For the full 100%: five tips to reach your full potential

9 May 2017
Geert-Jan Joosten

Leadership. Everyone talks about it. You can even take a course in it. In five days, you can become a reborn leader, or understand precisely what makes you unique. My vision of this? That’s easy to guess: you can’t learn leadership, or take it from a book. Every individual is unique, with their own qualities. Sometimes, these qualities are at such a level that you make a difference in your environment, and always, no matter how hard things get, deliver good results. You thus manifest yourself as a leader in a field that perfectly suits you.

The ‘problem’ is not so much whether you have leadership qualities, but more importantly whether you yourself know what you are really good at and are able to successfully apply your talent at all times. Even in complex and highly challenging circumstances. This talent constantly keeps manifesting itself. I think that defines leadership. Knowing yourself and exploiting, developing and deploying this quality 100%.

But how do know when you’ve reached 100%, your personal full potential? Five tips:

  1. Ensure you are aware of the impact you make on your working environment. Take a baseline look at what results you really deliver at work. Then review regularly whether you continually deliver these results, whether they had a decisive impact, and in what circumstances you achieved them
  2. Be ready to raise the bar, so that you know how to handle failure. It sounds irritating: something not going right. And yet you will see that you can learn a lot from this in order to improve. In summary: be ready to learn, otherwise you’ll stagnate!
  3. Know in what position or role your strong points will be put to best use. Choose the sport that you can win a gold medal in; what position or role gives you this opportunity? What conditions are necessary?
  4. Know what you and others need from the working environment, colleagues and/or your direct manager in order to function effectively. What factors or features will allow you to grow, and inspire and motivate you? What aspects will have the opposite effect? If you learn how to work with your environment and your environment learns how to work with you, it becomes a lot easier.
  5. Ask yourself what you want to learn or develop in your next job, so that you know what to focus on and what results are truly important to you. Know the purpose of your time at work; this will make you far more effective.