Born Not Made

I see the frustration every day. It comes from people believing a myth. The myth is, “If I just keep working harder at it, I can master it.”

It is the American ethos which sounds noble, but it is a lie. There are many things that we all can work very hard at and the best we can hope for is mediocrity. If there were a scale ranging from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, you land somewhere on that scale in various areas of your life. You can only move up 2 points on that scale with hard work.

For example, if you are a 4 at jumping, then working hard will make you a 6. People will not show up to watch you high jump. You will become obscure. However, if you were a 7 at throwing, hard work will help you become a 9. Throwing a ball may lead to a major league career. People pay for a 9.

If you are not aware of where you land in various areas, especially when it comes to knowledge work, then you risk wasting time and energy being mediocre. How tragic when you could leverage what you are better than thousands of other people are than compete with mediocrity in areas of your weaknesses.

My observation as a business coach is that:

  1. People generally do not know their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. People are attracted to working in their weaknesses. They take their strengths for granted because they are “easy.”
  3. Everyone has blind spots (including myself).

If you want a recipe for being unsuccessful, it’s easy; keep working in your weaknesses. You will feel like you are working hard, but it will be a lot of effort for small returns.

Every person has a different set of acumen. You can do things faster, with ease and more precision in certain areas than others. For example, do you:

  • Naturally connect with and win people or do you see issues with blazing clarity?
  • Have a tendency to want control or pull resources to solve problems?
  • Instantly see a plan or a vision?
  • See a process or what is important?
  • Gain clarity through dialogue or through intuition?

There are hard wirings inside each of us which enable us to process information and attack problems in our own gifted ways. Successful people understand these with precision and work solely in their strengths.

Let me ask you, if you had a blind spot, how could you see it? By definition, it is a blind spot. We all have them, myself included. In order to see clearly, having someone shine an objective light on our blind spots enables us to perform at much higher levels if we can recognize them and play in our strengths.

If you are truly committed to your own success, don’t guess at your strengths and weaknesses. You are likely not the best judge. One thing I have observed and you likely have as well, is that we do not judge ourselves accurately. We need someone to help us get past our blind spots. Start that journey by getting coached in your strengths, the very thing that makes you special and able to succeed at what you do.

If you are committed to your own growth, click here to learn more about how you play in your specific strengths.

Choose not to let your blind spots inhibit you. Be a person of growth and live in your strengths.

2 thoughts on “Born Not Made

  1. One of my summer graduate courses is called ‘Organizational Change.’ Our panel discussion with several administrators this morning was all about achieving change by enabling the education community to operate within their strengths. Administration is challenged every year to help their faculty and co-administrators determine areas in which they are most in need of help, and also areas of strength from which they can generate ways of helping others develop programs for teaching and learning.

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