A return to your default setting

Any team – whether academic, the arts or athletic – that strives to function at its optimum level, relies on each individual doing their absolute best.

An effort that doesn’t merely support the group’s intentions, but acts to raise the performance in all.

While this aspect of teamwork may be effective in optimizing current capabilities, it does not address maximizing overall capacity.

That is;  realizing potential.

An altogether different  venture. One  that features  challenges demanding a deeper level of personal investment.  One that calls for a  rare brand of leadership along with  a redoubling of intention and effort.


Because when you are part of a team, realizing potential isn’t just about you.

It is about your teammate.

Like the one next to you at the FTC competition, forensics meet or Latin convention.


The cellist sharing your music stand in the pit or the actress next to you in the ensemble.


A teammate down low with you in the paint or holding tough on the blue line.


When you are on a team, it is about finding a way to bring out their best.

Exerting the leadership in and through yourself that leads others to find the best that is in themselves.

Launching them, the team and yourself on a trajectory of excellence and unparalleled success.

Leading others to uncover their talents and abilities will mean they come first.


Their needs ahead of your own.

You will need to give up some – maybe even all – of yourself in the process.

But this is not as traumatic as it sounds.

We are hardwired for this purpose – even if we find or invent reasons to ignore and override this basic and true function. When we  turn the warmth of our light inward rather than letting it shine out and over others.

Yes, you might be committing some very personal resources towards the development of someone else’s potential.


But in the process,  you cannot help but maximize your own.  Leading others towards this level of achievement puts you on a parallel path.

So you both can unlock your potential.

True, unfettered teamwork in action.


Ultimately, it isn’t about what you may or may not get.

Allowing yourself to be drawn towards this larger purpose might be termed ’paying it forward’ or ‘giving something back’.

But essentially, it is just about getting back to the basics.

An opportunity,  that given the time and patience,  will reveal the best in both of you.

A return to your default settings.


Author: Mark J. Hahn

"To be there when the light goes on." Those few, powerful words, succinctly sum up my quest as a coach. That is really what it is all about. This is precisely what drives me. To have good fortune shine upon me briefly so that I can be present at that very moment. The instant of revelation. When the years of heavy lifting results in it making sense for someone else. The almost audible “click”, followed instantaneously by an unmistakable incandescence. The illumination that can only accompany accomplishment. To see bean in the eyes, the look on the face, a change in stature and the air of confidence overtake and envelope the protoge, the “project” or the late bloomer. That is why I am in it. There may never be a stat for achieving those kinds of victories. But it is by far the most important “w” I will ever achieve.

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