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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where's Your Focus?

Thoughts for the day.

I'm reading a book for work, "First, Break All The Rules-What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently". We have a new (revamped) program to develop and groom every individual in the organziation to mold them into the best little employee they can possibly be. We develop a plan, put it online in a neat little program and it's there for the duration of the year for both the manager and employee to document and update their progress and journey throughout the year. So-I'm going for the Greatest Manager in the World title. LOL. No seriously, it is supposed to help me Achieve Results more competently from myself and my team. If the worlds top 80,000 managers do things this way, all I need to know are their secrets right? Then I'll be the next one interviewed by Gallup for MY SECRETS. So far, I'm close to halfway through the book and one of the "breaking the rule "theories that I find intriguing is:

Motivate by concentrating on Strengths, not Weaknesses.

Hmm. I think often during our daily life, we focus on our weaknesses, or as managers on an employee's weaknesses to the point of frustration of both parties. Now, I'm not referring to the weaknesses that create havoc on a business (like in my everyday world, we can not have a teller who never balances or a sales person that is just plain rude to anyone who ask for something non sales related), no rather, I'm referring to focussing on a employees inherent weakness that is just them. It doesn't make them a bad employee--it is just not where their strength lies. Some people are great sales persons. Others are great operationally, or service wise. Some are creative geniuses, while others are analytical wizards. Put the analyst in a sales role, and he will miserably fail. Put the sales guru at a desk job with virtually no interaction with customers and prospects and he will be miserable. Promote the best waitress to the bar and front of the house manager and you may or may not get served in a timely manner--why?? Because not everyone fits into a cookie cutter role. And not everyone needs to be promoted up so far beyond their original strength and talent that they end up failing. Can you really change someone? You CAN give them the skills they need to boister their place in an organization--but according to the 80,000 best managers in the country, you need to put your talent in the positions they were made for.

Interesting concept. Not earth shattering, but when you think about it-how often is it that we try to make someone into something they are not? I know it happens where I work. It probably happens where you work, too. It's a catch 22, because you need standards, and you need to make everyone accountable for their "fair share" but yet how do you gauge fair share on things that aren't as easily gauged as black and white numbers ... what if--we were all alike? Is it even possible to be all alike?? I hope not. We'd all miserably fail if that were so. The world would be so less colorful.

What does this have to with crafting or thrifting? Hmmm...probably not much. Maybe alot? I think metaphorically where I'm going is for myself--I'm in need of concentrating where my strengths are and not get side tracked on what I wish I'd be, but really I just do not have the talent to be. I can learn to knit and crochet, and maybe one day I will be able to make something resembling a dishcloth, but in the meantime it frustrates me to no end, because in reality, I'm not that good at it. Admission. Truth.

There is a difference between Talent and Skill. Skill can be taught. It's methodical, it's a habit, it's basic knowledge. But talent, that's inherent. You either got it or ya don't. Talent is adaptable. You can adjust without much thought to a given situation within the realm of your talent. Skill, not as easily adaptable, but at the same time, you can increase steady eddy your skill based knowledge and that you should--as long as the end result is more satisfying than frustrating. Those that possess skills, are not always successful when faced with new challenges outside of their trained environment. I can knit one, purl two. Once you start slippin this, and turning that, I'm lost. (Im just using knitting as an example where I am truly lacking in talent...fill in the blanks for your "weakness" to further my point).

I see in bloggydityville many many trends hopped on and replicated--others oohhed and awwed at and coveted by others that wish they could do just that great "thing". I'm one of the "ooooers"" , I go to Michael's--grab up slap happy supplies for the next thing to try, go back home, happy as a lark, try it, and well--sometimes we are successful and others--not so much. Does that mean one shouldn't try new things? N0--of course not. Can some things be learned-MOST DEFINITELY. But, we all have our inherent limitations. We are not going to be great, good, or geniuses at everything. Point being-don't focus on those that you just aren't good at, and focus on those that you are---focus on your strengths, your satisfactions, those crafts, arts, activities, that you are strong in, instead of trying to be something that you are not.

We all have our place in the world. Part of the beauty of our journey is to experiment on the way. But to really grow and be satisfied in your quest, focus on your talents and not your weaknesses.

Easiar said than done. In all aspects--home, work, and art/craft life we try to change people, try to change ourselves, and be things or mold others into something they (we) are not.

Be yourself.

Improve yourself by honing in on what you do well. You'll enjoy your journey more so than if you swim upstream against the current.

Awwwww my boys one year ago this month.
DS with a broken arm, and lil man hugging up to big brother. I love this picture. One thing I know I (along with their Dad's) have done well--is raised some loving good boys.
Amen to that.


Susan said...

Dear Lucy,
That was a very interesting and thought provoking post!

Your boys are so cute and that is such a sweet photo of the two of them.

Enjoy your weekend,

breanna said...

Another great post! I know I focus on weaknesses (mine and others) way too much. It's good to think about these things sometimes. Your boys look so cute in that picture!

Rebecca said...


Well said my friend! And I was just thinking that I need to try to focus more. (yeah I know, I say that all the time!)

Wonderful picture of the boys!! and I love your princess collage!

Raesha D said...

What a darling picture of your boys!!! I love this post...what a great reminder - to focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses. I know that I tend to get overwhelmed by my weaknesses a lot and this post has reminded me that I do have a lot of strengths:)startrek

dragonflydreamer said...

Thank you for the uplifting post on my blog. It really has helped. I also find this post on your site very thought provoking and relevent in my life right now. Interesting how life takes us places we've never been for a reason. I will mark you on favorites so I can remember to visit more often. Hope you are having a great weekend.