Following on yesterday’s post about turning potential energy to motion for yourself, I want to continue that thought. All too often, I think the reason we don’t convert all of our “potential” into great things is because we don’t recognize the value of the resources available to us. We don’t see our resources as potential, or if we do, we don’t know how to realize them.
This is one of my pet peeves when I join an association, work with a church, or even a start-up company. To see unused resources sitting on the shelf drives me crazy.
Here’s a personal example: I’ve always wanted a great landscape around my house. I’m no master gardener, but I like to sit outside on a spring day and be surrounded with blooms and colors of nature. The problem: I never had an irrigated yard, and I didn’t (don’t!) have the energy, time, or discipline to water plants regularly enough to keep them happy. So I knew better than to invest heavily in nice plants. Until last year… when my faithful brother helped me install a smokin 8 zone irrigation system in my back yard! (insert Tool man Taylor grunts here.) Now, boy I can monsoon that sucker in 10 minutes! It’s awesome. So this spring when it warmed up and the planting season arrived, I went over the top. I planted begonias, azaleas, snapdragons and more until I couldn’t feel my body from the pain of bending over. I knew they would live and thrive, so I wanted to maximize that resource. I wanted to know that every square inch that gets water has something nice to look at. Come over some time and have a beer in my back yard. I’ll turn the sprinklers off for a few minutes so we can enjoy it.
Other places where unrealized resources are common are in churches and associations. Of course in any non-profits, there are budget limitations and that’s usually the excuse for not achieving excellence and progress… but are you realizing the talents and genius of your members?
- Churches/associations almost always have some representation of technically savvy members, so why do their web sites suck? Why are they lacking a community platform for their members to communicate? Why aren’t they doing online education better?
- The same goes for financial management professionals – they exist in almost every organization, yet why are some of these organizations over-spending daily, draining their endowments, and budgetting without regard to their future?
- Leaders are another topic. Every organization has members that are leaders in some areas of their life but followers in these organizations. Find out who they are and help them use their brilliance in your organization rather than try to force them into traditions and ineffective committee-driven processes.
I encourage you to think about two things: (1) where can you find unrealized resources in your own organization and life, and do something to unleash them; and (2) are you yourself an unrealized resource for someone you know? Can you be helping someone? Or some organization more than you are? If so, make sure they know you are ready, willing, and able.