Both executives and athletes dedicate their time doing things to reach their highest level of performance. The key word that drives them is ACTION.
I’d like to invite you to TAKE A BREAK right now. That’s right, step back for a minute to REFLECT.
What do you think any top striker on any soccer team does to enhance their performance?
Above all, they enhance-practice what they believe they do ESPECIALLY WELL. They train for hours upon hours in their search for excellence. And they focus on an area in which they are already exceptional: their one-on-one finishing drills, headers, free-throw shooters… .
These players have a critical edge since they already know where their main strengths lie. They will FOCUS on their STRENGTHS. They’ll work extremely hard on something that they already do really well. This is always a guarantee of success!
So that’s all they do? What about their weaknesses?
They also need to know where their weaknesses lie but these will not be their FOCUS. Once they identify their areas for improvement, they’ll practice and work on them. But only until they reach an “acceptable level” of performance and satisfy what their team needs from them.
In this case, this same striker will have to address his or her weaknesses -defensive moves- and work on improving them. But their search for EXCELLENCE will almost surely not reside on this endeavor.
If we replicate this athletic model in the business world, we’ll be able to hit on some key learnings in the development of leadership skills.
I’ll suggest a few questions to ponder as you reflect on the approach used by elite athletes:
1- What “position” do I play on my organization’s team?
- Clarify your ROLE: make a list of everything your job requires
In order to “play” in this position within my organization:
2- What am I particularly good at?
- Clarify your STRENGTHS: write down all the actions you take that make you stand out in this role. Those that you think you have a natural talent for.
Now that you’ve spent time reflecting on and identifying your strength(s):
3- What can I do to elevate them to the level of EXCELLENCE?
- Clarify your ACTIONS: Devise action plans that allow you to build on your strengths on a daily basis. Place a laser-focus on them and never stop working on them!
If you’ve come this far, it’s above all because of what do you do well, a skill that comes naturally for you. Take a step back, reflect and try to pinpoint the thing that makes you special.
Be conscious of your weaknesses; accept them and be realistic about your plan for improvement. But never forget your strengths. Nurture them! They’re yours!
If you’re set on improving, ask yourself these three questions, aim your FOCUS and have fun developing your STRENGTHS!
Success will be a natural consequence!