By Dr. Dave Mundy – Associate Superintendent, Noblesville Schools
Throughout the world we live in there is a word that is used with regularity. It is a GREAT word. It is a FANTASTIC word. However, it is a word that must be used with caution. For a leader it is a word that must be utilized to make a person, business, or event successful. Rarely a day goes by where something isn’t deemed as having POTENTIAL. “Sally has potential to be a great scientist.” “Billy has potential to be an excellent baseball player.” “Jill has potential to be something really special in this business.” To hear these statements can affect positively the morale and self-esteem of individuals and assist in their development.
Sometimes potential can be seen, sometimes it is developed, and sometimes it is innate. Regardless of its level of cognizance, it is an important part of the formation of an individual.
In its simplest form, potential is having the capacity to grow toward future success. It is a leader’s obligation to find the potential that exists in all students/employees; having potential is the foundation for success. Potential can not be wasted and at the same time, it is important to know that potential can not get in the way of development.
Saying someone has potential means that accomplishment thus far has been limited. Without growing someone’s potential, the second step of personal growth, can not be achieved. Every individual must learn to strive through potential to become accomplished in something that leads to the final step of achievement which is finding success. A true leader understands how these terms flow together. A true leader never stops at seeing the potential in an individual but pushes those around him/her to achieve and ultimately be successful.
Whether success is found in creating a new vaccine, being able to play a sport beyond high school, or finding a satisfying occupation, no individual gets there without a leader pushing him/her to find achievement. Potential has to be nurtured and channeled into the skills to be something special.
Success is the foundation to personal happiness, productivity, and creativity. Iconic soccer player Pele was quoted as saying “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do.” A true leader understands this and realizes that every level of achievement is based in finding the potential in an individual and harnessing this ability to achieve the highest levels of success, individually and as a member of a team.