This weekend my family and I went to see Oz, The Great And Powerful.  This movie was recently released and is a prequel of sorts to the movie The Wizard Of Oz.  The beginning of the movie starts off with Oz at a state fair trying to pull off some cheap magic tricks and getting the poor townspeople to pay him.  He eventually gets caught in a tornado and ends up in the land of Oz.  He is quickly mistaken for the great wizard who is supposed to save the people of Oz from the wicked witch.  I won’t give any more of the movie away except to say that during the course of the movie the good witch told him on several occasions that she saw greatness in him, she spoke to the potential in him.  By the end of the movie, he finally saw it for himself.

At one point in my career, I was a manager of a technical call center.  It was not my calling in life and I was miserable.  There was an opportunity to take an IT management job in the community and I jumped on it.  When I spoke to the VP of client services she was surprised I was leaving.  I explained to her that this was not my calling and that my passion was in IT management.  She then said something that blew me away, she told me that I was much more than an IT manager.  This was the first time that anyone, besides my wife, spoke to the potential in me and it had a profound impact.

Has anyone ever spoken to the potential in you?  Maybe you have never experienced anyone telling you they think you are really good at something or that one day you might be a …  If you have experienced that then you know how meaningful it can be.  I remember the VP saying it to me. I remember being in her office, what she looked like, and what time of day it was. Normally, I hardly remember what was for breakfast but I remember that conversation well, it ran deep.  What I am trying to say is that people hear enough negative, and most of it comes from themselves.  Let’s try and change that trend.  Join me this week as I try, at least once a day, to speak to the potential in others.  If no one has ever done this for you, then there are others around you who have likewise missed these words of encouragement. You have an opportunity to shift the culture where you work. The change this shift will bring is meaningful, profound, and best of all contagious. Making a difference does just that, it makes a difference.

Bill Rieger


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