High Pos

High (adj) – Exceeding the common degree or measure.

Potential (adj) – Capable of being or becoming.

In the professional world, we frequently refer to top performers with significant upward mobility as “Hi-Po’s” (short for high potentials). Today’s post is fueled by the reality that every one of us has the ability to be a Hi-Po – in our lives and in our careers.

One might fall into the self-limiting way of thinking that only certain people, who have certain pedigrees and/or family networks, are Hi-Po’s. This could not be farther from the truth. While every single one of us will not actually achieve greatness, we all have the potential to.

Allow me to use an example: Brian Kibby.


Age – 47

Occupation – President, McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Record – Stellar

Education – Western Illinois University (far from Ivy League)

Got His Start – Private, United States Army

Family Background – Humble beginnings

Brian’s background is average. However, his achievements thus far in life are nothing short of spectacular. Why? Because Brian dreams big for himself, and he dedicates himself to excellence.

I was recently reading a Forbes column by one of the most renowned leadership experts in the world, and I happened upon a list of ten leaders who are CEO-ready. Guess whose name I found on this list? Brian Kibby’s.

Most people have never had their name mentioned in Forbes, much less with a picture in a column proclaiming they are one of ten CEO-ready leaders.

Congratulations, Brian, on achieving greatness thus far, with even more greatness to come. More importantly, thank you for inspiring greatness in countless others, and for reminding us that we can all be Hi-Po’s…provided we are willing to work for it.

Lead. Courageously.

Doug's Signature


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I am the Chief Sales Officer at McGraw-Hill Higher Education. More
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