How often have we heard parents describe their children as the brightest, the cutest, or maybe even the most talented in their class? The comment is usually followed by the disclaimer “I realize other parents say the same thing about their kids however in the case of my (insert name here) it’s actually true.” Similarly, as dog owners my wife Lynn and I often describe our two Dobermans as “almost human” given how smart they are. You may also hear us talk about the fact that when you combine their intelligence with their physical prowess they are clearly the “best of all breeds” in our eyes. And make no bones about it; whether it’s those incredible children or our two pups, “best of” is exactly what we see every time we set eyes on them due to the unwavering nature of our beliefs about them.
In Luck Companies we have identified our own core beliefs. The first of which is in the extraordinary potential of all human beings to make a difference and live a life of meaning and contribution. We grounded this belief in the philosophies, research and writings of some of the best thinkers of the last 200 years; brilliant minds such as Thoreau, Maslow, Covey, Seligman and Haque who often refer to our potential as “unlimited”. And for me personally, I have certainly read and studied enough about the philosophy to now hold it as a core belief of my own, a belief that has clearly changed the way I see.
For the first 15 years of my career as a leader this belief could not have been further from the truth. Associates were simply unable to live up to my crazy standards. I spent a lot of time questioning their competency and commitment only to find myself frustrated with their performance and subsequently them. And pretty much everywhere I looked this is exactly what I saw, associates who just simply did not have what it took. Fortunately, 11 years ago we started our values journey and have since developed a model for Values Based Leadership. We have done a deep dive on people, human beings, and found them in the end to actually be quite extraordinary. So much so that we have built our entire mission around “igniting human potential” and spend our days following the advice of Stephen Covey who tells us “to communicate to people their worth and potential so clearly they come to see it in themselves.”
Today, I truly believe that all human beings are extraordinary. And everywhere I look regardless of the situation at hand I see potential, and lots of it. How about you, are you a believer in the extraordinary potential of those around you? Believing really can change the way you see the world, and from my perspective, the view is quite extraordinary.