It’s performance review time. You’re asked to reflect on your performance and productivity. “Well, I landed four accounts, but I think I could improve on managing my time better.” Sound familiar?
Marcus Buckingham, best-selling author, researcher, speaker, CEO and business consultant, has this to say about changing your psychology of strengths and weaknesses: “It’s a systemic belief that weaknesses are areas of opportunity for improvement.”
This is a myth when it comes to achieving success. Instead of focusing your energies on trying to rearrange your work diary, keep improving on what you’re doing to land accounts. The fact is, when you focus attention on something it becomes magnified.
So if you’re focusing on something that doesn’t work with the intent to fix it, you’ll find that the problem becomes magnified. “Entrepreneurs have the right attitude when it comes to return on investments. They understand that strengths are the greatest areas for growth. Weakness is mitigated as much as possible.”
Make mistakes work
Today’s society is fixated on achieving success, but it’s often quick to point out and focus on failure. You internalise this message. “I landed four accounts, but I missed the big fish,” you say. “You have to remember that not all traffic lights are green,” Marcus says. “One of the things about great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, is that they also fail, but they use those failures as a way to understand how to make their next success even greater.”
Tailor to your strengths
We look at Richard Branson and think, “Wow, he’s got the perfect job!” In truth it doesn’t just happen this way. He made his business fit his personality perfectly. The same goes for Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, they tailored their businesses to suit their strengths.
“When you’re able to tune out the noise of everyone else’s opinion and listen to what your intuition (your strengths) is telling you, you’re able to make better decisions about your business’s direction. You become more conscious and deliberate about what you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to,” Marcus says.
Stop using generics
“It’s all fine and well to say ‘I’m good at communicating’,” says Marcus. “So am I. The difference is, I know ‘who, what and when’ about my communication strengths. I’m best at communicating to large groups of people about things I know inside out and when I’m fully prepared.
Someone else might be the complete opposite, working best with known individuals, spontaneously and one-on-one.” These are the things that make the difference between average and excellent performance and will ultimately play into your success.