Great results don’t come from average contributions; they are achieved when people with the right capabilities and deep emotional ownership invest the energy and discretionary effort needed to succeed. Harnessing the full potential of people to optimise business performance is the key to success for most businesses.

Human potential is encapsulated in both the talent and energy people bring — that is, the capabilities people offer as well as the energy they are willing to invest to get the job done. However, the capabilities of any person, team, or business only add value when they are effectively applied — and this comes down to how people choose to behave.

The strength of our spirit is a key influencer on the choices we make about how to behave.

People who are energised typically choose to behave in ways that enable success; they are proactive, resilient, and conscientious. Conversely, when people are drained they are more likely to behave in ways that undermine their own success, and also that of their team.

How do you bring the passion?

Step One: understand what you need to achieve

The first step any leader must take is to understand what they need to achieve. It isn’t enough to have a broad notion of the outcomes you and your team are striving for — it’s critical that you understand the specific capabilities and investment in energy it will take to get there.

Step Two: Build your team

Now armed with an intimate understanding of the knowledge, skills, and experience you need, next on the list of priorities is to ensure you have the right people on board. Building a team capable of turning your vision into reality requires making disciplined, and at times tough, decisions. Who you decide to keep in each role across your team underpins the potential you can create and leverage.

Step Three: Build your team’s spirit

Encourage things that energise people and work to avoid the influence of those that drain your team. Ensure every member of your team has the drive and fuel to succeed by leveraging the five common influencers of a person’s spirit at work:

  1. Sense of personal value: How we feel about ourselves, as well as how we believe others feel about us, either energises or drains our spirit.
  2. Relationships: When we trust and respect the people we work with, we are more likely to be energised and engaged.
  3. Purpose and meaning: How people feel about what they and their organisation contribute to the world typically matters to the strength of their spirit.
  4. Belief: The strength of our belief is reflected in how we feel about the future and our ability to influence that future.
  5. Enjoyment: Having fun at work isn’t only OK; it’s necessary for people to thrive at work. When people enjoy what they do they are more likely to invest energy and strive to succeed.

Step Four: Unleash energy

Tapping into the potential of your team requires inspiring their passion and desire to achieve success — it’s what drives how much energy they choose to invest in getting there. Seven critical priorities that will enable you to unleash the spirit of your team and achieve great results are:

  1. Lead by example: Be optimistic and invest energy in your own role.
  2. Earn trust and respect: Before expecting to influence the way people choose to behave build a strong relationship with them.
  3. Give people something to buy into: Create a compelling vision for the future that inspires people to want to be a part of it.
  4. Outline responsibilities: Establish clear expectations of the role you need each person on your team to play and empower them to do it.
  5. Focus people on shared objectives: That is, the things they collectively ‘own’ and need collaborate with their colleagues in order to achieve.
  6. Put milestone checks along the way: Provide the opportunity for your team to stop and reflect on how they are going and what they have achieved so far.
  7. Celebrate wins: Show your staff how much you value their contribution to the team and business.