In one of the personal leadership sessions on “Personal Resonance” a question was asked from me. “If my professional performance is not what my organization expects from me and I know very well I am haunted by few weaknesses, what should I do?
From the personal performance standpoint, the path to filling the weaknesses is very slow. It takes years and years to get rid of deeply rooted weaknesses. I know of a man who was craving to perfect the art of public speaking. Years and years on he tried reading every public speaking book available to him and tried riding on any opportunity to speak in public. This was a classic example of practice. However, the guy never made to a level of influencing public speaking and did not command the respect of an affluent public speaker. This took lots of his energy trying to prove himself. This, in fact, became the cause for his anxiety every now and then and he needed to spend immense amount of preparation everything he was supposed to be in front of the audience. It is worth noting that he did not suffer from any stage fright. He was just caught up in a performance anxiety and was not sure he would be able to reproduce the influence he was able to exert when he talked in public last time.
In a retrospection session, this gentleman admitted that he was an isolator by nature and love to be an introvert and he was never at ease talking to people and never was able to strike personal connection with the audience. During the discussion he realized, in spite of his tremendous efforts he was not able to drive much improvement in his weaknesses and he still continued getting affected by it even though to some lesser degree. He knew this is the area he will be vulnerable at. This startling fact made him understand that his improvements were drastically slower when he tried to eradicate his weaknesses. However, reinforcing his existing strengths, path was much faster to break-through improvements.
This gentleman found that his biggest strength was not in public speaking but was in organizing and writing the ideas for a powerful public speaking, rather than delivering a powerful speech himself. Once he realized that, he knew he would want to be a speech writer than a speaker himself. He realized that this is the “ONE THING” he was able to do better than people around him. I wrote about importance of this ‘one best thing’ in my last post. This realization and personal drive kicked in his path to ‘deliberate practice’ I wrote about in last post. He, then started putting his energy, time and practice into that direction, never to waste his energy in something he was not good at. He chose to work on his strengths rather than on his weaknesses. At one point this could be seen as self-perpetuating continuous reinforcement and eventually leads to “Personal resonance” between his best skills and his passions.
In the personal and professional world it is important to identify your own strengths and build upon it. The pathway to working on weaknesses sometimes leads an individual nowhere. Stay tuned for more posts on how to identify your own the strengths, develop the personal resonance and achieve next level performance.