Have you ever seen The Matrix? You know, the Keanu Reeves movies from the late 90s and early 2000s where the world as we know it is all a computer program.
Over the course of the movie Neo (Reeves) discovers he’s been living a lie. Everything he thinks is real is only a computer generated illusion. Through a course of actions he “wakes up” in the real world–a place significantly more hopeless and destitute.
After “waking up”, Neo hacks back into the Matrix for some training. His clothes have changed, his hair has changed, even the ports that were present on his body are no longer there. This is called, if I remember correctly, his residual self image. It’s what he thinks he looks like, or what he chooses to look like.
We all have a similar problem. We have a residual self image we want others to see and believe about us. You have one. I have one.
As we seek to recognize leadership potential in students (or even adults), part of our task is to look past the residual self image a student projects, and discern what lies beneath.
It’s not cool to be a servant leader, but when you see that glimpse of humility, bells should be going off.
For me, those bells are a wonderful thing. I love seeing the potential in a student and learning to navigate the waters of what is currently and what could be in the future.
Are you looking past the residual self image of those around you? Are you starting to notice the potential? Do you know how to start developing that potential? (Click here to read the approach I take.)
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