Monday, April 28, 2008

Motivation Monday

Today I'll try to start my "regular format." Again, it's not written in stone, and I may do a variety of additional posts--it's my blog, we'll see how I feel. But today is Motivation Monday, so we're going to start with one of my biggest passions, leadership. Today the top is potential and leadership, starting with a quote:
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already." ~ John Buchan
I recently found this quote and really like it as it gets at the essence of what a leader must do. Yes, everyone has potential, but in my opinion, potential is worthless when it remains as merely potential. In science we learn the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Potential energy is unreleased, stored, but not in use. Kinetic is when the potential energy turns into active energy; in other words, it is accomplishing something, it is moving, it is expending energy, it is DOING. As individuals we need to grow our potential, but truly we cannot do that unless we expend our kinetic. As leaders we have the difficult task of tapping into the potential of those we lead and pulling it out to become kinetic in order to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. Interestingly enough, various studies truly have shown that the more we expend, the more we move forward and improve, the more we continue to develop. Our energy, or our potential increases and improves as we expend more. Just, as with energy, the more we expend, the more our body tends to develop and have stored. Life, like endurance sports, gets better with practice. Practice is not just "thinking" about how to do something better, it is actually going out there and doing it. Every session of "doing it" will not be in the heat of a race, in fact, most of our time will be preparing for the big day, the imporant event, the "A" race, if you will. So look at your life. Are you living a kinetic life that is constantly increasing your future potential? Or do you just have a few good ideas and the potential is getting scale? Leaders, are you waiting till the last moment to tap into your people or are you pushing them daily, challenging them, and causing their potential to come forth (while at the same time increasing their future potential)? Success today and success tomorrow are dependent upon our abilities to convert the potential to the kinetic. Now, get off your rear and go DO something! :)

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