During the recent Arctic cold weather snap, I really appreciated the 4 wheel drive on my beloved Volvo. It may be getting long in the tooth but it handles the ice and snow with a sure-footed assurance – which I was especially grateful for this weekend as it meant all the band equipment arrived at Church on Sunday morning and number 1 daughter arrived safely back at University in Nottingham on Monday.
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Have you heard the saying: “if it’s too good to be true – then it is”?
Have you ever tried to remove a nut or bolt with pliers and it doesn’t budge, but when you use a wrench or spanner and get some leverage suddenly it is easy to move? That lever is such a clever tool – it is very handy and very simple.
A lever is defined as a rigid bar that pivots about one point and is used to move an object at a second point by a force applied at a third point. So how do we apply this to achieve a competitive advantage? How do we leverage our key skills?
Most people don’t leverage their own knowledge and skills but instead use just a fraction of what they have within themselves.
The first step is to take inventory of your assets. This doesn’t mean to list out your home, car, bank account balance… this means to list out your knowledge, your skills and your experience.
Next, explore how to get the full advantage of your asset inventory. If you own a computer or smartphone, you are frequently prompted to upgrade an application or program. There is new information available that will make your computer or phone work better (well one hopes, not always the case!). When was the last time you updated or upgraded your knowledge base? What was the last book, course, lecture or program you engaged in?
So now you have an inventory and you know what needs to be upgraded. These are your key skills and strengths that you can now improve upon. You may ask why focus on your strengths and those assets that are already developed. Why not focus on weaker skillsets. This is where you need to understand that the highest yield and the most efficiency comes from developing strengths rather than improving upon weaknesses. Leave your weaknesses for someone else who exhibits those as strengths.
Think of it this way, if you invest in your weaknesses, you may move your ability from poor to acceptable but if you invested the same time and energy into one of your strengths you could move yourself from being good to great or from great to world class. Which do you think will make you the most valuable to your clients, employers and family?
Invest in your strengths and build You 2.0