In Leaders

“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is managing to stay focused on things that really matter.  So much of what we run into every day is really not that important.  It might seem important at the time, it might be urgent, you might be surrounded by people who think it’s all that matters – but in truth it probably doesn’t matter.

So how do we stay focused on what we really should be focused on?  For a lot of leaders I know, just knowing what should be the focus is a struggle.  So here are 4 things to think about when trying to decide what you should be doing:

  1. What are your strengths?  What are you really good at?  Don’t think in terms of tasks (I’m good at reconciling bank statements, I’m good at approving purchase orders, etc) – think bigger than that.  Are you a good strategic thinker?  Are you good at coaching your team?  Are you innovative?
  2. Take a look at your list of strengths.  Which ones are really valuable to the business?  Every business is different, so everyone’s answers will be different.  If you scored them on a scale of 1-10 (10 being really important), how many of them would score an 8 or higher?  Those are the ones to focus on.
  3. Now think about your position (job) right now.  Are you currently able to use those valuable strengths?  Maybe one of your strengths is coaching, and that would be very valuable to your business, but you never get to do it.  How many of your valuable strengths are you getting to use?
  4. Lastly, think about your personal vision.  What kinds of things do you want to spend your career doing?  What kinds of things do you think a person in your position should be doing?  Sometimes we have strengths in certain areas and they might be valuable but in the long run they really aren’t things we want to spend our whole lives doing.  Understand your vision of your future.

Now the fun/hard part.  What are you going to change?  If you have strengths that are valuable to your business, and they fit your vision, but right now you don’t get to use them – what are you going to do about it?  Why aren’t you using them?  What has to change in your organization for you to be able to be the best you can be?


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