Restoring an old car can be a tedious job. You have to be committed to the task, both physically and financially. If you lack commitment, then you might just end up with a garage full of parts and a car that won’t run.

I thought that I would share one of my desires today. You see I would like to purchase an old car and restore it back to the original condition. The only reason that I have not pursued this goal is that I do not have three things. I do not have the time, the money or the location to do the work.

I have heard of people that hire people to do all of the work, and all that they do is throw money at the car. However, this is not restoring an old car this is just paying someone else to restore an old car.

The reason that I am telling you all of this in a leadership blog has to do with one of the first steps of restoring the car. Long before the first part is purchased, or any of the work begins, someone has to see the potential that is in the car. Even when the potential is recognized, you also have to understand the amount of time and resources needed for the task.

In the same way, leaders need to understand the potential of each team member. Often we become so focused on the problems that we fail see the possibilities or gifts that the team member possesses.

As leaders, we are much like the person restoring the old car. We are there to provide the time, location, and the resources necessary to bring out the full potential. For us as leaders to accomplish this task, we need to be aware of the imperfections but remain focused on the bigger picture.

One of the things that I like to do with my team members is to write down their name and then beside each name I try to list their gifts and talents. This helps me to focus on the positive attributes and not on the imperfections. I then try to review that list at least once a week to direct my attention away from any negative thoughts. This small method helps me to see their potential and also trust in their abilities.

This week’s experiment is for you to take the time to make a list of your team members. Then try to list their gifts and talents. Once you have the list, be honest and ask yourself what you are personally doing to help each one of them live up to their full potential? Are you just focusing on their imperfections? It is time for you as a leader to help them be the best that they can be.