Magic of Seeing the Unseen

Sunset in Phoenix AZ

Do you have a special place? You know. A place that’s magic? Over the years I’ve encountered several magical places. The Mojave Desert. The Appalachian Mountains. Munich. Bali. The Philippine Sea. The Sonoran Desert. Hong Kong. My backyard. The South Carolina Lowcountry. The Piedmont. My garage. And so on and so on. From the lush rainforest of the Amazon to the dry deserts of the Southwest. From the big cities of Europe to the small villages of Africa. There’s magic. People. Food. Experiences. Pure, and simple, magic.

Whether you travel or not, there’s magic around if you look for it. My grandparents grew up in rural West Virginia. They were not well traveled. And yet they saw magic every day. The same with a chief in a remote part of Kenya who hadn’t traveled more than 30 kilometers from the village in which he was born. Rural Nebraska, small-town South Carolina, remote Appalachia, bustling Paris. The location does not matter. There’s magic all around. For those with eyes to see.

Recently while in Arizona, I snapped a quick picture of the sunset. It wasn’t the best picture nor was it the best sunset. But it was beautiful. The modified picture posted above doesn’t do it justice. The sky was clear. The colors were vibrant. There was a “pinkish” hue in the air (if that’s even possible). And I was reminded how brilliant (and consistent) beautiful sunsets and sunrises are in “the Valley.”

I recalled that while living in Phoenix, I had to remind myself to look up and pay attention. I had to work at “seeing.” After several years, it was tempting to take the brilliant colors of the morning and evening sky for granted. But there’s magic for those with eyes to see, for those willing to work at it.

There’s magic in the fog, in the sunshine and in the clouds. There’s magic in the snow, in the rain and in the frost. There’s magic in newborn babies, teenagers and senior citizens. There’s magic all around for those with eyes to see.

Great leaders develop their eyesight. They look more deeply than others. They see what others cannot. Or won’t. They see magic in their surroundings and they see magic in people. You see, people are created uniquely. We’re amazing. You. Me. Everyone. Great leaders seen keenly and clearly. They have both microscopic and telescopic eyesight. Micro and macro-level details catch their attention. They understand and see the potential in others. Their magic.

For many years, I’ve had the privilege to work with people of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, race, religion, gender, culture, and education. And one thing I’ve learned. People are magic. Pure magic.

A great painter like Van Gogh looked at a blank canvas and saw a great masterpiece. The same is true with musical geniuses such as Beethoven, writers such as Shakespeare and performers like Johnny Cash or the Beetles. The greatest of the great see what others cannot. But all of us can improve our eyesight.

Great leaders see potential in others. They help shape behavior to achieve world-class results. They make an impact on those they encounter. They raise the bar for those around them. People and teams are better off in their presence. They bring out the best in others.

We each have magic inside us. We have potential, uniqueness, dreams, and talents that want to be unleashed. Great leaders see the unseen. They don’t see an awkward teenager. They see a university professor. They don’t see an average cashier. They see a successful entrepreneur. They don’t see an elderly widow. They see a highly regarded author.

Do you see magic in others? Do you help unleash it? I try to positively impact, in some way, everyone with whom I spend time. Encouraging. Developing. Growing. Connecting. Relating. Supporting. Loving. Positively pushing. Nurturing. The greatest compliments I’ve received are those moments when someone thanks me for helping them in some way, helping them tap into their own magic, seeing their own potential. Achieving more. Being more content. Performing at a higher level. Raising the bar. Impacting others. I see the magic in others. I see their potential. I see the unseen. Do you? Are you looking?

What I’ve observed in over 30 years of domestic and international experience in church, business, academia, athletics, and “life” is that many focus too much on putting something INTO others instead of RELEASING what’s already there. Very few people (from teenagers to seniors) need you to tell them what to do or how to behave. They need someone to see them, believe in them, release them, support them and encourage them. Yes, once in a while, someone needs to be injected with some “what and how.” But rarely. All of us need encouragement and support. We need to be empowered, trusted and set-free.

Hope you have a great week. Look for the unseen. Develop your skills as a magician. See others. Act as a catalyst for their performance, growth and success.

Dr. Robert Gerwig is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]

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