Photo: Sarah Krichel

“Kyle didn’t make the team this year” my sister Carole shared on one of our evening walks with our 5 dogs some 5 years ago. “But he’s now the equipment manager, which is really just lugging the team gear.” Tears muffled her words.

“I really don’t know how he puts up with it” I responded, also in tears with evil thoughts racing through my head about what I wanted to do to anyone who hurt any member of my family. Kyle is Carole’s son, my nephew and godson, dearly beloved by us all.

Carole shrugged. “It’s what he wants.”

In my previous post: “HOW TO PRODUCE USAIN BOLTS IN YOUR TEAM: 7 LESSONS FOR LEADERS FROM COACH MILLS” I shared this lesson from Coach Glen Mills:

He (Coach Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach) looks for potential, and it’s not always obvious. For example, Glen Mills saw something in Asafa Powell as a teen, a poor performer in competitions at high school, who holds the title of “Sub-10 King” i.e. athlete with the most sub-10 second 100m times. At track meets, he has his eye peeled for the back of the field.”

I had continued with this lesson for leaders:

In your team, you are likely to have stars, average performers and some duds. Look carefully at those duds to see what potential lies within them. Do they have the right attitude? A natural talent for something? Do they put their heart into their work, over and over despite success eluding them? These could be indicators of a future super star! Don’t write them off – look for potential.

I thought of this today, as I read an article on Kyle, now in his final year at Ryerson. He is the CAPTAIN of the Ryerson soccer team. Click here for his story.

There are many Bolts and Kyles in this world, and quite likely in your organization – great leaders look for and find them, then take the time to nurture and develop them. It’s not easy to spot potential because by definition, it’s what’s possible, not what is. So great leaders make sure that, like Kyle, they don’t quit.

Enjoyed this post? Leave a comment, and check out other similar posts by Marguerite:

How to Produce Usain Bolts in your Team: 7 Lessons for Leaders
click HERE to view article

It’s Not About You: A Lesson From the World’s Greatest Sprint Coach
click HERE to view article

How Do You Choose Your Team: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself
click HERE to view article

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