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The answer, of course, is yes! More importantly, though, how do you maximize it? People who achieve or exceed at creating the impact they desire do so by turning potential-maximizing behaviors into habits. If you don’t know what those habits might need to be, how do you get started?
The answer may be easier to learn and implement than you think. Like most things with infinite boundaries, it helps to break the bigger opportunity into manageable parts so that you can overcome the challenges of doing each of those as well as possible. That you manage and improve each smaller part is critical for the synergy of all the parts working together to create something really awesome.
Consider a definition for potential to be the maximum value of the impact you are capable of producing.
Mathematically, that would look like this:
Potential = (Value * Identity) / Investment
Your Identity is who you are. Every individual has one.
You can experience any given person’s Identity through the behavior they demonstrate. More difficult to experience or understand, however, are the underlying skills, beliefs, values and the core persona or character that drive those behaviors.
A person’s environment is an undeniable influence on who they are as well. There are some things you cannot change about who you are, but there is much you can change if you choose to. It is your call.
Create a new environment, or new values, or new skills…whatever it takes to have more productive behaviors. These changes reflect the capabilities your new Identity can now produce.
The more these changed behaviors become habits, the more powerful impact they will make.
The Value of what you or any other individual or organization produces is measured by the person who receives it:
Value = (functionality * relationship * reputation * emotion)
Functionality is the utility delivered by you and received by others.
In other words, how does your product or service help someone? How many people can it help? And what is the return someone gets from investing in it?
The greater the answers to these questions are, the more this part of the equation enhances the perceived Value of the goods or services you deliver.
Relationship reflects the quality of the human connection between you and the person you are serving.
Are you acquaintances? Are you advocates of each other? Or is the bond stronger? The more trust and respect there is, and the more you protect or serve the reputation of those you provide services or goods to, the more the
Value someone receives from you is enhanced.
Reputation amounts to the image others convey about you.
The more powerful your reputation, the more it is likely to influence others to want the goods and services you provide. How others develop the image they convey about you depends upon the quality of their interactions with you and the ones they see you experience with others.
The more positive and well known your Reputation is, the greater its influence on your Value.
Emotion is the feeling people experience as a result of the impact your goods or services have on them.
Were the feelings experienced in line with those that were expected? Were the emotions more positively powerful than expected? The more ‘wow’ or awesome the experience you deliver is, the more highly your goods or services will be valued.
Anyone attempting to maximize their Potential must keep in mind that a zero for any component of the Value equation will yield an outcome for Value of zero, which in turn will yield an outcome for potential of zero. This illustrates why it is important to consider the effect of your behavior on everything you choose to do.
Investment is always required to support development.
Each endeavor that a person or business takes on to create or enhance Value should reflect some analysis of the resources required to achieve it.
One initiative that requires twice as much time or money to achieve than another will only enhance Potential if the Identity or Value that Investment is targeted to help yields a commensurate return.
Now that the components of Potential are defined, there are practical steps you can take to improve yours. First, describe your current Potential by listing as many descriptors for each part of the Potential formula.
For example, describe the Functionality you or your company provides, describe your Reputation, and describe the emotional impact you or your company has on others. Describe also the quality of the relationship you or your company nurtures with those you serve.
Next, consider your Identity. That is, write down a list of the behaviors, skills, beliefs, character traits and environmental factors that make you who you are today.
Third, list out what can be better. What about your Identity could be changed to create more impact to those you serve? Where is there opportunity to increase each component of Value regarding the services you provide? Which of these improvements can you begin work on immediately?
These are important questions to address and they can be answered about you generally or specifically for any role you play. Consider it a job ‘well done’ when you determine the opportunity for improving your Potential and turn that knowledge into the action that you will use to realize your future success.
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