Due to the complex nature of business it is natural that business owners and management teams do not have all the answers or competency for every situation thrown their way. The skills it takes to start a company from nothing and build it to a multi-million dollar a year business are not the same skills that it takes to run and maintain a mature business. Some founders have the ability and desire to build, grow and maintain their business for many years but most do not, so the board of directors brings on a CEO with a skill-set more appropriate for the shift in landscape. This really brings to light the fact that we should be spending our time increasing our natural strengths. If you don’t already, carve out time each day to focus on what you are truly good at and think about how you can best leverage that strength. Entrepreneurs and founders have a specific set of skills (although most would hardly consider an entrepreneur’s skill-set as “specific” but certainly different from others) that help them create something out of nothing. Corporate Executives and managers that run mature companies with massive budgets have entirely different responsibilities and thus different skills. We should seek to expand our level of expertise but not try to re-construct our DNA. Be the best YOU that you can be! Once your really hone-in on what you are naturally awesome at you can start putting an action plan together to translate thoughts into actions, and ultimately start proactively executing in your strengths. You may even have strengths you don’t even know about. Ask your friends, family and co-workers what they think you naturally excel at. They may see subtle things in you like: being a good listener, diffusing stressful situation, always staying positive, being an encourager, or simply that you are a fun person. Talking to friends about what you naturally excel in is a great way to learn more about yourself and be encouraged. If you are a good listener spend time each day, or at least 3 times a week, proactively seeking people to talk with for the sheer purpose of listening. You would not believe how much this will benefit you and the people you speak with because most people don’t care to discuss for the purpose of learning or even interest they just want to be heard. Maybe you find that you are good at encouraging people. Just being aware of your strengths will now make you more likely to use and grow in them. Seek out people to encourage. If you are a fun person think about all the spontaneous ways you can be fun with people. Send them something in the mail, show up at someone’s office, plan a random weekend trip with friends, just do things that will grow your natural ability. Doing so will bring a whole new level of satisfaction into your life. No matter how bad or good things are going when you are operating in your natural strengths you will be more content and live a far less stressful life, I guarantee it! I conclude with one of my favorite quotes attributed to Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Stop trying to be good at someone else’s strength!