Potential Unrealized Is Just Potential!

One of the most intriguing words to me is potential.  Potential is defined as — Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent.  Having possibility, capability, or power.  The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.

I was once a young leader with a lot of potential and I had a leader that was willing to take a risk on me.  His belief in me along with my potential, allowed me to me one of the youngest Prison Wardens in the country at the age of 25.  Of course his leadership rubbed off on me and I have always loved taking risks on unproven leaders with a lot of potential.

Potential is a great thing and the ability to recognize it is an even greater thing.  The greatest problem with potential is the simple fact that “Potential Unrealized Is Just Potential!”  We all have known those individuals that we have to sadly utter these words about them, “So and So had so much potential!”

We are all made for so much more than just potential; we are made to realize our potential.  If you have potential go after it, reach for it and realize it.  If you lead someone with a lot of potential, help them to realize it; encourage them to dream BIG & think BGGER.

The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become. ~Ben Herbster

Potential Unrealized Is Just Potential!

What do you think?  Share your thoughts and experiences of people with realized and unrealized potential.

  • Great post, man. And great point! You can try and have the potential to fail, or you can stay as you are – someone who has done nothing! Who wants that!?


  • My friend and leadership mentor, Troy Gramling says “the grave has a place FULL of lost potential.” People who mostly lived their lives but likely didn’t reach their purpose and full potential in that purpose. You mention something else wonderful here “His belief in me along with my potential”…when you or I take time to believe in someone and see them as 10’s (as John Maxwell says) they start to see themselves as 10’s, start behaving as 10’s and start giving results as 10’s. The same is said about when we treat people less than 10’s…

  • Scott,

    I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about this idea of realizing our potential. I feel this is urgently relevant to my generation who is being called upon to step up and step into leadership in every possible field. It’s funny that I came across this post only a few hours after posting on the same subject… A Petition to Potential: http://bit.ly/ceHlcB

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