Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Focus On Your Strengths

Earlier this week I was reading a book called Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (Gallup Press, 2008) for a continuing education course I am taking. I came across a couple of statements that struck me.

The first one said, "if you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything." A few lines later the author followed up by saying that leaders who, "strive to be competent in all areas become the least effective leaders of all." (Rath, Conchie; p. 7)

We live in a world that is obsessed with "balance" and being "well-rounded". People do not want to admit that they have weaknesses and are regularly trying to overcome or hide them. But, according to the authors that is a sure path toward mediocrity. That doesn't sound very attractive to me. I don't want to be mediocre. I want to be an effective leader, making a strong, positive impact on those around me.

We should be investing most of our time and energy into what we are naturally talented at. That is where the opportunity to become great lies. That is an investment that is bound to return attractive dividends. In many way it's common sense and the research that Gallup has done shows that it is true.

Where are you investing your time and energy? What one thing can you do today to invest in your natural talents? I encourage you to become very intentional about developing your talents into functional strengths that will boost your impact as a leader. The world needs a lot more great leaders. Will you answer the call?

Seize the day!

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