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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

Great Leadership: Seeing Possibility in Others

A tagline for my website is, “The Power of Possibility”.  I intend to help others identify and pull out the untapped potential in themselves and others.   This requires the inherent belief that we are capable of far more than we put out to the world or what we can see within ourselves.

We have all been in this situation with our team, colleagues, or children.  You recognize the invisible brakes that are holding back success.  From YOUR perspective, there is a greater potential, and feel compelled to encourage its growth. 

Recognize the beauty of your unique gift to see and imagine the possible.   Simultaneously, protect yourself, since not everyone is ready to step beyond their reality to capture excellence. Thus the challenge.

Coupled with supporting unseen possibilities is also the skill to know when to stop and simply accept what is.  This is one of the hardest things to do.

Some people or companies are not ready for your expansive vision.

I recently talked with a client about his company’s cultural dysfunction. From his perspective, it seems obvious.  There is a lack of accountability, civility, and clarity of roles and responsibilities.  As he separates himself from the emotion it is clear, that the success of the company would catapult with focused coaching and refined leadership yet, despite the agreement, he encounters inaction.

This is not uncommon!  What seems like an obvious “fix” and would capture incredible ROI is met with hesitation or excuses.  It’s like seeing an Olympic athlete walk away with indifference and relinquish the opportunity to affect the trajectory of their sport.  You find yourself silently screaming “No”, “If only you would…”

It’s an interesting dilemma.  When do you let your foot off the gas despite the opportunities that are so clear but hidden or not prioritized by others?

A few thoughts that may help:

  • Clarify your intention.  What is driving the need for change? Is it to move your agenda or to be of service to others (the organization)? If others see change as self-serving they will not be motivated.  They need to see how the investment in change will serve them.

  • The truth is, we can inspire and influence others, but we can not change who they are or want to be.  

  • Is this perspective a shared goal?  Some are content with what you may perceive as mediocrity. Others feel paralyzed with the “how” to move the needle and therefore avoid the opportunity.

  • Try separating the emotion from the tactical process.  It is the simultaneous convergence of these two that detracts from clear thinking.  Extracting emotion allows you to think strategically without judgment or ego.

  • Get curious.  If the disconnect seems obvious, become curious as to what you may not know.  Given that most people want to achieve great success, there may be a hidden reason.  Many times there are complicated dynamics at play of which you are not aware.  

  • Hone the valuable skill of balancing by inspiring, challenging, and allowing others to discover their genius.  

  • Let it go.  (this is the hard part)  Once you understand the nuances, the decision is back in your court.  What part do you want to play in this dynamic? It is important to realize that at this point it is a choice, it may not be easy but it is ultimately a choice.  Can you, without judgment or resentment, find a place within the current state of affairs or, is it time for you to refocus elsewhere?

  • As Ray Dalio says “Pain+Reflection=Progress”- the choice to speak up and be part of change is difficult.  Within the difficulty is a choice.

  • Influence and impact what falls within your control.  As Andy Stanley notes in this episode titled: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, “How should I lead with the opportunity I have?”

Ground your assumptions and perspective in truth and then make a choice

Negativity, resentment, and anger result when we feel “at the effect of” something or someone.  It is the loss of control that is painful and anxiety-producing.  

Finally, speaking your truth as to what you perceive as an untapped opportunity is a skill in itself.  This is a great episode that speaks directly to finding your voice and not playing victim to your circumstances. Truth is a choice.

Creating choice, however difficult, helps to reclaim autonomy and changes the dynamics, mindset, and expectations. 

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