Growth October 2, 2012 Last updated September 19th, 2018 1,977 Reads share

Business Productivity: The Importance Of Playing To Your Strengths

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It’s a statement we hear throughout our lives.  As school-leavers, when it comes to making those all-important decisions about our career and later, our business productivity – those around us are often heard recommending “playing to your strengths”. 

Simply a Proverb?

I have to admit using [and abusing] this exact statement over the years – advocating it to many – and not always sticking to it myself.  However, like many such proverbs, there is a clear undercurrent of truth to it, and a message we should all take on board.

Your Business Productivity

# 1. Find a Job You Love

Sticking with the subject of proverbs, I always remember my first Management Theory lecture, when my lecturer opened with the following teaser: “find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life… the challenge is finding that job”.

  • Most of us who follow that challenge into self-employment have actually fulfilled the task… however, that doesn’t completely eradicate irritations or frustrations [aka, not always ‘strengths’].
  • The key is in recognising that this is the case, and not dwelling on it.

For every hour you spend undertaking an element of your workload that bores, frustrates or exhausts you, you deny yourself the time to spend on things you relish.  The irony being, the things you relish and enjoy often generate positive outcomes for your business.

# 2. Be careful  around Energy – v – Exhaustion

We can all relate to that task we abhor: the monthly accounts report, the marketing budget, those pesky forms… they drain us of energy, focus and motivation, and worse still, leave us feeling negative towards our business.

Not a good ‘place’ to be when you’re working on growth plans, exploring new services or products, or preparing for a special client presentation.

What can you do? Well, it’s not quite as simple as waving a magic wand, sadly, but you can manage more cleverly…

# 3. And Manage the Negative Tasks

Well, of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be able to outsource or delegate them away… so if you can, then… DO!

  • For those of us with limited resources, a better way of managing the *yuck* tasks, is to break them down into smaller chunks, minimising the impact the job has on your general motivation [and head-space!].
  • Another good idea is to actively reinforce the success you feel when the job is done [giving yourself a pat on the back].  This tends to help in attacking similar work on a regular basis.
  • Depending on the person, allocating a specific period of time to manage the piece of work also pays dividends [an end is in sight!].

The Proof is in the Pudding

Yes, yet another proverb.  Undoubtedly, spending more time on the things we enjoy, our strengths – propagates more energy, creativity and enthusiasm in all of us.  Defining ourselves by the things we dislike or are not strengths of ours, is detrimental to the way we communicate, interact and sell our businesses.

Considering the things you enjoy and contribute to positively – do you spend much or little time on them?

Ultimately, when we consider the times we excel in business – it’s easy to understand why.  There’s harmony, ease and alacrity in our actions; things just seem to ‘work’ and adversity feels minimal.  It’s called playing to your strengths.

Being realistic, of course, there are times when we have to do the *yuck* stuff, however – we can minimise and manage its impact on our business productivity – and ultimately ensure that we’re playing to our strengths as much and often as possible.  Make sure you do, and the proof will be in the pudding.

This post was inspired by Mike Gaffney of LEAP Consultants.

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Olwen Dawe

Olwen Dawe

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