Unlocking your team’s full potential

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve had many conversations about teams, their performance, and the leader’s role in it all. What I love about these conversations is that leaders are curious and interested in unlocking the full potential of their people.

The big questions, then, are what and howWhat does our teams’ full potential look like and how do we encourage this kind of engagement in our folks? After some talking, digging, and thinking, I’d like to offer a few framing ideas.

Unlocking your team’s potential

  1. Words matter. To paraphrase Ursula K. LeGuin, words are events. Words have power and significantly impact both the person speaking and the person listening. They express our desire for understanding amidst chaos. Ultimately, words are essential tools for connection, understanding, and growth. How you communicate and what you communicate to your team sets the tenor and tone of work. Seek to create clarity and reduce confusion with your words—both written and spoken.
  2. Balance individual and collective work. Achieving success in today’s dynamic environment requires a shift from relying solely on individual leaders to embracing networked leadership teams that guide the organization. While strategic planning remains essential, sustainable growth comes from tapping into your team’s talents, creativity, and passion. At the heart of thriving organizations are individuals whose abilities and aspirations align with company objectives.Empowering people to innovate, learn, and grow creates an engaging and fulfilling work environment. This drives higher performance, breakthrough ideas, and a united workforce that brings your vision to life.
  3. Your journey as a leader is deep work. Leadership is not a temporary surface-level “fix”. One can’t just take a bottle of leadership off the shelf and apply it like a spray-on tan. Leadership is a continuous expedition that reveals ongoing discoveries and rewards as you walk the path. That learning journey is not only personally rewarding (and challenging), but it makes all the difference to your team and the people in your organization. Successful leaders understand that their effectiveness hinges on two crucial elements: mindset and pragmatism. By nurturing your beliefs and perspectives alongside practical approaches honed through experience, you’ll uncover a powerful formula that fuels growth. Here is a handy framework to consider. To thrive in ever-evolving collaborative environments, leaders must embrace their individual transformation. By focusing on your personal development and effectiveness as a leader, you pave the way for more meaningful and effective connections that lead to collective success.

This recent emphasis on team dynamics and leadership underscores the importance of empowering collaboration through nurturing talent and passion, paving the way for lasting impact, organizational durability, and superior performance. Leaders, embrace the journey – your curiosity fuels transformation!


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Hey there, I'm Kimberley

Welcome! I believe our social sector organizations are at the forefront of making here better. With more than 33 years of diversified fundraising and nonprofit experience, I partner with courageous organizations committed to building clarity and confidence. Let’s connect and chart your nonprofit’s path to thriving. 

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