October 5, 2013

Making Things Better

I’ve had many bosses and managers tell me over the years that I should focus on making my weaknesses better. My weaknesses are the area that I should “constantly try to improve. “ If I get better there, things will get better overall.

The concept here is that if you are weak in some areas, by bringing them up and making them better, you will end up improving overall.

Business will get better.
Your personal life will get better.
Everything will get better.

But I have discovered that this just isn’t so.

Reality (and research) have shown that improving your weaknesses only makes marginal overall improvements – No matter what it is you are working on.

In basketball for example, if you are great at playing inside/near the basket, but your three point shooting is pretty bad, constantly working on your three point shot is only going to marginally improve your overall game.  But if you work to improve your moves down low, and practice other techniques to make this area of your game better you will become an ever better player and asset to the team (what teammate doesn’t cringe when they see someone who shoots three pointers poorly start to launch them from behind the line???)

It’s sad that we often downplay our best gifts and talents by struggling to improve in someone else’s area of expert ability.  It is much better for us to focus on the things that we do well, and do them with excellence than to end up performing at a mediocre level in lots of different areas.  I hear Dan Miller talk about this frequently and he uses this strategy below to give guidance:

  • Work where you are the strongest 80 percent of the time.
  • Work where you are learning 15 percent of the time.
  • Work where you are weak 5 percent of the time.

I have known people who practice this and everyone looks at them as if they are so successful  – how do they do it!  A Real Christian Businessman takes the strategy above and figures out what they do best.  Read Strength Finders or StandOut.  Play to your strengths. Find out what they are.  Improve on them.  And pay less attention to those wanting you to focus on your weaknesses.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…” Romans 12:6 (NIV).

p.s. If you are looking for some great music for your pre-teen daughter check out 1 Girl Nation – it is a cross between One Direction and TobyMac – I HIGHLY recommend it and my six year old LOVES them!

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