The First Step Is To Unearth Potential

A pen resting on the blank open page of the notebook.

Reflection … December 2022 – January 2023

Over these two months, we will ask you to consider one question. 

Active Knowledge Question:

Are you drawing the real potential that exists in your people, and in yourself, to the forefront and applying it to a righteous cause?

And in responding to this question, we will consider four key themes – Potential – Righteousness – Impossible – Language – and their role in bringing unrealised potential to the forefront for you personally and in your business.


We often settle for an outcome that is far below what our potential might provide. We are uncertain about what we are capable of and scared to test the boundaries in case we might lose what we already have. We listen to all the negative voices around us and choose to live a lesser life than what might be possible. Exploring your real potential is the starting point to creating a life of enduring success, but we also need to know what success is for us.

My recent article, “Discovering Your Potential“, unpacks the approach to unearthing the real potential that exists with you as an individual and, after that, the business you lead. You must first understand your individual potential before you begin to bring forth the potential in others.

Here are a few of the key points from this article:

  1. Competing Against Others – Success has absolutely nothing to do with what others think of you or measuring your achievements against theirs. That is a fool’s game. It is a fool’s game for two reasons:
    • Firstly, they are not you.
    • Secondly, you do not win by watching someone else.
  1. We Are Told What Success Is? – Society likes to tell us what success is and to require us to conformand pursue its definition. However, the starting point to realising your true potential is not listening to what society tells you but instead discovering the truth for yourself.

At the end of each day, you want to feel a real satisfaction in the effort you have put in and the rewards you have achieved. You want to feel an abundance within, a real joy and quiet knowing that you have worked hard for the rewards. This is what achievement and being successful is all about. 

  1. Why Is There So Much Confusion About Success? – From the day we are born, I believe we are taught to look at success through the achievements of others. “See what they achieved?” and “Why can’t you be as good as them?” are common put-downs. We are taught to measure our success against the achievements of others. And while it is good to acknowledge how well someone else does, it is not necessarily a healthy way to develop our own sense of success. 

This approach also leads to measuring success on simple metrics: money, position and power. It does not support an individual to recognise their personal strengths and build a successful life upon those elements unless they can be converted into money, position and power. 

Developing a clear picture of what success means to you and being centred in that view is critical to developing a life of enduring success.

  1. The Journey – Success is never about the destination. Success is all about the journey.Therefore, enjoy every moment of the journey and each key milestone as you reach and pass them. I believe that within every person, there is a natural potential for great success that is unique to them. Who is to say that what you find joy in, where your natural areas of success lie, is not as ‘worthwhile’ as something our wealth-driven society cherishes?

Great success for you lies in identifying that uniqueness and exploring the journey of stretching and leveraging your unique gifts for all you can.

  1. Plan And Act– Nothing comes without hard work. And you want every ounce of effort you put in to add to all the other hard work so that it all counts; it all compounds. Nothing is wasted. I’m sure many have heard the expression: “Yes, l became an overnight success – it only took ten years of hard work.”

Enduring success requires that you think carefully about what you want to achieve. It’s about the right goals for you, the right plan for achievement and the right energy to bring it all together. There is an alignment that works for you and makes success so much easier than simply banging your head against the wall because you are following what was right for someone else. This is where wisdom comes into play.


Here are the eight steps that will allow you to unpack your potential:

  1. Perspective – Create perspective by appreciating where you have been and what lessons that journey carries for you. This will allow you to craft better goals and make better decisions in the future. 
  2. Recognise – Recognise and list what your great achievements are and in what areas of your life they have been. Appreciate the fact that you have and can achieve. Identify what the enablers of success are for you and how you can use these enablers as your key strengths. Begin to redraw your self-image and recognise that you can achieve. 
  3. Ambition – Life should energise you. This is your opportunity to set out those ambitions you personally want to achieve across all aspects of your life. Your list should thrill and excite you! 
  4. Priorities – Your core-ambitions list acknowledges all your learnings – outstanding achievements, challenging experiences, absolute failures, best decisions and the right focus and balance. It’s the right list for you to take advantage of your strengths to the max! 
  5. Passion – It’s getting real now. You can see your goals, you can feel the success – they are what you really want, what you have been longing to achieve. You are going to make this happen! 
  6. Impact – Your goals are now real and are staring you in the face. They are challenging you to take them on! You know the goals, you know what you have to do to beat them down, the outcome is so real there is no denying it, and you are aching (and a little bit scared) to achieve them. 
  7. Momentum – Big challenges are easy. You just take them on one small piece at a time; before you know it, you will be over the summit and on the other side. Setting out bite-size steps to achieve each goal allows you to build a program that will underpin your achievements.
  8. Compounding – Your commitment is real, your goals are enticing and exciting, you have set yourself up to succeed, and you are building your achiever trait with each step you take … keep going and don’t stop! 


Discovering your true potential is a journey of exploration tailored for your uniqueness. It starts with an understanding of what success means for you and not just following what others do. Pursuing achievement and success in your life is a journey that will allow you to unearth your interests, passions and strengths. It is a journey of enduring success.

An entirely new level of performance.

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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel