Don’t ignore the trees to see the forest by Roz Usheroff
Earlier this week I read an article in Forbes talking about How Successful People Cure Their Blindspots.
As the title suggests, the post focused on the apparent blindspots or weaknesses that “derail” leaders from achieving their goals, and what they need to do to address them.
It is an interesting perspective in that while most of us obviously want to emphasize our strengths or unique abilities in our quest to achieve a big picture outcome, it is our weaker elements that more frequently than not, receive the most attention. This is where the intent of the Forbes article can be misinterpreted. Specifically, we are often encouraged to work at competencies that are weak so we spend less time enhancing our best attributes. Or to put it another way, we can actually be blinded by unduly focusing on the things (the trees) that hinder our progress, instead of utilizing our strengths as they relate to our ultimate goals (the forest).
Now I am not suggesting that we ignore the trees to see the forest. What I am suggesting is that we learn to manage all descriptors or levels of our Genius Hierarchy, including maintaining our mediocrity at acceptable levels.
Maintaining mediocrity? What do I mean by maintaining mediocrity?
With regard to this last point, I have sometimes been asked if by placing the greater emphasis on doing those things that you enjoy and at which you excel encourages people to overlook responsibilities that are boring or difficult to do. In other words, am I advocating an “If it feels good do it, otherwise forget it” mentality?
Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that in business and in life there are going to be things that we have to do that in and of themselves fall into the Competent Abilities and Energy Waster i.e. mediocre categories.
I believe, however, that it is the big picture attitude that enables you to perform the less desirable tasks. For example, I may not like putting together a financial business plan. In fact, for me, this falls between Competent and Energy Waster capabilities. As painful as this process is, however, I can appreciate the comfort of knowing I have the ability to pay my bills, manage my time, and plan my income based on projections. I like the confidence I derive from being proactive and benefit from the security that I have the checks and balances in place, reassured that I am focusing on the bigger picture perspective. This ultimately enables me to function at the highest level of personal productivity.
This being said I am also very clear to delegate the implementation of my vision to those who possess either Unique Ability® or Excellent Abilities in finance. For example, I have a full-time accounting firm managing my finances, an appointed bookkeeper for daily financial activities, in addition to a designated personal financial adviser.
Once again, and even if you are living your dream job in terms of doing the things you love, there will be times when you will have no choice but to participate in menial tasks. However, if you have been effective in delegating those tasks that you would classify as being Energy Wasters, you will at least be dealing with responsibilities for which you have some degree of competence.
From my perspective delegating to other people’s strengths as opposed to going it alone, is a sign of true leadership.
® Dan Sullivan