Most of you probably aren’t aware that I played high school basketball. That’s me in the picture. I was a rather streaky shooting guard, but I was FAST! I was also the shortest girl on the team, and so I got to lead the team onto the court before each game began. 

As a long-time college basketball fan, I’m especially excited that March Madness has begun – the NCAA Women’s and Men’s College Basketball Tournaments! Qualifying teams have been selected, brackets have been generated, and wagering has begun! (My husband and I have a tradition of filling out our brackets – the winner gets to pick what to do for a fun date night. I’m definitely overdue for a win this year.)

What I love most about March Madness are the “Cinderella Stories”, when the underdog pulls out a surprise win to defeat their higher-seeded opponent. It is inspiring! And it reminds me that we can discover and celebrate hidden potential in people all around us!

This is exactly the purpose of Leader’s Imago – helping leaders transform, emerge and spread their wings – becoming more mature, effective and confident versions of themselves.

I truly believe each of us have hidden potential within us, if only someone can encourage us to risk exploring it.

Therefore as leaders, we must be on the lookout for that hidden potential within our team members, and then create the space for that individual to grow into their new wings.

How can you effectively do this?

  1. Know each Team Member. Engage your employees in conversations to find out what their thoughts, passions and aspirations are. A former senior manager of mine once asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up, Lisa?” Choose your own open-ended questions and listen.
  2. Observe and Offer Feedback. Provide constructive feedback to help individuals recognize their strengths and areas for improvement. Highlight their successes and offer guidance on how they can further develop their skills. Let them know you care enough about them not to let them stay where they are.
  3. Provide Opportunities. Challenge individuals to step out of their comfort zones and take on tasks or projects that push their boundaries. This can help uncover those hidden abilities. Give them access to resources, training programs, mentorship, or networking opportunities that can help them further develop their skills and talents. Send them to our Team Manager Development Center!
  4. Be Patient and Supportive. Uncovering and developing hidden potential takes time and effort. Be patient and supportive throughout the process. Rarely do team members growing new capabilities experience overnight success. Be sure to celebrate the progress made along the way!

Who is YOUR next Cinderella?