What is your potential? Do you really know how good you could be? Or, do you limit yourself because your vision of what’s possible is limited by what you know to be true? In The Potential Principle, leadership expert and best-selling author Mark Sanborn shares a strategy to help readers expand their vision for themselves, both professionally and personally, extending their potential forward from where they think it might be.
“This book is about unlocking your imagination to pursue more of your potential. And when you do that, your best just keeps getting better.” -page 10
Sanborn introduces readers to the “Potential Matrix,” a diagram divided by a vertical and horizontal continuum which then creates four quadrants named “Performing, Learning, Thinking, and Reflecting.” Through natural identification of strengths, readers also realize the opposite; their areas of greatest opportunity. That is where the most growth can happen. By continually leveraging strengths and pursuing growth opportunities, each of us can push our potential to new heights.
The next focus in the book is how breakthrough improvement happens: by “disrupting yourself, (re)focusing, engaging others and expanding your capacity.” Sanborn provides how-to tactics and specific growth tasks to consider for each of the four actions. The book wraps up with a chapter titled “What matters,” in which Sanborn challenges us to really think about what really matters in life and challenges us to work and grow in those areas.
If you enjoy personal development and self-reflection, you will like this book. I think Sanborn does a great job explaining his key points through instruction and related story-telling. Each chapter also includes a short passage written by individuals who have enjoyed success in the chapter topic area.
My only critique is that the overall high level explanation of The Potential Principle at the beginning of the book was challenging to understand at first read, even at second read. It may have been better to understand each quadrant individually and then learn how they all fit together. But, that’s just me. If you happen to find yourself in the same boat, just stick with it and then go back to reread Chapter One after finishing the rest. For me, that made a lot of sense.
Note: A copy of The Potential Principle was provided by the author at no cost to me. In no other way was the content of this review influenced.The above is entirely my own commentary. -EB