Great leaders see the best in people

Shannon Shallcross | BetaXAnalytics LLC co-founder and CEO

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my career is this: The greatest leaders see the best in people, and it’s this vision that helps their teams to accomplish the things they would have never dreamed possible.

Over the last two decades, I’ve had the privilege of leading talented teams of up to 300 people at Amica Mutual Insurance Co., Provant Health and BetaXAnalytics. Together, these teams crushed national sales goals, launched innovative technology and shaped multimillion-dollar information technology projects. Through the highs of team “wins” and the lows of crippling setbacks, I’ve learned that it’s the leader’s vision of her team’s potential that sets the course for success in motion.

Our belief in the potential of each person has a profound impact on the way that they see themselves, and ultimately, who they become. Think of the one person who has had the most profound impact on your career, and I’ll bet that they saw more potential in you than you thought you had. For if we can see the best parts in others, only then can they truly realize their potential. However, if we see people for what they currently are, they will never be able to reach their full potential.

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The best leaders inspire those around them, and this happens when the mind is fixed on seeing possibilities. They see what can exist tomorrow, and not the reality of today. In the words of Goethe, “The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.”