This is a presentation from LDC 2014. To learn more about the LDC, please visit LDC.io
One of the critical elements of successful leader development is identification of the right ones to build. Jesus took this very seriously – He spent the entire night in prayer before calling the Twelve! We may have a perfectly designed training program but if we’re building the wrong people it won’t work.
Here is a simple but robust model that will help to identify emerging leaders with high potential.
It is a matter of critical importance in leader development work that we have a clear framework with which we can identify the right people to be building. There is one place where leader development differs from discipleship. In many parts, effective leader development is very similar to discipleship – the same sorts of things are involved. But there is a big difference, because when it’s discipleship, if you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus, you need to be discipled. So we’re not trying to identify emerging disciples – if you’re a disciple, that’s it – you’re in. We need to build all of our children, all of our young people. We need to be nurturing their lives. So if you’re a child, you’re in. But when it comes to leaders, those who are going to be leaders of organizations, we need to be identifying the right ones. The Lord Jesus did this. And historically, this particular question of “How do we know who are the right ones to build?” has been a tough one for people to wrestle with. I’ve been in a number of meetings over the years where someone would ask somebody else, “So … how do we identify the right ones?” And then it’s just kind of vague answers and a bit of this and a bit of that. I’m going to share with you a clear model, a very simple model – not necessarily perfect but it’s fairly robust – and I think you’ll find it quite practical and useful in helping you to identify the right people.
Let’s begin with the three parts of leader development. Leader development always has these three parts. There are different kinds of leader development – maybe it’s a full-time program for a period of time or maybe it’s just a short-term one. Maybe it’s the informal engaging of life, which is where most transformation and leader development occurs. But whatever it is, it will have these three parts and it’s good for us to be clear about them. First is identification. Who is it that we are building? This of course relates to why we are building them and who they are and so forth. But this is the first question to which we need to give strong attention. Second is the development process itself. This is the training program or the relational or the experiential or whatever it is that’s going on. This is the actual development process, and then thirdly, after the development, is the deployment process. We must give strong attention to each of these areas. Typically in leader development programs, we give a great deal of attention to the development. We give a tremendous amount of focus to developing the curriculum, the design, whatever it is. Often we do not give much attention at all to identification. We do not give much attention to deployment. We just give a lot of attention to development and then we wonder why it’s not as effective as we think it should have been. You can have designed the most spectacular development process but if you’re working with the wrong people, it’s not going to work.
Again, you may have designed the most brilliant holistic transformational development curriculum program, but if after the program these leaders are not then getting into good situations where they will have ongoing, challenging assignments that will engage them at increasing levels of difficulty, where they don’t have positive mentoring and ongoing coaching relationships … Emerging leaders can go through a wonderful program but if they are then stuck with a leader who is insecure, won’t give away power, won’t give away authority, that’s just going to be a ceiling for them. They’re going to be frustrated. It’s not going to work. And so in order for leader development to be effective, we must give strong attention to each of these three areas. We can’t just hope that they will work out – we can’t just be spiritual about it and hope that God has brought us the right ones. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. The longer we have worked in leader development, the more critical we realize are number one and number three – the identification of the right ones to be working with and then the deployment of them into effective ongoing transformational lives and contexts. Here, we’re going to focus on the first one – identification of the right ones. I think these were quite profound words from Ralph Winter years ago – shocking words actually – where he says that this is the largest stumbling block to leader development in the global church. It’s this. The biggest problem, the biggest reason why we fail in training is that we’re working with the wrong people. Amazing! And with someone of Ralph’s stature and experience, we should take heed to this. We’re working with the wrong ones, and if you think about it, traditional approaches to leader development almost guarantee that we’re working with the wrong ones. We’re requiring people to be able to leave their current environment, relocate in another geographical region and be disconnected from there to here for years at a time, which means that the leaders who really need the training are the ones who are already doing it, so they can’t go. Almost by definition, our traditional approaches to leader development guarantee that we end up working with the wrong people.
Now as we come back to the issue of identification and how we do it, sometimes people worry about this and they think, “Is this really a Christian thing that we should be choosing one and not choosing another to work with?” Let’s face it. Did Jesus choose His emerging leaders? Did He choose the Twelve or were they self-identified? Did they just kind of sign up for the program? Well, I’m not expecting an answer to that because we all know it’s very clear. Mark Chapter 3 – He went up onto the mountain and He called. He called to Him those He wanted and they came to Him. And he appointed twelve. He didn’t just have some kind of a strategy whereby people just popped up and signed up for themselves and He accepted them into his program. No, He called them. Now when it comes to the Kingdom of God, whosoever will may come. Big difference. Here we’re talking about leader development, about identifying the right ones for the particular roles and challenges and complexity of leadership responsibility. He chose them. It was His initiation. What kinds of things happen to us if we don’t build the right ones? We get discouraged because of failures. The time could have been spent better. Think of the Lord Jesus. He has three years of ministry. He knows it. Three years and then He’s leaving. He does not have the luxury of being able to have a dry run with the wrong guys first of all – that’s why He spent the night praying before He called them. It was critical. What else happens if we end up building the wrong people? The work itself is going to be jeopardized. What else? Damaging – damaged leaders do a lot of damage and it often happens in the worst possible places in very strategic contexts. It’s a failure of identification. It’s not necessarily a failure of the development process. Let’s get our minds around that. Again, that’s typically where we’ve placed most of our energy and focus, on creating really cool training programs. But it’s not going to work if you’re working with the wrong ones.
Let’s look at some of the ways that we, in the past, have gone about trying to identify emerging leaders. Here are some things that we’ve done. First the question is, “Can you afford the tuition?” If you can, you’re in. If you can’t, you’re not. What a fantastic strategy for identifying the right ones! And then we wonder why it doesn’t work. Now, we know – let’s face reality. We know that this is the question, essentially the only question, for a vast amount of Christian leader development that occurs today. “Can you afford the tuition?” It’s not the right question we should be asking. Here’s another one, “Who are you related to?” It’s amazing what happens in the training programs in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East – “It’s my brother’s wife’s friend’s son…” And you have to accept them or else relationship conflict develops. It’s incredible how much of this occurs, where this becomes the core question determining who we end up investing massive amounts of time, of money, of energy, of focus on. This is our identification strategy. Who are people related to? I know that raises all sorts of challenges and questions but we must face this. We must wrestle with this. This is why much of our training is not being effective. Here’s another strategy, “Do I like you?” It’s just kind of arbitrary. If I like you, you’re in. If I don’t like you, if we’ve had some conflict, then you’re out. These are not the right reasons for bringing people in or not bringing people into the program. “What degree do you have?” Well, if you’ve got that degree then obviously you’re qualified for our program. Well maybe so, maybe not. What actually does the degree signify? Does it signify real qualification of life? If it does, fantastic. If it doesn’t, what are we going to do about that? Are we going to keep using a system that we know is broken? These are some of the wrong ways to identify.
Here’s another very common one. “It really doesn’t matter who you are, we’ll fix you. We’ve got a great training program that’ll work for everybody.” The fact is, it won’t work for everybody. Let’s face that. Let’s deal with reality. The program itself needs to be well designed. Please design it well – we spend a great deal of time in our work on design of the development process itself so that it is holistic and experiential and relational and deeply transformational. But it won’t just work by itself. It won’t. It doesn’t. Responsibility for learning in the end lies with whom, you or the emerging leader? Who has responsibility for their learning, for their growth? Ultimately they do, and we have a big responsibility. We want to provide for them a process that is as well designed as possible. Let’s work hard at that and make it be as transformational as we can. But if they don’t want to learn, if they don’t really care, if they’re just going to mess around, it won’t work. They’re going to be frustrated, you’re going to be frustrated; the leaders who you should have been investing in have been missed somehow because they couldn’t afford the tuition or they weren’t related to the right people who had the inside track and all of that. Remember what Ralph Winter said. The biggest stumbling block in global Christian leader development today is that we’re building the wrong people. This is a huge, critical issue. So, here are the wrong ways to do it. Well, what are the right ones? How should we do it? What do we look for in emerging leaders? How do we identify them?
Let’s distinguish between foundational issues of life and indicators – specific indicators that will tell us about leadership potential. The foundational issues of life are things like relationship with God, character issues, relational issues with other people – these sorts of things. These are foundational issues that must be in place – they need to be there. But they’re not necessarily the specific things that we’re looking for that will identify future leadership potential. They’re not the only things and they’re actually not the key things that we should be looking for in identifying specific leadership potential, but they need to be there. Significant sin in their life will disqualify someone. Have you ever filled in one of those forms where you are referring someone to a training institution of some kind and many of the questions relate to, “Is he or she a good person? Are they nice, are they good?” They’re not necessarily focusing on specific things that will indicate leadership potential. Now if they’re not good, then we need to know that. That’s a foundational issue that may well be cause for disqualification, but it’s not necessarily the specific thing that we should be looking for. In order to do that, let’s take a step back and ask the more foundational question of “What is leadership itself? What does it mean to lead people?” Here is a simple definition, that leadership at its heart involves change. It involves movement. Leadership is movement. The leaders help people to move from where they are to a better place in the purposes of God. It’s God’s idea. It’s not leaders’ vision – it’s God’s idea. Or else it’s just human ambition. So it’s God’s direction, but leadership involves movement. That’s the heart of leadership. That’s the essence of leadership. Leadership is not caretaking. There is nothing wrong with caretaking. The people need to be taken care of, but that’s not the specific task of leadership. Leadership involves change. Leadership involves movement. Helping people move. People need a leader to help them to move or else they typically won’t move. They’ll typically stay where they are, afraid to move – that’s the way we are. The sheep need a shepherd. It’s been this way through all of human history. We see this in every kind of human society. People need leaders and the leaders help the people to move. When they’re bad leaders, they take the people to very negative places. But it’s still movement. That’s the essence of leadership – movement.
To build on this, we can see that fundamentally there are two things that leaders do. I know that this is an oversimplification but it’s also a very useful one, to clearly articulate the nature of what it is that leaders do. Leaders think and leaders act. First, the leaders think, because leadership involves movement. Where are we going? Leadership involves definition of direction. Articulation of direction, articulation of means by which we will go there. Leaders think. Leaders are thinking outside of the current situation. They’re looking into the future. They’re looking into the possibilities. Hopefully they’re looking at the face of God and they’re being challenged by Him. They themselves are being challenged personally. And then out of that life comes the direction, the vision, the purpose of God in order to help the people to move there. So, first leaders think – they explore, they think outside of the normal patterns of action, the normal ruts that we find ourselves in for so much of our lives. We need leaders to help us get outside of that. This is the essence of what leaders do. Second, leaders move. They act. They take responsibility. They’re not sitting there waiting for somebody else to tell them what to do or where to go or how to get there. But they’re the ones. That’s why they are leaders. That’s what leaders do. Leaders think, they define the direction, they define how we’ll get there by the grace of God – always in dependency upon Him – but it’s the leader who thinks and it’s the leader who then initiates the action.
So it’s a quick but pretty useful definition of what leaders do. Of course there are other definitions more complex and so forth but this is a good one, to recognize that the nature of leadership involves fundamentally thinking and acting. Thinking creatively, thinking outside of the normal patterns and frameworks because the leader is bringing change. He’s not just keeping things going the way they are. That’s not leadership. Leadership involves redefinition – movement. And then secondly, leaders act. They take initiative; they take responsibility. We’re going to go and they go first. Fundamentally, this is the nature of leadership which means that if we’re going to choose the right ones, this will help us. I’m going to share a simple model with you. It’s a four-part model of identification of emerging leaders who have high potential for fruitful futures by the grace of God. If leadership involves thinking and acting, this gives us clarity. We need to look for people who are already doing that – people who are thinking; people who are acting. Now we’re getting a lot more specific than just saying, “Let’s look for people of humility.” Let’s look for servants, because we want servant-leaders. I’ve known people who had extraordinary, deep relationships with God, fantastic spiritual lives, wonderful relationships, excellent marriage, family life, impeccable character – and yet they were absolutely unable to lead. We have to distinguish between the foundational issues, spiritual life and character and healthy relationships. Not to say that those aren’t important – they are foundational issues that need to be in place. If they’re not, that may be grounds for disqualification, but they’re not the key things we’re looking for. To identify the right ones to invest in, think of the investment that leader development takes on our part. It’s a huge investment of time, of life, of energy, and finances. If we’re going to make that investment, we need to identify the right ones. We need to be looking for those who are thinking and those who are acting. They’re already doing it – thinking, acting.
Let’s dig into this a little further. Here’s a case study from the book of Acts. There is quite a profound example of identification of an emerging leader here. This is where Paul chose Timothy. In Acts 16, Paul comes to Lystra and finds his disciple, Timothy. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him, so Paul took him. Paul at that point welcomed Timothy onto his apostolic team. That’s what Timothy joined. Not only that, it was a place of deep commitment of Paul’s life from then on as he invested in this spiritual son and built his life. In some ways Timothy was Paul’s successor. Here we have a description of the identification process. There are some other things that I’m sure you’ll recognize elsewhere in the New Testament that give us insight into this. But in particular what do you see here in Acts 16? He’s already a disciple. Paul was not bringing him into a basic discipleship program – it was an apostolic team that he had him join. What do you see? He’s well spoken of. What does that mean? He was known. He already has some influence. He’s already working, already functioning.
We see later in Paul’s letters to Timothy that there was also some spiritual, prophetic element where the Holy Spirit confirmed this and endorsed Timothy to be a part of this team. Remember that the hands of the elders were laid on him and there was a prophetic word that was spoken. So there were some supernatural spiritual dynamics occurring here as well. But we can see that Timothy is already functioning, number one – he’s functioning well. Number two, he’s functioning in more than one geographical area. Now, these cities were close to each other, but we see the nature of Timothy’s ministry. It’s already bigger than just one location. This is an early indication of an apostolic kind of calling. This is what’s happening there. Paul recognizes this; the believers, the community around Timothy in these two cities recognize this. We see that Timothy is already doing ministry and he’s doing it well. The kind of things that he’s doing is beginning to indicate a particular kind of calling upon his life, a particular kind of future potential. Along with that we have the moving of the Holy Spirit, giving direction. We see this from the letters to Timothy. We put this together and we have an identification, quite a profound one. Timothy then comes to Paul. Paul begins to build him as a part of his team and invests his life relationally. He gives Timothy a number of quite intense, challenging assignments. There’s a deep spiritual reality to what’s happening in Timothy’s life as he’s being built and of course, it’s filled with the Word of God. You remember from Second Timothy 3 that he had much exposure to the teaching of the Scriptures. And so there’s this wonderful holistic transformational process that then takes places over the following years. We can see that Paul chooses a man who is already functioning and functioning well in specific kinds of work.
As we go a little deeper in these ideas of thinking and acting, here are a few things to look for specifically. These are some of the key characteristics of emerging leaders who have potential for high future levels of fruitfulness. First, and this is a critical thing that must be there or else your brilliantly defined, brilliantly designed training program won’t work. You must look for someone who is a learner, who is able to learn, who loves to learn, especially from mistakes. Here’s why. Let’s go back to the nature of leadership. Leaders help people move from where they are to a better place in the purposes of God. Leadership involves change. Leadership involves movement which means that when we’re heading out from the status quo into the opportunity of the future, we don’t necessarily know where we’re going. This is the nature of leadership. Remember, leadership is not just playing it safe and taking care of things on the home base. Leadership involves movement. We don’t necessarily know exactly where we’re going; we have broad vision, ideas, and there’s a sense of excitement about the ways that God speaks to us and leads us. But we can’t tell you the exact details. If you can, it’s probably not a very compelling vision, quite frankly. So we don’t know exactly where we’re going; we don’t know exactly the steps we’re going to take. This means we have to figure it out as we go. The capacity to learn is critical in an emerging leader, especially from mistakes, because as we’re heading into the passionate vision of the future which is at times largely unknown, we are going to take some wrong turns unless we’re like the Lord Jesus. He never made any wrong turns. We’re not quite at that level of leadership perfection, are we? So you can see why this issue of learning is critical to identify in emerging leaders before you give the deep investment of life and time and resources to building their life in this particular way, especially from mistakes. We see the need for adaptability. Again, it goes back to the very nature of what leadership is.
If we’re going to be building people who will be very fruitful, we will already see adaptability. If they’re stuck in narrow paths of thinking, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person but they’re not necessarily the one you should be working on for the leadership role. Adaptability; teachability. Again, it goes back to the nature of leadership. Leaders are constantly learning. This means we must have a teachable heart. Now, you can be strong and opinionated but there still must be a deep evidence that you will listen. Push back, that’s fine. We expect you to have a bold and a strong conviction. But you also have to listen. You must be teachable. You must have this or else you’re going to be a poor leader. At the heart of it, the very first thing that leaders do is face reality and help others to face reality. Leaders help us to get our head out of the sand and face the reality with which we are faced, the things that demand to be addressed. This is what leaders do. This is where great breakthroughs are made, where leaders face reality about their own lives and about the situation and help others to face that reality. So there’s this issue of authenticity; they’re not just coming up with the party line, the corporate jingle, the values statement on the wall – this is what we believe; there it is. Really, do you need to point to the thing on the wall? No – authenticity. Thinking strategically, thinking conceptually, thinking holistically … if you have someone and all he can see is his little piece of the puzzle, that may not be a high potential emerging leader. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person – we’re just looking specifically for those few who are called to be leaders, to whom we need to be giving nurturing and transformational opportunities. Our churches greatly need these people, these men and these women. So we need to figure out how to identify them and how to develop the right kinds of developmental processes for them. So look for holistic thinking, where they’re able to prioritize what is really most important, where they are able to work together even though there are so many competing demands for resources that they’re able to see the need for give and take within the context of the whole organization, not just their little piece. These are indicators of thinking, specifically of leadership thinking. And then embracing ambiguity – that’s another critical one. These are indicators of leadership effectiveness. Not guarantees but good indicators of future fruitfulness. Ambiguity. Leaders must be able to hold two competing ideas in mind at the same time and struggle with that and make sense of it and somehow move forward in spite of it. Many people are paralyzed when they see two competing ideas. They just stop. That’s why God gives us leaders who are able to embrace the tension of ambiguities when we don’t have a clear answer, and move forward anyway. So look for people who are already showing these characteristics.
Leaders think and leaders act. They’re already functioning. They’re already taking initiative, they’re taking responsibility. They’re not sitting there waiting for somebody to come and tell them what to do. They’re already identifying the need or identifying the opportunity and they’re saying, “Hey, come on. Let’s move. Let’s act.” That’s leadership, motivation to lead. They’re taking responsibility and initiative, and not just any kind of initiative. Not just busywork for its own sake, but they’re challenging the status quo, seeking the very best that God has – passion for the highest. This is an indicator of leadership. “God, what can You do here? What’s the opportunity? What’s the solution to the current problem?” They aren’t content just to sit and keep putting up with it. That’s what the rest of us do. That’s why we need leaders. Most of us will just figure out ways to put up with it. Leaders look at it and say, “Let’s bring change. What does God have? What are the opportunities? What’s the vision? What’s the highest?” – challenging the status quo in a healthy way and then energizing others. They’re already talking to others. This is what leaders do – they take initiative and act. They’re energizing, they’re envisioning. Not in a negative or a divisive way but in a positive way of orienting others toward change, gripping the hearts of others. Look for those who are already doing this. This is a beautiful way to identify an emerging leader. See if he’s able to do it without having the official position or title. When someone says, “Okay, sure, I know I should be doing this or that but first I need the title.” That makes me very nervous and I start to wonder, “Boy, have I really made the right choice here?” Being able to lead without having the formal trappings, the title, the position, the official endorsement of you as the one in charge, so now everybody better line up because I’m the one in charge. I’ve got the title. That’s not leadership. That’s different from leadership. Nothing wrong with that, and at some point we need to do that. It’s not that it’s bad. But if the people we’re looking for can do it without that and will do it without that, they’re already leading in some way. People are already looking to them. They’re already thinking. They’re challenging in a positive way. They’re thinking holistically. They’re looking at the highest and then they’re engaging others to shift their thinking, make change, move. Leadership is movement. These are the critical indicators of high potential emerging leaders.
We have a four-part model here in how to choose the right ones. First, there are two things we’re looking for – those who are already thinking, and those who are already acting. Now they’re absolutely going to think and act much better after the training program, but they should already be doing it before. You’re looking for evidence, not perfection. That’s why they need the training. But you’re already seeing these inclinations. You’re already seeing these very clear predispositions toward thinking and acting. That’s what you should be looking for. And that raises the question of “How do we tell?” Do we give them a test? Nothing wrong with tests but probably that’s not going to be the highest quality data that you will get about the emerging leaders. There are some kinds of tests that can give you a good indication of some complex thinking capacities and particular orientations but ultimately we need to observe their lives. And this is exactly what we saw in Acts 16 – people who knew Timothy quite well, who had observed his life – and it’s not that they were using my model! Paul wasn’t thinking in this paradigm but I daresay it will help us at this stage. Somehow we have to observe their lives and there are basically two ways that you can do it. Number one is to observe what’s already been happening, what’s happening now. This is the role of the community in identification. Those who know these people will be able to – if given the right kind of direction – ask the right sorts of questions and give some pretty good clarity as far as this goes. So, it’s either what has been happening or what is happening. The second way that we can find out is to create some opportunities. Those are really the only two ways to do it. It’s either observation of what’s already going on or has gone on and then creating some specific opportunities. Did Jesus do that with His emerging leaders? Did He at times test them? He certainly did. Remember in John 16, when they’re with the multitudes and the disciples said, “Lord, they’ve been with us for days and they’re hungry.” And what did Jesus say? “You feed them.” And it says in John 6, He said this to test them because He already knew what He was going to do. And He didn’t just do that once – it’s just recorded once.
All the time He was giving them opportunities to reveal what was actually in their hearts and lives in order that they would grow and come to a deeper brokenness and a deeper dependence on God. But here’s the point. You can create opportunities, design opportunities. If you have a group of people and you’re not sure which ones to work with, design some opportunities. Think through what you are looking for and then design opportunities; design experiences for them, design relationships, create relational opportunities around them in the midst of those experiences and find out who they really are. There must be observation. And then the fourth part of this model is deep dependency on God. What did the Lord Jesus do the night before He called the Twelve? He prayed for the entire night. And if there were ever anyone who had the capacity to say, “You’re in, you’re not, you’re not, you’re in,” He was it. He knew what was in the hearts of men. He knew their lives. But the Lord Jesus Himself spent the night with the Father before He called them. That’s huge. If the Lord Jesus needed to do that, how much more do we? It must be a deeply spiritual process. Our whole process cannot just be a formula or a form or some sort of a mechanical, pop-in-the-data-and-out-comes-the-answer. Again, we see this in Paul’s choosing of Timothy in Acts 16. It doesn’t mention it in Acts 16 but we know from elsewhere in Paul’s letters to Timothy that it was a deeply spiritual process, requiring deep dependency on God. The Lord Jesus did that in choosing the Twelve. There we have the two greatest examples of identification of emerging leaders in the New Testament and both of them are intensely dependent on God. So please don’t take that fourth one and just tack it on as a “Okay, we’ll offer a quick prayer to God before we study the forms that they turned in,” which we so often do so we can check the box, “Yep, we’ve prayed.” That’s a different model. That’s not this one. I don’t know what model that is, but chuck it! This one requires genuine dependency on God.
So we have a deeply spiritual process involving observation – some spontaneous observation, perhaps some planned observation. You’re looking for thinking and acting. Again, the issues of character and spiritual life and relationality of the leader, of course, are foundational issues. If they’re not in place, those may be grounds for skipping that person, at least for now. Perhaps later, after God has dealt with them in those areas. But the key things you need to be looking for are these two ideas. So it’s a simple model but it’s a fairly robust model that will help to give clarity as you wrestle with the very challenging but extremely critical issue of identification. If we have a really strong identification process, then we have a very well-designed development process and then we have a solid deployment process, we will build healthy leaders by God’s grace and the nations will be turned upside down. One final thought as you’re doing this, remember that potential is not performance, and is not readiness. Potential is not performance. When we talk about potential, potential means that you’re not there yet. That’s what it means if it’s a potential. If it’s an actual, it’s no longer a potential, so potential is not performance. We’re not looking for perfection, but we’re looking for indicators of thinking and acting capacity. And then, potential is not readiness. You may have the most brilliantly prepared leader who is thinking and acting but they’re still not ready. They’re not willing to pay the price. You know when you accept the role of the leader, there is a target that is painted on your back for the enemy because if you smite the shepherd, the sheep will be scattered. That’s the reality of leadership. As emerging leaders watch existing leaders and the blood and the guts that at times we are wading through, sometimes they say, “You know what, I don’t think that’s really for me. I don’t want to pay that price.” You can’t make them, as much as you might like to sometimes. So keep these three distinct: potential, performance and readiness.