Too many times companies send employees to trainings to fix the areas of weaknesses, we expect people to be well rounded to be successful.
The fact is excellent performers are hardly “well rounded”, they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former ones are aware of their strengths and are cultivating it through their day to day work whereas the later ones are spending time and energy in places other than their strengths.
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What I Mean by Strength
1. An activity is your strength when are able to do it consistently, repeatedly, happily and successfully.
2. You don’t have strength in every aspect of your role in order to excel.
3. You will excel only by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses. Most successful people didn’t ignore their weaknesses; instead they did something much more effective -Hired someone with complimentary strengths, found a niche, or worked on the weakness just to overcome the barrier.
Strength = Innate Talent + Knowledge + Skills.
Innate Talent: Try an activity and see how quickly you pick it up, how quickly you skip steps, and twists and kinks. See whether you become absorbed in the activity that you lose track of time. Talents are the neuron connections that through genetic inheritance and childhood experience you find smoother and easier to use than others. In internet analogy talents are like the T1 lines, have the strongest and loudest signals. Our brain wants us to use those; it seems effortless and engaging when we use those T1 lines.
Our talents come so easily that we take it for granted and think others are seeing the world the same way. If you are good at relating with people, anyone not that way seems too rude or too proud. Or if you are talented as an activator (who is good at starting new things) you may find the deliberative people (who are careful) lazy or risk avoiders. Instead of seeing it as their weaknesses, we need to be aware that these are our talents and make good use of those.
Factual knowledge. As an artist you need to know green and red when mixed makes the color brown. It is the vocabulary, for example, when you learn a language you need to know the words and their meanings.
Experiential knowledge – It is not written in the manuals you pick up from your experience/observation by trying different things. Experiencial knowldge usually makes the difference between good and outstanding.
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Skills bring structure to experiential knowledge. A sequence of steps if followed and practiced one can improve their performance. If you want to build your strengths you will need to acquire the skills. It is like the grammar of a language, without those your beautiful prose may not get the well deserved attention.
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