Each of us has natural strengths and weaknesses. We all have unique qualities and character traits that differentiates us from one another. That’s what makes us who we are.
I recently listened to a Dave Ramsey Entreleadership podcast hosted by Chris Locurto. In the podcast, Chris interviewed Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, who talked about the importance of determining and developing your strengths. He made a great point about how sometimes people focus on developing an aspect of their life that isn’t a strength, which oftentimes leads to results that aren’t as good as they could be.
For example, in football who’s better served spending hours, days, months and years practicing football skills – “Rudy” or Joe Montana? In the movie “Rudy”, he spends years as the underdog on the team in hopes that he’ll get in the game for just one play. While it’s great that he eventually achieves this goal and gets in the game, were all the years and efforts spent to achieve it used most efficiently and effectively?
Could he have spent that time and energy on something that he was naturally gifted in and accomplished even greater things? Could he have focused on natural strengths rather than putting so much focus into making up for his weaknesses and achieved even more?
On the contrary, football legend Joe Montana who had natural attributes, physical traits and strengths for the game made his focus on the sport produce amazing results.
Is a student who has four A’s and one D in their course work better served shifting all their focus onto bringing that D up to a mediocre better grade or on developing the four A’s even further which are likely natural strengths to produce amazing results in those areas?
There are probably different answers for different people, but I think this is an important point to consider. For some people, pursuing a passion that isn’t necessarily a strength may be something they desire to do. However, some people may consider the concept of finding and building on their strengths to achieve remarkable results a better choice of action.
We’re all different. Everyone has different strengths. There’s certaintly something to be said for being well rounded and being good at a wide range of things. However, being excellent and remarkable at one or a few things can be what truly sets someone apart from the masses.
Let’s take me for example. I naturally cannot sing very well (or at all….haha). I think it would be great to have the ability to sing well. However, I don’t think that I would get much benefit from spending time and money practicing singing, going to singing classes or taking voice lessons. Would it help improve my marginal ability to sing? Probably so in some minor insignificant way, but would it take me from being a poor singer to a great singer? Likely not.
What are your strengths? Are you developing a weakness or a strength? Are your efforts most effective? Let’s find and build our strengths to take ourselves from good to great.