Become High-Potential in One Easy Step

I’m going to go against all writing convention and give you the point of this article right up front. But first, two questions:

Does your company celebrate ‘high endurance leaders’?

Are you itching to get on the High Endurance Leaders Exec Ed Program back at your alma mater?

No. And no.

But we all hope our CEO selects us for the High Potential Leaders roster. That will look good on Tinder, right? And mom sure will be proud.

“High potential”. Oooooh, how mysterious and intellectual and irresistible.

How ego-driven. (Sorry, high-ego leader-wannabes out there!)

High potential, regrettably, has turned into an ego junket. It’s a business unit. And it’s a profitable one because, like other profit machines, it makes you feel good. You want the recognition. You don’t want the work. You’re attracted to the shiny new bauble.

OK. So as promised, here’s the point of this article right up front: ENDURANCE is where success lies. This article will lay it out for you. The hurdle for you and many others is that endurance is hard. We like to wing-it. Then if we fail, we can pretend it wasn’t important. And we can look for a new shiny bauble. It’s a circuitous road to mediocrity, ultimately.

Endurance offers capital gains AND dividends.

Eight thousand eight hundred and forty eight meters in the sky rests the summit of Mount Everest. Or that would be 29,029 feet if you are one of the two countries on the planet to avoid the logic of the metric system. For a select group of humans on earth, this represents the highest peak of personal achievement. Then, for another group of humans it represents that beautiful peak they saw from 28,999 feet up. Be it health, weather or a lack of determination, Mount Everest has claimed far more quitters than conquerors. And for those who fail this summit, there is a painful reminder of the folly of quitting too early. Yet, for those who endure, there is a prize to be won in life.

I’m fascinated that we live in a world where everyone gets a trophy and that endurance is not more highly celebrated – especially considering what is at stake here. Endurance offers a capital gain and a dividend in the modern work context. Yet, a generation of quitters has failed to see its beauty.

Consider the life that would have been.

I’m convinced that one could fill all the libraries of the world with all the 50% completed novels that could have been. An author had an inkling to write – a story to tell – and even picked up a pen. They went so far as to put words on paper and then stopped cold in their tracks never to touch it again. Why? A would-be entrepreneur crafts a business plan that he is sure solves a unique problem in the market and yet, continues to toil away at his 9-to-5 job for a paycheck. A youth spends her summer exercising and then never tries out for the soccer team in the fall. She perhaps even writes a love letter to her would-be sweetheart that never gets delivered.

It would seem that life is ready to make a wasteland of the quitter, and humans are far too willing to oblige it. I would go so far as to say that every single one of us has given up on some challenge or goal in life. Yet not all of us have allowed this terrible pattern to continue. So let’s ask the powerful question as to whether you are doing so right now?

Accomplish the simple along the way.

In a speech to the graduating class of the University of Texas, retired Navy SEAL Commander Bill McRaven gave perhaps the most stunning and practical piece of advice for accomplishing one’s goals. He told the young adults to make their beds in the morning. He wasn’t trying to remind them of their chores. He was trying to help them understand the simple act of accomplishing something early in the morning. He stated that during the grueling training to become a SEAL, he would make his bed to his instructors’ meticulous standards every morning. That routine carried him through a 40 year career, and he offered the same advice to these students.

Accomplishing something as simple as making your bed gives you an early success in the day and helps you feel determined to finish the day right. Every grand act and noble goal is accomplished one moment and one day at a time. Every prize is offered to those who endure.  Every quitter ceases the pursuit of their goal in one moment and in one day as their endurance fails them. My advice to you if you are considering such an act?


Endure. Reject that voice in your head (I’ll dive into that in a future article). Do not quit and cease the moment-by-moment acts – however small they may be. Those acts ARE leading you to your goals. Life has already claimed far too many quitters by convincing them to cease the simple step forward.

Leave the quitting to others.

Now THAT’S something to make mom proud.

And it might even work magic on Tinder.

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Boyd Falconer

Boyd Falconer

People have described Boyd Falconer as a secret weapon for navigating success. He specializes in coaching executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities.

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