We all know the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” and the famous line “Life is like a Box of Chocolates”.  Forrest Gump said “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I believe the Leadership is like a Box of Chocolates except that as an exceptional leader, it is your responsibility to ‘know what you’re gonna get’. You must learn what is inside your employees.

A box of chocolates has all kinds of different pieces in it. On the surface several of them look similar.  Only by looking at the key on the box will you know what is different about each one. As a leader, the key on the box is like you understanding each of your team members. It tells you something about each piece that is in the box and it shows that although some look similar they are all different.

To be a strong leader, you must look at each piece (each team member) and determine what the best fit is for each one. Who will work better with whom. An exceptional leader must know what is inside each of his/her team members and know how to get the best from each one. 

We all have hidden value, but the exceptional leader knows how to bring this value out. This person also knows which upper level leaders need to be made aware of each person’s value in order to advance the career of each of their team members.

As you lead your team, remember that your job is to find the hidden value in your Box of Chocolates.