Photo Courtesy of Grace Wong
“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.”
- Marilyn Vos Savant
The other day, a friend approached me and asked, “Derek, how come you are so good at everything you do?” and my response was, “I only do things I’m good at, and delegate the rest.”
This is a great question because we are trained from childhood and on to focus on our “areas of improvement” or “development opportunities.”
Don’t believe me?
When you failed your math test on Tuesday and received an A in writing on Wednesday, were you sent to a writing workshop or math extra help?
This is the sure-fire route to mediocrity.
The World’s Richest Man Could Not Write
Cornelius Vanderbilt, a transportation tycoon from the 19th century, was one of the richest men to walk the Earth and he struggled to write a complete sentence. He was once quoted as saying “If I had learned education, I would not have had time to learn anything else.”
Vanderbilt developed his strengths and achieved greatness as a result.
The World’s Greatest Olympian Does Not Pole Vault
Michael Phelps has been deemed the world’s greatest Olympian. He can’t pole vault and he can’t gracefully handspring across a blue mat, but the man might as well have gills. His home is the pool and you never see him compete elsewhere.
Phelps developed his strengths and achieved greatness as a result.
The Right People in the Right Seats
Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great,” wrote that the executives who took companies from “Good” to “Great” did not learn how to drive the bus. Instead, they put the right people in the right seats and got the wrong people off of the bus.
Chief Executive Officers do not learn to become the best Chief Financial Officers or Chief Operating Officers. Instead, they look to hire people to do the right job the right way.
Great Bloggers Are Not Designers
I find many new bloggers are excellent writers, but often find themselves caught up in tweaking their blog designs or marketing their articles. Their blog suffers as a result.
I made this mistake when I first started blogging. I spent countless hours trying to tweak my blog design. 10, 20, 30 hours went by and I finally finished. Fortunately for me, I created absolute crap. I could have paid someone on Digital Point 50 dollars to create something 1000x better than what I made and that’s what I did… after I wasted 30 hours.
Building The Right Team
Jack Welch, former-CEO of General Electric once said, “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings – and put compensation as a carrier behind it – you almost don’t have to manage them.”
After my blogging design debacle, I decided to never spend another minute doing something I wasn’t amazing at. Instead, I partnered with other amazing people and I let them do what they were amazing at.
(Why don’t you check out Three Reasons You Should Find A Business Partner?)
Focus On Strength
I have always been terrible at design, but I would spend countless hours trying to become great at it.
It never worked. So, I stopped trying to learn it, which freed up much more time to focus on developing my talents such as writing.
Are You Guilty?
Do you currently spend an inordinate amount of time trying to develop your weaknesses? Well, I dare you to become amazing at one of your strengths. To do this, share your strengths in the comments below and maybe you can find a new partner to work with.