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Nothing thwarts fulfillment like the mundane. Some like to write. Others read. Some like to play lacrosse or ride dirt bikes in the sand dunes. Discovering the ambitions, talents, and proficiencies of employees increases the likelihood of creating opportunity for growth.

I strongly advocate that leaders draw upon the excellence of those around them to create a cause. Find the unknown aspirations, the creativity, and the life within your company. Foster a culture of collaboration and thought. Come together as a company and “raise a barn.” People rally around something in which they believe. Brave leaders seek excellence within.

How can you go about it? Create opportunity to speak naturally individually with employees. I do not suggest that leaders mark out a week to rummage through the employee space completing abrupt interrogations. Rather, seek opportunities to get conversational. This can take a while. Start with something of common interest. Ask questions that the individual is most likely interested in answering. Questions about them. Do not attempt to gather a complete scope of their life in one interaction. Rather, make it a point to stay involved in the dialog over time. When you discover a particular interest or talent, write it down. Read through this list as opportunities arrive. Cross-pollinate opportunities throughout the company.

I utilize a relationship-blueprint that connects a series of questions to the insights of the employee regarding themselves. This tool is very handy when searching for a group leader on a specific project. Many times, our best leaders are overlooked because we know too little about those who work for us.

Contrastingly, when we know the dreams, ambitions, talents, and aspirations of our employees, we can drive success their direction. We can utilize their abilities in new and creative ways. As the individual grows so does the company.


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