Potential 2020

As your company looks toward the new year, there are many things that are most likely holding people back from doing all they can to succeed. It is rare I talk to a CEO or other manager who is confident that everyone in their organization is getting maximum results.  What is worse is 70% of people I have interviewed admit they could and should be performing better in their career.  There is a a lot of potential out there, but not enough of us are achieving all they can.

Potential gets us excited when we see it in ourselves and others. But everyone has their own issues and baggage that holds us back.  I talk about the “paradox of potential” because too many get too attached to potential and do not really focus on how to get results.

Potential in 2020 might seem amazing, but without plans, passion, purpose and the right people…. this year will come up short.  The start of a new year is the ideal time to look at overcoming the stumbling blocks that have tripped us up in the past. Just having hopes and dreams will not lead to results. There must be actions.  Yet often people latch onto “actions” without identifying the RIGHT ACTIONS.

My keynote / workshop “Try New Things: Overcoming the Paradox of Potential” is ideal for association conferences and team meetings. In this program we discuss what can limit people’s performance and a variety of paths to help anyone at any level cross the gap between potential and performance.

Taking ownership of success and failure is a key trait of successful people. However, many I meet go out of their way to hide their mistakes. Yet nobody is perfect and superman or superwoman is a fairy tale. To maximize achievement people have to be okay with vulnerability.  Admitting to weak areas is not a sign of failure, but a beacon of future success.

Helping others and asking for help is another area where people come up short. We think business is a “Lone Ranger” game, but even the Lone Ranger was not alone. He had a side kick and a band of angry townspeople helping him triumph.

We have learned a lot about systems over the past twenty years, and all entrepreneurs learn fast the power of having the right systems in place to help people get things done. But a system is only gets us to the same levels as before. To grow we must be willing to “Try New Things”.  Yet people have fear of the unknown and fear of failure.  So they cling to systems and get done what they know will work. I spent much of my career not challenging myself to take on projects unless I had some level of confidence I would do a good job. This was the safe choice, but it kept me from thriving. To flourish in a career a person must push themselves beyond the comfort zone.


Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies / EmCee.  He is the host of two podcasts (including the popular entrepreneur podcast “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do”) and the author of 12 books.