Do what you do really well

astery

I remember how performance discussions back in the days always focused on one’s “development opportunities”, which was HR-code for weaknesses. For many organizations, they still do.

Focusing on your weaknesses and trying to overcome them has long been the main career development advice. If you still get (only) that kind of coaching, walk away!

Don’t get me wrong, we all have areas to improve, and we should not ignore those. Life is about learning, growing, and overcoming challenges. However, if your weaknesses are your focus, you will not achieve your full potential. Not even close.

You will get much further and be more impactful if you focus on your strengths (as more recent research shows).

Do what you do really well and do more of it!

It is all about what YOU can bring to the table for your team and organization. It’s the special YOU, the outstanding strengths you provide that will make a difference, not your attempt to bring your weaknesses slightly above average.

Teams thrive on diversity, and diversity comes from everyone doing what they do best, not from trying to do the same.

Of course, there are expectations that we all need to meet, and there is a set of soft and hard skills that are required for the work we do. You won’t get away with shining at a few things while being crappy at everything else. That’s not what I’m saying.

However, instead of trying to push the things that don’t come naturally to you above the required average, you should focus on becoming exceptional at the things that you are uniquely talented for. And then, you need to find more opportunities to bring those exceptional talents to the benefit of your organization.

Do what you do really well and do more of it!

What can you bring to your team and organization more and better than anyone else?

Find your special strengths. Versatility is just another word for average.

To differentiate yourself and have the greatest impact, you need to find your unique talents, figure out how they translate into maximum value for the organization, and grow them into areas of ownership for yourself.

Use your unique strengths as a way to position yourself, gain authority, take ownership, and with that, reach autonomy. Everyone has unique strengths that differentiate them from everyone else.

What defines YOU? What can YOU bring to the team better than anyone else?

Versatility, the ability to do a decent job at anything, is great as a secondary trait, but not as the primary thing that defines you. You want to be known as the expert for something, rather than the “Jack of all trades but master of none”. Janitors are versatile – everyone else should be hard to replace because of their unique profile and capabilities.

Don’t focus on your weaknesses – build on your strengths!


Did you like this post? Want to read more? Check out our newest book!

Thriving in High-Pressure Environments
Lessons from Amazon, a global pandemic, and other crazy times
By Alfons and Ulrike Staerk
ISBN 9798718017663

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