Wednesday night, my husband and I hired a babysitter and went to dinner with friends at a neighborhood hot spot. We only do this a few times each year. This time, we went to see our friend Clare, a singer/songwriter, who was performing.

Clare sang an original song with lyrics about regret and missed opportunities.

I turned to a friend. I said: I could be more than I am.

All day, my words have spiraled through my mind. They’re true. Not in a beat-myself-up, put-myself-down way. All my yesterdays are done, can never be relived. But I CAN be more than I am.

The words are true because all the days ahead of me are full of potential.

So here’s some hope for the New Year: You can be more than you are.

In his classic work On Leadership, John Garder penned these memorable words:

The greatest asset of any society is the talent and energy of its people… In all of us there are undiscovered gifts, untested strengths…There are great untapped reservoirs of human energy and capacity awaiting leaders who can tap them.

Leaders must understand that for most men and women the driving energies are latent. Some individuals are unaware of their potentialities, some are sleepwalking through the routines of life, some have succumbed to a sense of defeat. What leaders see on the surface can be discouraging — people, even very able people, caught in the routines of life, thinking short-term, plowing narrow self-beneficial furrows through life. What leaders have to remember is that somewhere under that somnolent surface is the creature that builds civilizations, the dreamer of dreams, the risk taker. And, remembering that, the leader must reach down to the springs that never dry up, the ever-fresh springs of the human spirit.

Today starts a new year, full of possibilities. The greatest possibilities lie in people, in human potential, ready to be awakened: in you, and in those you lead.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.