To start off, I believe 110% in working in your strengths and it’s how I’ve achieved success as well as how I run the business that I’m a part of.
In fact, I think it’s really the only way to run a distributed web-based team, especially with very creative, talented, and motivated individuals.
For those that may not necessarily be completely aware of this particular paradigm of thought it’s most simply understood as this: Spend more time cultivating and leveraging your core strengths and less time focusing on the things that you’re simply not good at.
A great example is the fact that I am terrible at administration. I do not have an administrative bone in my body (you can ask my wife!). It is to my loss (and the people that I work with as well) if I were to decide to somehow “get better” at it by spending a lot of time trying to do something that I’m simply not created to do well.
Instead, I concentrate on the things that I know that I’m good at and hone those skills as a craftsman would and by doing so will maximize them to the utmost.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that I can do to help better my core strengths by activating corollary skills in an effort to refine my core ones!
Here are 3 that I’ve identified:
1. Public Speaking
Some of you have had the unfortunate experience of hearing me speak publicly. I am not a gifted communicator by any stretch of the imagination. What I have gotten away with is choosing my topics carefully and speaking only about that which I am exceptionally knowledgeable about.
As such, I am “seen” as a better communicator than I actually am and I know that it’s holding me back from being more successful in both my business as well as some of my writing.
With a few opportunities this year I feel that I’ll be able to stretch my wings a bit more here and become a better communicator. My goal is not to be a conference circuit speaker (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but to simply be a better vehicle for communicating ideas well and with authority.
I know that it will impact my writing directly!
I wrote recently that good writers and bloggers need to rest well in order to write well and that’s still very true! But, what I mean specifically is being better at blocking out specific points of the day, week, month, and year to “actively” rest in order to give space for innovation and creative thinking.
I am constantly in “go” mode and am thankful for the level of productivity that I can push out but it is simply not sustainable long term! Writing 3,248 blog posts in one year was neat (as a number) but not good for my health.
I want to purposely block out time to simply “rest” (not sleeping) and clear my mind for creative and more innovative thinking. It will make me more healthy and make my writing better.
Finally, if you think that “rest” isn’t a skill I would beg to differ! You know people who are amazing at finding effective ways to rest themselves and they are some of the most productive people in the world!
3. Emotional Intelligence
There are many different and varying thoughts about ‘emotional intelligence’ and I take a more general approach to the term:
Emotional Intelligence is the ability, capacity, and skill of being able to identify, assess, and manage well and effectively the emotions of oneself and others.
I am a very emotional person and I love it (as much as I can love myself I suppose). I get emotional charged about what I do and the people I know and love. I can also get very emotionally engaged with some of my projects and even the web apps that myself and my team build.
But, I can manage my emotions poorly at times and this directly impacts my ability to lead others and my team. It also impacts my ability to communicate which then impacts my writing.
I think everyone can use a bit of coaching in light of their emotional intelligence and thankfully I have a coach that helps me in this area, which is always in need of constant improvement!
So what about you? Those are my 3 (and now that I look at it it seems like a lot…) so what are yours?