Nurturing Potential- Three things you simply should not do to your team members

Nurturing Potential- Three things you simply should not do to your team members

It would be unfortunate for a leader to believe that he could be a benchmark for the potential of others, that he could judge them based on how close they could get to achieve that benchmark. Inherent to this philosophy is a belief that all others, particularly people on whom the leaders have the influence, could at best be their clones.

In my employee engagement sessions, I have made an interesting observation. On being asked if they were contributing their hundred per cent to the Organisation, not even one participant’s hand goes up.

Compare that to the common understanding of employee engagement as the ability of an Organisation to extract that discretionary quota that an employee holds beyond his hundred per cent contribution. We are not able to provide a platform and an environment in which the employees could realise their potential, a potential that they have defined in their way.

When everyone was intent on making us realise what all we could not do, that one formal or informal leader made us realise some potential that even we did not know existed in us. And then, he had supported us to achieve that potential. Aren’t those the leaders we remember with fondness and admiration?

The greatness of a leader lies in providing logical processes and emotional support so that their team members could aim where even the leader could not have dreamt of having reached.

So, for your team members to truly realise their potential and for you to leave a lasting legacy as a leader, ensure that you do not do the following:

  1. Please don’t put a ceiling on people’s potential: Don’t start believing that someone has reached his ‘peak’ potential. People have infinite potential that they keep discovering even to their surprise
  2. Please don’t assume that people have already achieved their best. Just because the star performers exceeded your expectations, or because they were better than the should not indicate that that is all they had to contribute? The problem is with either your expectations or with poor benchmarking standards. 
  3. Please don’t ignore your star performers and start believing that such performers need lesser focus or time from you. They may need fewer reviews, but they certainly need your continued support and encouragement to ‘raise the bar’. Such people love their leaders to pose newer challenges and stimulate their growth. Regularly!

In short, nurture, support and challenge the performers to keep raising their perception of their potential and be sure of finding a place in the wall of fame of most admirable leaders.