In one of the best books, 7 Habits of highly effective people, the author Stephen Covey talks about 7th habit as “Sharpen your saw”. Though the author talks about multiple areas like mental, physical, emotional and spiritual areas to practice this habit, to enhance your strengths. For me, in professional life this literally means focus on your strengths, leverage and build on it to help your organisation win and in fact it is more of a mutual win. If you help your organisation win by making up for the voids with your strengths, organisation for sure recognises it and help you grow as well.
In today’s competitive world when you have performance pressure from all sides, when you see people successful with certain strengths, as an individual one tends to understand and at times imitate that strength. Nothing wrong in it if you can practice certain good learning and transform it in to your strength. However, it is more important to identify you core strength areas to succeed in any endeavour. Continuous improvement is the mantra. Strengthen your strengths to shadow your weakness. Nothing and no one is perfect. So, don't be taken aback by your weaknesses. Work on weaknesses to overcome worst-case scenario, but to sail further working on strengths is important
"Working on STRENGTHS is a must to SUCCEED, while working on WEAKNESSES is important to prepare yourself for WORST-CASE scenario"
Imagine if I am a goal keeper and really endorse being a centre forward to score goals. If I start trying to get out of my own territory of strength in desire to score goals, I will not only miss on target but also lose on my own strength. Rather, it is wiser to focus on goal keeping skills and how to help team transform the game for better.
The same principle applies in professional life as well. A lot of people start as a technocrat, for a few years understand the nitty-gritty of what is the ask of corporate world from them and realise, this is not what they want to do. Lot of such people take up artistic career or go for further studies in to various subjects, some get in to entrepreneurship in totally different domain. So, be it. Better late than never. A lot of people realise their strengths as a manager or project manager and switch over from a technical to non-technical role and become more successful. Few people continue as a technical expert.
Although, things will not always happen as per plan. But, this is the time where you must develop yourself as a strong professional and be prepared to face any situation. Remember, tough situations will come more often than easy ones, but those will not remain forever. Situations change, times change but one should be prepared to face the worst-case scenario. Change is the only constant.
Upgrade your skills to remain in the game, to complement your strengths.