I have been recently by incredibly impressed by human potential, and truly believe that people are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. Now this doesn’t mean you can hand anybody a crossword puzzle, a statistics problem, or whatever your current idea of an intellectual challenge is - but present them with a challenge relevant to their passion and amazing things can happen.
All of these thoughts could be helped in the management of others, but this will look at it from the unlocking your potential.
The keys to reaching maximum potential are,
My revelation started over the past few days when I facilitated training for employees of the consulting firm I work for. Now I not going to be shy when I say that the work that my colleagues and I do lacks creativity. Configuration of software, testing etc, but on the bright side, it does demand some technical expertise and clearly creates value.
As a result of the lack of creativity which I crave and associate with intelligence, I mentally associated my colleagues potential and capabilities with the work they were doing, and not the work they are capable of. In this view, I was wrong and ignorant, and the training taught me three ways to maximize human potential.
1. The first key is to challenge because if your vision doesn’t outstrip your skill, you’re not dreaming big enough. My goal of is to build a profitable business, giving me the flexibility to spend my time as I please, create jobs, and leave a positive impact on the world. To do this, I am going to challenge myself and develop strong leadership skills for a growing team and continuously take calculated risks to grow the business.
Your challenges my be completely different. If you are learning to play music- go out and do an open mic, if you want to climb the corporate ladder - volunteer for difficult projects with more responsibility etc. I recently came across a Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) tv show called “Failure Club” where a group of friends gets together to help each other attempt life long goals. Please see for yourself: Failure Club
2. The second key is passion. If you are doing something that you are passionate about, the results will undoubtedly be better.
I believe that passion is something that stimulates you to enter a state flow. Flow as made famous by the famous Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “ is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity” For me, two of my passions that get me to a state of flow are music and entrepreneurship. I can completely lose track of time recording music or building new business prototypes and by giving it my full attention I produce better results than I could ever dream of trying to learn a language or fix a household mechanical task.
3. The final key is accountability. If you are doing a small research task for work or school, your level of effort will increase dramatically if you know that you will have to present it in front of your peers or managers.
To transfer this into an everyday application, I think goal setting is the most obvious parallel. If you tell others about your goal and even have a partner is your pursuit, the feeling of obligation, pressure and pride will help keep you going when you want to quit.