December 11, 2017

Do You Have the Courage to Follow Your Talent to the Dark Place Where it Leads?


“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” ~Erica Jong

Everyone has talent, yet the thing I notice more often than not is that most people don’t put the effort they need to put in so that they can grow, change and become successful. They skate by, thinking their college education from 1978 is enough to make it.

Well…that is no longer the case. We are in an era where knowledge is king, and the new technology and pieces of information which come our way are being pushed out there thousands of times each day. Whatever you knew yesterday is now outdated.

In working with leaders, before we begin a developmental plan, we look closely at 5 categories of skills to assess where the leader stands. Once that assessment takes place, we can design a leadership development plan that will capitalize on their assets and shore up their weaknesses or delegate out those weaknesses to othere. Today, as you are reading this post, ask yourself these questions to assess where you stand in these 5 categories:

1) What are your known strengths? These are your assets/strengths that you know allow you to do your best job. A strength is a skill you use that brings you to maximum levels of success.

2) What are your shortcomings? These are the weaknesses that you know you simply don’t do well?

3) What are your overused strengths? These are the strengths which may be overdone or overused to the point that they become annoying or off-putting to others. As an example, you were given the gift of a beautiful singing voice, and you sing constantly to the point that people tell you to put a sock in it! Or, you are overly confident to the point that you appear to be a jerk or a narcissist.

4) What are your hidden strengths? These are the strengths that you probably take for granted, or you don’t know they exist. Other people see them in you, but you are way too close to them to notice them.

5) What are your blind spots? These are areas which are off-putting or a weakness, and others see them, but you don’t see them. They are probably getting in the way of your performance. I recall a client I worked with a few years ago who hung her head down and shoulders slumped when she walked. Her employees thought she lacked confidence. On closer observation, I could tell this was her “thinking stance.” Whatever the reason, we had to work on it.

Today, consider your assets, shortcomings and your talents. Are you willing to look closely at them AND have others talk to you about them…this process can often take you into places which are dark and frightening, but you will learn a great deal about the next steps you need to take to become a more successful leader.

If you are interested in learning more about how executive coaching can help you uncover these 5 skill categories, please contact me a (910) 692-6118 for a complimentary coaching session. I am happy to help you discover a bit on this front..

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