Discovering what you’re good at is the one area of your life that you must come to understand and become intimately familiar with, so when asked that question, the fluidity of the words just roll of your tongue effortlessly. Doesn’t that just sound pretty; the fluidity of the words just roll off your tongue effortlessly. When you can do that, ideas flow freely and easily, unhampered by fear and anxiety and that alone builds confidence and changes the trajectory of your life.
Too often people chase whatever pays the biggest salary; they chase money, fame and fortune instead of understanding their core competencies. They do not truly understanding who they are and what their core strength is. It’s in the development of core strength that brings the life you want into clear focus. Isn’t it fascinating that when you go to workout, every trainer regardless of the exercise you’re performing will tell you, you must develop core strength? Core strength is what enables the other parts of your body to work more efficiently. When you work from a position of core strength it makes everything else you attempt easier. Your professional career is guided by those same principles.
Peter Drucker wrote in the Harvard Business Review “It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence. Your time, energy and resources must go into making a competent you, a star performer.” Unfortunately, too many of us have a laser sharp focus on our weaknesses, on what we don’t have and what’s not working. My advice to you; find out what your core strength is and focus on how to develop it, package it and apply it to the needs of the day.
To uncover your core strength start by looking at your career objectively and write down all the things you like and dislike about your current or former job. Write down all the things that people say to you and what you know they’ve said to others about you; don’t judge it, just write it down. If you make speeches or travel the country for business, your reputation starts to build and adjectives are linked to your performance. Pull out current and old evaluation forms and re-read what bosses said about your strengths and weaknesses. Try to remember the circumstances and situations that prompted solicited and unsolicited feedback and a picture of your life will begin to emerge.
Next, jot down if you could have any three jobs in the world, what would they be? Don’t think about money or if you need more education, just perform big picture, lateral thinking. The details will come later. Finally, define your skills (is it budgeting, organizing, planning, building a high performance team), talent (what comes easy to you, what are you a natural at) and passion (what feeds your soul and feels like fun) and write it all down. Be able to quantify your skills with examples; what have you done, where have you done it and how well have you performed? When you set goals, what were they and what were the outcomes? You will begin to see a match between skills, talent and passion and what others are seeing and saying. I call this the match game. You will start to see a pattern of skills and talent that were used to accomplish your goals.
Everyone’s life has a pattern and you will begin to see yours. You will begin to identify where your core strength is and that’s what propels you from competent to excellent because you are operating from a position of power. Just like in physical exercise; working from a strong core, invigorates and enables all other body parts to work better. Your body, your life, knows where your power is if you take time to listen. Once you realize what you own and where your strength lies, the key is to further develop it and apply it to what’s needed in today’s world; what’s needed now. There has to be an intersection where your skills and talent meet the needs of the day. Whatever you discover your core strength to be, to hear Donald Trump’s famous words, “you’re hired” you must have a strategic plan-of-action that includes research, networking, marketing and becoming an expert in the brand called you.
Have a plan on where and how you will apply your skill strength to the world; have a bull’s eye not a helter-skelter approach. Have a target list that fits your strength. Look for areas where you can apply your skills, talent and passion. When you take a bulls-eye approach you automatically position yourself above your competition because you have matched your strength, to targeted industries, companies and positions. Your time and effort in this endeavor will greatly enhance whatever it is you’re looking to do and place you in a position of ultimate power. Have fun playing the match game.