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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thriving at work

I aced Marcus Buckingham's evaluation on whether I am focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. This is a worthwhile exercise for you as well. But you need to buy the book to take the test.

New Years Resolution Question Number 1: "Should you focus on your strengths, or try to correct/fix your weaknesses?" If you follow Marcus Buckingham's advice, you will put most of your energy into your strengths and encourage your employees and colleagues to do the same.

His point is that far too many people spend far too much time trying to overcome their weaknesses; struggling against their essential nature, interests, and talents -- creating stress, workplace unhappiness, and frustration. If we simply focus our energies where we are strongest -- where we combine talent and passion for what we do -- we'll achieve greatness.

I'm reading Buckingham's latest book on this topic: GO: Put Your Strengths to Work. It has a built in test (which you can only take if you purchase the book). Of course, I scored well -- heck, I've read his earlier material on this topic and I'm in the business I want to be in because, well, I'm quite good at it. (That sounds rather egotistical, but anyone who knows me also appreciates that I have a truly long list of weaknesses -- I do my best to either avoid or work around them or, in a few areas which I really enjoy but where I am really bad, have satisfying hobbies.)

So: In marketing focus your efforts on what you are good at and what you like doing; and either drop or delegate the rest. Ideally, combine your strengths with your clients and colleagues -- if you can 'match' them you have a winning formula for healthy business and relationships (and if your potential clients' strengths are different from yours, either look for a common point of relevance -- we all have some -- or refer the client to a colleague with more compatible perspectives.)

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