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Guest Commentary: In Pursuit Of Potential

The essence of potential lies in the fact that we all have the capacity to become or to develop into something in the future. Potential is utilizing your abilities to become the person you were meant to be.

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John Passante is a broad-based senior executive with over 30 years of extensive organizational development and senior human resource experience with progressive corporations involved in multiple locations, both domestic and international.

The wise and learned sage and world-renowned scholar “Charlie Brown” once said: “There is no greater burden, than having potential.” Pause for a moment to get your head around this thought provoking notion.

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/franckreporter

Photo Credit: iStock.com/franckreporter

The essence of potential lies in the fact that we all have the capacity to become or to develop into something in the future. Potential is utilizing your abilities to become the person you were meant to be. It is making the resolution to believe in yourself. And granting yourself the time and space to believe in your talents – it fuels your life’s purpose and opens the window to your life’s vision.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Baker

Addressing and releasing one’s potential is to nurture your true passion. Potential is about growing yourself, and finding someone who believes in you, to venture into new and at times scary areas. A leader that sets high standards and always has your back.

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Reaching your potential involves taking the first step. Two mistakes we all can make, on the road to true potential, is not going all the way and not getting started. Potential is indeed to dream big, shoot higher than you know you can and engage in self-discovery. In addition, it is not permitting the experiences of the past to limit your future – removing the limits that block your road to reaching your potential.

Enlightened leaders are aware of the influence they have on unleashing the potential in others and believe in the infinite potential in all human beings.

In every interaction, we all have a choice: to lift people up or to hold them down. Their choice either fosters potential or subdues it. We are all born with gifts; the key is to build on your strengths. There is no time like the present to understand yourself and who you are. The better we understand who we are, the better we can find the path to our potential. Your potential is your essence, the deepest part of you. It guides you to open the door of life’s possibilities, improves our psychological safety and improves our self-esteem. It is indeed uniquely ours.

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Given that we live in a society with so many distractions – 24/7 – learning focus is a start to reaching one’s potential. And embodies self-examination, introspection, determination and risk taking. We all have worked with or have known people who overcome setbacks, challenges, hurts and failures – yet they prevail and succeed, which can be contributed to a key ingredient of potential, “grit.”

Grit is staying the course, perseverance, purpose and focused passion for your life and business goals. It is working to create the future you desire. Grit is living life like it is a marathon and not a sprint.

The pursuit of one’s potential is keeping the fire in your belly stoked. To keep pushing yourself and to not back down. With a keen eye on obtaining your dreams.

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally, skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.” – Will Smith

That is the price of reaching for your potential. Grit helps us all to fly higher. Perhaps we can all recall and celebrate the people in our lives who saw the potential in us and believed in us. It could have been your fifth-grade teacher, a parent, a true friend or yes, someone you worked for – a leader.

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Career success in today’s automotive aftermarket is a by-product of leaders who saw potential in their associates and helped to cultivate it. The essence of leadership is enabling others to recap their full potential.

The leaders who assist to reach our full potential:

  • Believe in us
  • Encourage and support us
  • Give us candid feedback
  • Are our role model (hero)
  • Probe us and hold us accountable
  • Look for the best in us

In my professional opinion, the greatest untapped resource in our industry lies in its employees.

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” -Thomas Edison

Guiding others toward reaching their potential is giving your time to them. It is a strong signal of support, when you devote your most precious resource – time – to another individual. Investing time in valued relationships is the purpose of life.

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The power of potential creates positive energy and frees people to be who they really are. And radiates through an organization, freeing employees to have courage, determination and focused emotions. It channels constructive imagination. In every organization, there are individuals with untapped potential. The enlightened leader will seek them out and free them to fly!

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia

The mind determines what is possible, the heart surpasses it!

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