Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö

Big potential

Kirjoitettu 25.03.20
Esseen kirjoittaja: Petra Heikkinen
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirja: Big potential
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Shawn Achor
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen, 2.2. Tiimityön taidot ja työkalut, 3. Yrittäjyys

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I read the book big potential, because at the academy, there were many people that had read it and had recommended it to me. I think for me it was an especially good book to exactly this situation; I have always been a person that works alone, excels alone, has practiced doing things alone for the longest time and learned how that is done the most efficiently. The thing is, where is that skill needed today? Team skills are growing more important the more the world advances. And this book talks exactly about that.

Small potential is basically succeeding by yourself, without the help of others, and often competing against others in similar situations. It is the dominating mentality in today’s world. Universities and schools teach individual mastery of different things. Everything measures individual success, However, one’s individual potential pales when compared to big potential; succeeding together.


Big potential means succeeding together and achieving more. It is success through helping others succeed. There are five seeds which you can nurture and become successful and tap into your Big Potential.

The first seed is “surround yourself with positive influencers” when you help others Shine the system turns up the light there by making your own star brighter.

The second seed is “expand your power by helping others lead from every seat” the more you Empower others to spread their own power at the more your impact multiplies.

The third seed is “enhance your resources by becoming a prism of praise” I will show you how to become what I call a prism of praise and how are affecting the light of Praise outward not only illuminates others but also enhances your own position.

The fourth seed is “defend against negative attacks” by being able to have handled tougher challenges you become stronger and less able to handle it handle larger challenges.

And the fifth is “sustain the gains by fueling the virtuous cycle” successes in isolation are capped but interconnected successes accelerate and build upon one another.


The whole world is built to display and reward small potential. All University students excel at small potential, competing against others. Studies show that in groups people work more efficiently and create something that is greater than what they could have achieved by themselves. As it is said, a group is greater than the sum of its parts. Other people provide for sources and support and success is more achievable as well as obstacles seem smaller to overcome with others beside us.

Connecting with high potential people dramatically increases your likelihood of high potential outcomes. Big Potential is much like genius, creativity, and inspiration, is not something you have, it is something you tap into. The greatest geniuses in the world’s history are remembered as themselves, but they also had teams and muses that help them in their work. Often it is thought that all the great innovations were only of one person, but the teams played a great part in also the creation of great innovations in the past.

Big potential isn’t about trying to go faster alone. It’s about working to become better together. Big potential is about gaining a competitive Advantage not by limiting others success rates but by raising them. The definition of a virtuous cycle is an upward spiral of potential, where with each success, you collect more resources, which in turn allow you to achieve greater and greater success.

When we think about the part “surround yourself with positive influences”, there are three types of people you should find around you. What we call bridges are connector people to new people outside of your existing ecosystem. Pillars are those who are a rock for you in tough times. Extenders on the other hand are positive influences who push you out of your comfort zone. It is important that you have these people around you to help you grow. I especially liked the listing exercise, where you defined the people that were in these categories.

Another important point was that leadership is not an individual sport. It is important to lead not with the mentality that you would be the only one carrying the burden. I myself fall into this trap often and have the mentality that when I am the leader for a certain project, I carry that myself. It is better to delegate and have others support you with the task. This would also support the “lead from every seat” idea that the book also presented. How to get people motivated? One great method is to give people a leadership role, which creates motivation through the added responsibility.

Praise is a renewable resource the more you give the more you enhance your own Supply. Praise should never be underestimated and should be widely practiced. The more duties we have the more meaning we need to find in them. Meaning is that force that keeps us going, especially in busy or stressful times.

Celebration is the oxygen of big potential. We should remember to celebrate not only the great wins but also the small things that happen every day.

Visualize the success route instead of the escape route. Too often we spend a lot of time visualizing the worst possibility instead of the best possibility, even if the worst possibility would be much less likely to occur. Visualizing your success makes it more likely for you to reach the goal that you have. It makes it more realistic, and it rewires your brain to start working towards that goal. On the contrary when you focus on the negative, it also has the same effect on your brain. This is definitely something that I will take into action from this book.

This book was much like the Team academy in general. The team academy as a concept is so border-crossing, that when you explain about your “school”, people automatically think about a classroom teachers, lessons and exams. The reality is that those things don’t exist, it’s so fundamentally different that it’s confusing. This book is also a completely different approach to a common mentality. It isn’t easy to change how your brain is wired in terms of competition and success, but I definitely got a lot out of this book. I do recommend this book to everybody.

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