See it. Speak it. Call out potential

Strengths based leadership

When was the last time you called out the potential in someone else?

I remember when it happened to me.

I was in my last year of high school. Trying desperately hard trying to fit in. I stuck out like a sore thumb and for all the wrong reasons. The more I realised I didn’t fit, the more I pushed.

It was lunch time and I was on detention. I can’t exactly remember what I did but I remember vividly the words that were spoken over my life.

Walking the boundaries of the school yard, my Deputy Principal said to me.

“There is something different about you. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I see something in you that I haven’t seen in anyone else.”


“You try so hard to fit in. To push the boundaries so people can see you. But you don’t realise how special you are.”


“You think differently. Light years beyond your age and experience. You can’t even fathom it. You see the world differently, through a different set of eyes.

It’s your gift. Something that is deep inside you, it’s a part of who you are.”

I was sixteen years old. I had no idea what he meant, or what that would mean in the years to come.

Fast forward twenty-one years.

I’ve come to realise the significance of that lunchtime. Mr Rowlands was calling out my potential.

In those fleeting moments pacing around the school yard. He could have said nothing. He could have ridiculed me. He could have condemned me.

Instead, his words breathed life. He saw it, called it and spoke it out.

And you may be thinking, I’m not in that position. Where do I have the opportunity to do that?

One of life’s greatest callings is to draw out the potential in others. Whatever stage of life, whatever your role, you can call out potential in someone. All you need to do is recognise it, name it, share it and breath life into it.

What would happen to our culture?

If we took the time to call out each others potential, would that transform our society, businesses and families? My guess, our world would be radically different.

They say the worlds only limitless resource is human potential. I believe that every single person was created with gifts and talents. Most of us go through life without ever realising what they are or what they could be.

To create the future, we need cultivate potential. We need to incubate talent. We need to build capacity of those around us. We need to inspire the human spirit.

Our very first step, call out potential whenever and wherever you see it.