How much employee potential is there at your company? Are you tracking this talent?

If these questions stop you in your tracks, don’t panic. These are tough questions for most CEO’s or C level managers to answer on the spot.

At the same time, these are the questions you have to  answer if you want your company to thrive.

So let’s look at the key for unlocking employee potential and growing your human capital.

The Salesperson Analogy

A simple way to assess employee potential is to use the analogy of a salesperson.

A successful salesperson has two essential qualities:

  • Credibility
  • Performance under pressure

First, we’ll use these two traits to understand employee potential. Then,  we’ll talk about how to apply this principle to your team.

Credibility Formula

When you’re interviewing a potential employee, you probably spend a good chunk of time assessing their credibility.

  • How do they show up in their career?
  • Are they honest about their strengths and weaknesses?

All employees need credibility. This quality is called on constantly in relationships at work.

Here’s a simple formula for assessing credibility:

Credibility = Proven Competence + Relationships + Integrity

Let’s look at what each of these terms means using the sales analogy to guide us.

  • Proven Competence: A stand-out salesperson doesn’t just don’t know their stuff, they also UNDERSTAND it.  There’s more skill in connecting the dots vs. just memorizing the product specs. A salesperson who “gets it” can explain things to the customer with conviction.
  • Relationships: A great salesperson establishes relationships by building trust. Trust is created in small moments and informs how someone feels about an interaction.  A good sales person builds trust by creating situations that feel safe, not traumatizing or uncomfortable.
  • Integrity: Relationships exist over time. A salesperson with integrity continually proves they’re worthy of the trust placed in them.

Response to Stress

Next, we want to measure how your employees behave in moments of stress. Can they make good decisions when faced with challenges?

In sales, the pressure is on when clients say “No.” A successful salesperson doesn’t freak out. Instead, they…


  • Use situational awareness.
  • Know how to hold another’s perspective without reacting.


It’s an amazing skill to understand other people’s perspectives and not just go with your assumptions.

Great salespeople don’t take situations personally. This allows them to respond to stress with maturity and curiosity.


The Problem Measuring Employee Potential

In the sales analogy we’ve been using, it’s easy to track success: What’s the salesperson’s conversion percentage?

But when we pull back from that analogy, how do we get accurate data for measuring employee potential?  Look at their behavior under pressure, it’s necessary to know what they do when they’re out of their comfort zone.

I believe potential is maximized when an employee can demonstrate the ability to operate at a higher emotional intelligence state. It’s not necessarily about acquiring more on-the-job skills and experience that makes them a stronger employee.

The untapped potential lies in the ability to establish optimal mindset in every encounter on the job.

As Tim Ferriss says, “In order to achieve optimal mindset you have to develop a familiarity with self-awareness. This is the crux skill that underlies everything else.”

Therefore, true potential comes with self-awareness.

Most employees and leaders need help mastering this inner game. Acquiring these inner EQ skills requires a different level of engagement and time.

Unfortunately, time is something most upper level leaders don’t have enough of as it is. They may find it nearly impossible to carve out time to observe and mentor their emerging leaders.

Even if upper level management had the time to check in with employees and help them examine the contents of their consciousness, more than likely both parties wouldn’t feel comfortable revealing this kind of information.


Career Coaching for Employee Growth

Athletes have coaches to help them get stronger physically and mentally, and in today’s corporate environment, so do many successful leaders. These professional partners are equipped to gather accurate data about employee behavior, and uncover hidden biases.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who has a commercial real estate company that’s growing quickly. He hired a career coach to come in once a month to work with his mid-level management. He did this for two reasons:

  1. His time is better spent bringing in new business. That’s his zone of genius.
  2. His employees get more value out of having an objective third party to confide in. They’re not intimidated to say what’s really on their minds. That in turn helps the manager get to the heart of what they need to work on.


The results of career coaching for my friend’s business are 100% positive: His employee retention rate is higher, and the employees are performing better.

Plus, the overall company culture is better because employees feel supported.

The benefits for the employees are…

  • less stress
  • clearer vision on how to handle difficult situations
  • improved business leadership
  • better discipline
  • and enriched relationships.


All of those benefits mean employees are performing at a higher level and companies get superior service from their teams. A good coach is the solution to uncovering their untapped potential.


Are you looking for a win-win-win situation where you operate from your strengths, your employees reach their true potential, and your customers feel the difference?

Let’s talk! Schedule your free Strategy Session today.