Cultivate to Develop Employee Potential

I was a high school junior in a suburb of Memphis early in the 1972-73 school year when Mr. Zeke Andre came to me and said: "Mr. Fewell, I need a president for the Key Club. You are going to be my president." Since I had a relatively poor self-image, great fear and trepidation came upon me.

He assured me I could do a wonderful job and that he would help me. So for the last two years of high school, I was the president of the Key Club. Mr. Andre saw something in me that I didn’t know existed. He saw potential. I sincerely believe this is one of the key events in my life that helped me become who I am today.

Can this be done successfully in the world of business? I am convinced it can, but a certain attitude toward development is required.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do my existing employees have the capacity to do more and be more?

2. Is it possible I have overlooked some hidden power or ability that resides in one or more of my employees?

3. Have I robbed my employees’ potential by rescuing them instead of developing their talents by allowing them to fail?

After you have identified untapped potential in your employees, you must provide them with motives and opportunities to grow. A motive is something that impels or incites a person to a certain course of action. Mr. Andre gave me motives. He incited me—that is, urged me to act—or stirred me up to act with his persuasive powers.

Are you giving your employees sufficient motives and opportunities to grow?

Charlie Fewell President Charlie Fewell & Associates Memphis

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.