head of the team or company who is stuck.

Thinking about and discussing how you got stuck is the second step to figuring out a solution, and this should be done in an organized way. One of my favorite ways to tackling this is to whiteboard or back-of-the-napkin how you ended up being “stuck”. I also recommend going through this exercise physically away from where the clog is. If you are the one who is stuck, I also recommend going to a neutral and also inspiring place to think about developing an unstuck solution.

Here is a (10) step approach to getting unstuck. You might only need to leverage a few of them, but there is the possibility you will need to apply all of the steps if your team or company is significantly stuck. I’ll let you be the judge on what number the stuck meter would register.

  1. Write down what makes you feel like you, your team or company are stuck (e.g., lack of energy or motivation, high attrition rates, culture issues, revenue growth is stagnant or under performing).
  2. Appoint a person as the “Chief of Getting Unstuck”.
  3. Limit the amount of people to the “Unstuck” team to less than six people, ideally fewer if possible and depending on the complexity of the matter.
  4. Agree not to play the blame game, and commit to resolving the matter.
  5. Come up with a timeline for how long it will take to resolve and get unstuck.
  6. Outline the reasons which contributed to how you, your team or company became stuck.
  7. Begin brainstorming on resolutions for each of the reasons which contributed to becoming stuck.
  8. Determine if the reasons you became stuck have the possibility of reoccurring. If they might, part of your plan is going to need to address how to reduce or eliminate this from happening.
  9. Share and widely communicate your “getting unstuck plan”, and ask for feedback. Make it clear that feedback offered should only be offered if it is constructive. Have people feel like they are a part of the solution, and not contributing to the problem.
  10. Once you have your getting unstuck solutions which are actionable and agreed upon, commit to applying them with the goal of becoming unstuck.

Getting stuck did not occur overnight. So, coming up with a solution or methods to resolve your situation is going to take some time, and will be different for each scenario. By admitting to and then committing to resolving your matter of being stuck, you will be taking the most important steps towards resolving it. Coming up with your solutions might be easier than you think they will be, and they should also be enormously satisfying when you do.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder/CEO and Chief Performance Strategist at Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at.

We also work with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. If you want results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.