How Great Leaders Unlock Other People’s Potential


By Jas Singh

The greatest leaders have a unique ability.

In a world where specialized talent and specific experience is becoming the onlything most employers look for, great leaders are different.

They realize the key to successful leadership is not just hiring people who are the finished article and hoping that they instantly deliver. In fact, often these so called “perfect” candidates are an illusion and never actually exist.

No, what makes great leaders great is not just their ability to assess another persons past success, strengths and achievements.

It’s often more to do with their ability to unlock others people’s undiscovered or under-utilized potential.

Here are some ways how great leaders unlock other people’s potential.

They give other people new chances

Success is directly related to engagement.

In other words, the more we enjoy – even love – what we do, the more likely we are to be successful.

The problem is, with life being such a wonderfully rich and diverse experience, finding what we love to do can often take time. We often need to experience different things to crystallize exactly what our passion is.

Great leaders are never afraid to give other people new chances. Whilst most hiring managers are too worried about minimizing the risk of failure, great leaders focus on the upside: could this candidate thrive in this new environment?

Whether is hiring someone with less experience, no industry knowledge or who wants to change career path, great leaders realize new chances can unlock new potential.

They lay down challenges

But helping others doesn’t necessarily mean letting them have an easy ride.

No, quite often the best leaders I have ever worked with unlock other people’s potential by laying down specific challenges. It’s important to have focus and direction in order to monitor progress and ultimately achieve success.

We are all motivated by a good challenge. It gives us purpose and as social creatures we all crave the recognition of winning.

Great leaders lay down challenges effectively by working with their followers. To gain their buy-in and input on the job in hand. There’s a big difference between working on a carefully created common challenge than typical “targets” calculated without your understanding or involvement.

Good challenges allow us all to develop and unlock our potential.

They coach and invest 

Great leaders treat their followers like family.

And as any parent, child or sibling knows – in any relationship the more you invest in nurturing and supporting your loved ones, the more they will blossom and grow.

Except in very rare circumstances, there is no magic key that instantly unlocks another person’s potential. Discovery, learning and improvement takes time. But like all great relationships, the results are always well worth it.

Great leaders share advice and wisdom freely and dedicate the majority of their time to investing their followers grow. In fact, the well being of their followers is a leaders number one priority. Any leader who is too preoccupied with anything else to attend to their followers has forgotten the essence of their purpose as a leader.

Great leaders unlock other people’s potential every single day.


Everyone has the potential to be great.

Often what is required is the coaching and belief of another person to convert that potential to reality.

That’s what great leaders do.

Hiring managers can gain much from developing their own leadership skill set to help unlock other people’s potential.

It can create performance and loyalty every leader dreams about.

Have you unlocked anyone’s potential?

If you are a hiring manager and want to hire outstanding people, please reach out here