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Potential: How to Connect What’s Already There with Pam August

Potential: How to Connect What’s Already There with Pam August

With an extensive background in leading culture development within diverse organizations, Pam August is an expert in helping leaders and their teams unlock untapped potential to enhance performance on an individual, team, and organizational level. 

In her new book, Potential: How to Connect What’s Already There for Exponential Impact, Pam synthesizes her learnings from her decades-long career in higher education and leadership, team, and organizational development. She shares real, relevant, and relatable lessons on how to amplify your impact by connecting the potential within yourself, between you and your relationships, and around you in your organizations.

All it takes is ONE mindset shift, ONE operating system, ONE core practice to have THREE dimensions of exponential impact. This is the promise that Potential delivers on. We recently caught up with Pam to dig a little deeper into how she helps people connect with their potential to become what they’re meant to be.

The Three Dimensions of Potential

Speakers Spotlight: What inspired you to delve into the concept of potential and explore it in your new book?

Pam August: Five years ago, I was leaving WestJet to start my own practice, and thinking of a name for what I do in the world. I realized that everything I’ve ever done — whether it’s working in higher education or culture development, or in being a parent, wife, and friend — has centered around bringing people together and connecting or developing their potential.

Potential has been my life’s work and life’s learning, and my new book gave me an opportunity to synthesize and codify it.

SpSp: Given your background in higher education, leadership, and organizational development, what unique perspectives or insights do you bring to the concept of potential?

PA: Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of people, hundreds of teams, and organizations all around the world. What I’ve learned is that “potential” is not only synonymous with individual performance but also team and organizational performance. We need to develop it not only within ourselves but between us in our relationships, our teams, and around us in our cultures. This is the three dimensions of potential — within us, between us, and around us.

I’ve worked extensively in all three dimensions throughout my career, and because all three of them are connected — you influence one, you influence all.

What makes my book unique is that I teach readers a core practice or dynamic that works in all three dimensions. I speak to my readers as individuals, but in the context of individuals who work in teams and who want to have influence on organizational culture.

Connecting Potential

SpSp: You outline a three-part Connect Potential Core Practice in your book. Can you share some insight into what this is and how you developed it? 

PA: It’s the practice of intend, notice, and move. Each of them on their own is important to connect potential. Done together, they create a dynamic that allows us to move forward as individuals, teams, and organizations with greater energy, ease, and effectiveness, no matter the challenge or circumstance.

  1. Intention: Our energy follows our intention. Our intentions focus and orient us towards how we want to show up and the impact we have. Being intentional about how we show up is critical to upping our performance in all three dimensions.  
  2. Notice: This is critical because once we notice our current experience, then we can make a choice as to how we respond vs. going into default mode and being reactionary. In today’s highly distracted world, noticing is truly a superpower.
  3. Move: This is the way in which we get from where we are to where we intend to be. It can be physical movement or mindset work that focuses on the next action.

Shifting Mindsets: From Problem to Potential

SpSp: Your book emphasizes the importance of a mindset shift. What is the significance of mindset in realizing one’s potential?

PA: In the world of work, we’re largely in our jobs to solve problems. The problem with a problem mindset is that we frame everything as problems.  Spending too much time in a problem mindset can and often leaves us in states of strain, swirl, or stuck. If we can shift our mindset from problem to potential, this allows us to see things differently, which changes how we respond and act towards problems. Instead of viewing something as wrong or needing to be solved, a potential mindset allows us to define what we want from the situation — to grow from it.

For example, if you’re a leader who avoids conflict, that’s the problem. But the potential is what this leader wants, which is to show up more powerfully in challenging situations. The moment we make that shift, our words create our worlds, they create our experience of the world, priming us to take the actions needed to connect to our potential.

SpSp: What do you hope readers will take away from your book, and how do you envision it impacting their personal and professional journeys?

PA: What I hope they take away from this book is that while the challenges of the world are big — we work and live in uncertainty, complexity, and complication— the practice of connecting potential while navigating that world can be quite simple. We just need to be intentional on how we want to show up, notice how we are now, and ask ourselves, what’s the smallest action or move we can make to be one step closer to how we intend to be. Then rinse and repeat.

It’s a muscle and if we do the reps then it can become hard-wired into our way of being, whether as individuals, teams, or organizations. The great news is that this potential is already there, ready to be connected.

Pam August’s keynote “The Potential Ecosystem: Connecting the Potential You Know is There” draws on her new book to share practical and powerful approaches to connect potential in all three dimensions and unlock high performance.

Contact us to learn more about Pam and how she can help your organization activate potential for greater performance and impact.

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