He told me he regretted not having more influence as a leader. He felt he had missed out on becoming something more then he was and it left him with deep regret. As his coach, I knew I had to put things into perspective for him.
How much time do we waste wishing we’d had the potential to be more and do more?
The truth is in life you have to make the most of your own potential. You cannot wish yourself into becoming who you think you could have been, or should have been. You have to learn instead to understand who you are and what you are capable of, and build on that foundation.
So how do you realistically make the most of your potential?
Here are some starting places:
Be accountable to yourself. The worst thing you can do in leadership or life is to shrink from responsibility and blame others for not having done your best or met your own expectations. As the saying goes: If it is to be, it’s up to me. The place to begin is always to be accountable to yourself and responsible for the consequences of your choices.
Celebrate your talents. Too many of us fall prey to imposter syndrome, convincing ourselves that we don’t have the strength or the talent to make it as the leaders we want to be. Don’t focus on your weaknesses but celebrate your abilities. When you do, you make the most of your gifts and set a model for others to see their talents.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself with others, simply put, is a waste of your precious time. Hold yourself to only one standard: the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Know that as you lead, you don’t have to measure up to anyone but your own ideals.
Know you are enough. As leaders, we always feel we need to be doing more, fixing more, mentoring more, saving more. But you can’t fix everything or be everything to everyone. It’s possible to give of what you have to offer, still allowing others to find their way, and let that be enough.
Make every day the best it can be. As Coach John Wooden once said, “Make every day a masterpiece.” If you consistently give your best of who you are, you will assuredly make your life into something special.
It is in owning our potential that we can live and lead without regrets.
Lead from within: Make the most of your potential and gifts; meet every opportunity with the best of what you have to offer, and know that is enough.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStock Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.
12. Apr, 2016
Love the perspective Lolly. Thank you.
Make it a masterpiece of a day! 🙂
16. Apr, 2016
Yes, lets make it a masterpiece!
15. Apr, 2016
Love the post. With brevity, you have conveyed so much and so many things to pick up and work with.
I always love Coach Wooden words and this is my favorite. Making everyday your masterpiece itself brings out the best in you.
As a Coach, I also believe that we need to reframe the struggle which is going inside a high performing leader.
The fact that the leader is saying “I am not at full potential” should be Reframed as “only a cup which is not full can be filled”
The recognition that the leader is having that she is not at full potential is a great place. It shows she is pushing against the comfort zone and is wanting to expand her self image.
This is the tipping point of growth and this struggle should be celebrated.
16. Apr, 2016
Thanks Lolly. I will use most of this for my personal leadership philosophy I am currently working on. I really like “make every day a masterpiece.
16. Apr, 2016
Thank you Lolly, bright person , for what pay attention to you , I am writing in English is bad , I hope you understand what I write . Thank you for the valuable tips. Marina Perekhodova.
17. Apr, 2016
18. Apr, 2016
Thank you Lolly for you bright and influencing impact in my troubles I take your advice into practice
18. Apr, 2016
Great outline Lolly! I especially resonate with making each day a masterpiece as well. The only thing we have control over in this moment is our perspective and I believe that fuels every interaction and serves as the foundation of our emotions, thoughts, actions and beliefs. If we see the potential of this year, month, week, day, hour, and moment, and we see how easily we can grasp it just on a momentary level, things immediately flow to bring out the best version of ourselves for every given moment.
17. Sep, 2016
Lolly – Great post for everyone. I talk to my nephew often about celebrating his unique talents and not comparing himself to others.
Also important to living up to the potential we are given is to ask every day: “How can I serve?” Whether it is our loved ones, our customers, co-workers or strangers we meet. Keeping an attitude of service is so important.
Love your blog – I always learn from it.
19. Sep, 2016
Thank you Cindy, How can I serve, what an important question to ask. Thank you for sharing.
05. Apr, 2021
I’m glad you talked about tips to help us see through our real potential. In my opinion, we sometimes need a little push to reach our best capacities. I believe we sometimes feel like we’re stuck in our daily routines, so I think a little extra help could do the trick. I really appreciate your advice on the importance of being yourself.