December 13, 2022

Leaders Invest in Their Potential


One of my favorite words is potential. Why? Because potential is having the capacity to develop into something in the future. An unrealized ability.

During a conversation with a friend, I was reminded of the power of potential. As my friend and I discussed her current position, my friend was very frustrated. They wanted to start a new business but were afraid to step away from a stable job.

As I listened to my friend, I wondered why they couldn’t see what I saw in them. After several minutes, I stopped my friend in mid-sentence and told them how much-untapped potential they had.

For the next ten minutes, I listed their great qualities. As we wrapped up, my friend agreed to develop a business plan to pursue their dream.

Recently during the Maxwell Leadership Conference, my mentor John Maxwell spoke on how to tap in our potential to achieve our goals. In his presentation on No Limits: Blow The Cap Off Your Capacity, John shared his “potential” question and the three Pillars of Potential.

What is John’s potential question? The question is a simple one, yet it is profound. Now before I reveal the question, let me set the stage.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a goal? Maybe you are pursuing your college degree or training for a marathon.

You are working hard to achieve the goal, but it seems like it will take more time than you planned. Well, according to John, instead of asking how long it will take, ask yourself, “how far can you go?”

That’s right. The potential question is, “how far can I go?” Why is this a powerful question? Because it shifts the focus from external thinking to internal thinking. Potential thinking is internal thinking.

While people may recognize your potential, only you can access it. How can you achieve your potential? John gives us his three pillars of potential:

  • Awareness
  • Strength
  • Choices

We can achieve our potential when we grow in our awareness, develop our strengths, and make good choices.

“If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.”

-Earl Nightingale

Now is the time to invest in yourself. Remember, your greatest days are still ahead of you.

Are you investing in your potential?


Want more expert educational leadership guidance? View the Moore Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.