May 24, 2012

Improving On What Is Already Good

What is it that you are good at?

What is something that you do, that when you do it, you get “lost” and time just seems to slip by?

”Your challenge is to figure out what is unique about you and figure out how to make it useful.” Marcus Buckingham – Chick Fil A Leadercast, May 4th, 2012.

This is your strength.

I was able to once again hear Marcus Buckingham speak recently at the Chick Fil a Leadercast.  He  has spent the last 10-15 years of his life dedicated to helping people reach their fullest potential, not by trying to make your weaknesses better, but by improving on your strengths – and staying focused on those for exponential growth and success.

Ever since I heard Marcus speak many years ago I have been whole heartily supportive of what he is trying to teach.

Have you ever had a manager that always points out the things that you need to improve on, but never takes the time to help you grow on the things that you already do well?  This is a traditional approach to managing, always wanting workers to improve on the things that would require the most effort to improve but move the needle the least amount.

Statistics show that we can exponentially improve our performance when we take what we are “good” at and move it to being “great”.  You see, when we try move a non-strength of ours from being “weak,” we spend a lot of time on it, and maybe we can get it up to the “average” point.  Lots of effort.  Not much result.  But if we spend some time improving on something that we already do well, the gain is so much greater!

I want to encourage you today to be a Real Christian Business Man and stop for just 60 seconds to think about what it is that you already know that you do well.  You probably don’t even realize what it is because it is so natural for you!?!  Is it public speaking? Do you pay great attention to detail? Are you a good listener?  Do you show lots of compassion?

I also want to suggest that you read Marcus Buckingham’s latest book – StandOut.  It is a short/quick read, but after you read it (and take the 15 minute online assessment) you will have a much better idea of what areas you excel in.

I know one of my natural strengths is that I have the innate ability to get along with anyone at any income or socio-economic level.  From the street sweeper to the CEO of a large organization, I am able to comfortably communicate with this person without any extra effort at all.  God just built me this way.  I actually for years thought that everyone else was like this as well until my wonderful wife helped me realize that not everyone was designed this way!

My point here is that once you are able to identify what you do best, just by KNOWING what it is, and putting a few things into practice to MAKE THAT BETTER it will only make you interact in your business environment, home, school, wherever that much better and you will become even more productive!

Romans 12:6- “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

My encouragement to you today, is to not let someone at work (especially your manager!) bring you down for pointing out what you are not doing well and telling you that “you have to fix it”.  I am not saying that there are things that we need to do in our vocation that must be done (don’t blow off your responsibilities!) but look past this destructive criticism to the positive and uplifting points of what you are already doing well and improve upon them. I know that it will make you better!

What do you think your strengths are and how can you use them to honor the One who gave you these talents?

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