This is an excerpt from Finding Mastery #089 with Microsoft’s EVP of Worldwide Commercial Business, Judson Althoff, in which he shares how to help others find their potential.


Michael Gervais: I’d love if you shared the way that you worked to have a sense of what your potential is or what somebody else’s could be.

Judson Althoff: I look for the sparks because everybody has them. Everybody has these moments of brilliance but rarely do people see them. You’re not always looking in the mirror when a moment of brilliance occurs.

If you just stop that person, whether you do it in the moment in front of their peers, or you take the time to pull them aside, or send them a letter, or an e-mail, or personal outreach and say, “Hey, I just want to tell you that was a brilliant moment. And in that moment I don’t just see a moment where you got lucky, I see more in you. Let’s talk.”

As my assistant would tell you and she probably would throw a book at me if she heard me saying this on something that gets recorded – I rarely say no to somebody asking for my time.

Especially if it’s somebody who said, “Hey you know I want to just tell you my story and tell you what I’m interested in and get your advice on where can I go from here.”

Those are such precious and almost fragile moments because somebody is actually saying, “Hey I’m willing to hear, I’m willing to take that leap, take that journey to go start finding out what my potential really is.”

And so you look for the sparks. You listen. And you try to help as much as you can because really if you can help somebody else reach their potential or even start them on that journey, that’s one of the most rewarding things in life.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


EVP, Worldwide Commercial Business at

Judson Althoff is executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business organization. He leads the company’s commercial business strategy, including enterprise, public sector, small and mid-market, services, developer and partner. His organization is responsible for leading the digital transformation for commercial customers and partners to realize greater business value through the use of technology.