It’s January 13th and already 80% of new year’s resolutions are falling short. People are trying to improve a weakness, others are attempting to correct misalignments in their personality, and some are working to develop new skills.
Maybe it was a boss who suggested the area for improvement or a boyfriend casually dropping the idea to join Toastmasters.
But why all this energy on a weakness?
We are trained from any early age to get better at things we are weak at, and it stays with us for a lifetime. Strengthen where you are weak. We don’t know any better, our brain has been imprinted with this rule and like a loyal soldier it stands on guard.
But imagine what would happen if you made small, incremental, even microscopic improvements each month on your greatest strengths. If you are an all-star front end developer, would a 1% improvement in your skills result in a greater gain than 10% improvement in your cross-team collaboration – something you’d consider a weakness? I can’t say for sure, but I’d suggest you examine it.
I’m creative, I develop unique products and highly engaging marketing. I’m really strong in this area. When it comes to logistics and back-end operations, I’m not weak, but I’m certainly not strong. I’m quite confident a 3-5% increase in my creativity and marketing tool kit would have a far larger impact than a 25% increase in my back-end skill set.
I believe we focus on improvements in our weaknesses because subconsciously we are afraid of our own success and how powerful we can become. Society encourages us to improve where we are weak, but rarely inspires us to forget our weaknesses and put greater effort into incremental improvements in our strengths.
Efficiency means turning the crank right. Effectiveness is turning the right crank. A strength means you are turning the right crank, you’ve got that figured out, but why go and try to find another crank to turn? Instead, get that crank operating at a level that will bring you far greater satisfaction and far greater results than choosing a new area to improve on.
What’s your greatest strength?
What would a 5% improvement in this strength result in? Seriously, think about that.
Are you willing to focus 100% on improving your strengths a little each month?