The Potential Principle – Mark Sanborn

Highlight from the 2018 Forum at SEU

“The better you become, the harder it is to get better.”

Wait. What? Why get better if you’re already doing great?

“Think about it. In business, you only know what worked yesterday,” said Mark Sanborn to a full-to capacity Bush Chapel at the 2018 Forum at SEU. “If you celebrate success but then stop trying, that success can actually turn into an early warning indicator for failure.”

Sanborn elaborated on this thought by explaining that the most critical leadership skill for modern organizations is the ability to change faster than your competitors. This means realizing when you are “success stuck” (meaning, something has always worked, so why change it?).

Sanborn encouraged the audience to consider the fact that the better you are, the more your customers will expect, so it makes sense to benchmark your goals and progress against your own capabilities, not those of your competitors. This means to outthink, not outspend, and to establish better practices instead of best practices.

“If you take the path of least resistance, you’ll never develop mental muscle,” Sanborn cautioned. “To think well is hard. And that’s the point.”

Humans tend to overuse what they enjoy doing and underuse what they need to do more. By remaining focused, and not panicking over insignificant things, leaders will have a larger capability to make the improvements needed for their teams and organizations to continually innovate and improve.

“Inspiration is organizational fuel,” Sanborn explained. “Don’t focus on whether the glass is half empty or half full. Focus on the fact that there’s room for more.”

Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., and is a nationally and internationally renowned speaker and author. His best-sellers include The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary and The Potential Principle: Closing the Gap Between How Good You Are and How Good You Could Be.



Forum at SEU

Mark Sanborn was one of many speakers at the 2018 Forum at SEU. Tickets are available for our 2019 event, which will be held March 14–15 on Southeastern University’s Lakeland campus.

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