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Unleashing Potential: A Selfless Perspective


In a recent article on fulfilling potential, former US ambassador Matthew Barzun was invited by well renowned speaker and author Simon Sinek to share his insights as part of the Virgin letters to the editor series.


Barzun compares two contrasting expansions of the acronym ALSO, one of which spoke volumes to us and talks directly to our approach at Kin Space.


ALSO: Ask others, Listen to others, Serve others and Open up to others.

We do all this so that we might inspire others to do the same. It arouses a focus on mastering the learned skill of empathy — putting yourself in one’s shoes and viewing through their lens. We see this as the ultimate link in empowering individuals and teams to explore their potential.


A more traditional change management style ALSO model of Argue, Lead, Strategise, and Organize perhaps has its place in a more systems and process driven world, however we see it as a more limited view, and one that does not particularly form the preconditions for individual and team growth.


Systems thinking expert Michael C. Jackson explains this when he metaphors organisations as machines — rational instruments designed to achieve the purpose of their owners. He states that this approach often neglects the individuals that make up an organisation, and is not equipped to handle volatility and changes that often come from the market.


The contrasting approach is when we seek these things ‘from others’, and take the focus of ourselves.


When we forgo the “what’s in it for me” mindset, we tend to uncover opportunity. We are able to see the potential in others.

The empathic approach engenders trust and as Barzun states, it asks people to work with you.


How much more powerful is it when you have someone working with you as opposed to for you?


This will be a tipping point and a crossing of the human potential threshold.

This is the difference between the fans on the sideline and you’re teammates in the trenches alongside you. One group will do whatever it takes and put everything on the line for one another. There is something much more tribal about with.


A client of ours, Haynes Group CEO Rob Freeman, introduced us to his mantra genuine enquiry. We believe that is what one does when they apply the first approach. We are seeking the answers we need to hear as opposed to generating the answers we want to hear.


It is a case of opening yourself up to the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Good. Bad. And Ugly.


*Are you ready to shake things up and unleash the human potential in your organisation?

Blog Tags: Empathy, Potential, Leadership

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