‘Potential’ is Overrated

By September 18, 2018Leadership

I’m going to lovingly get up on my soapbox for a moment here, if you don’t mind. 😉

We had a great conversation in our Elevate group last week about how tough it is when you can SEE a clients potential, but they aren’t fulfilling on it.

They aren’t taking action and doing the things they said they would do. They are getting in their own way. They don’t want to hear (or implement) your advice.

When you find yourself saying:

“They could be soooo much more successful if only they would (_INSERT REASON HERE_)” 

The truth is – we all have potential.

Oooodles of it. We are all put here on earth to do amazing things in our own way.

And it’s easy to see someone else’s potential – what they are best at. Where they shine. The impact they could have.

BUT potential doesn’t mean a darn thing unless the person is willing to do something with it.

(Our potential doesn’t mean a darn thing unless WE are willing to do something with it.)

So allow me to say with all the love in my heart:

I don’t care about your potential – I care what you are willing to DO with it.

This is a choice we all get to make for ourselves. And this is a choice that your clients need to make as well.

When you are hired by a client to do what you do, the bottom line is this:

You can’t want it more than they do.

Their success. Their shift. Their goals.

You can bring the best of who you are to the table, BUT they need to do their part. They need to show up – to meet you halfway.

And if they won’t – you can’t ‘drag’ them there. Or worse yet, try to carry the weight of their success on your shoulders alone.

Yes, we can talk with them about it (especially if you are in the role of a coach and are there to help them move through stuff) but you can’t MAKE them want it more than they do. They are either going to step into their potential… or they won’t.

We all want the best for our clients – I get it! And at the same time we can’t own what isn’t ours to own.

This can be a tough pill to swallow at times – especially when we can see their potential & love them as a person!

At the end of the day what it boils down to is this:

  • Knowing that you are bringing your best to the table and doing all that you can
  • Being willing to walk away if they aren’t doing the same

It can sound (and feel!) harsh, but it’s true.

You can’t want it more than they do. It simply doesn’t work.

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