Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wielding Your Strengths

My wife refuses to shop anywhere but Gelson’s, the upscale supermarket in our neighborhood.

What does Gelson’s have that its cheaper counterparts don’t have? I can think of a few things. The parking lot isn’t a zoo. It is always clean. Its produce and meat are of higher quality, and the lines are shorter.

Shopping anywhere else is simply unacceptable for my wife. With respect to my wife, Gelson’s has a monopoly on her shopping needs.

This got me thinking: What can we all do individually to become monopolies of one?

Everyone does something especially well. I am a passionate advocate for my clients that brings them new information in ways they can understand. It is my unique talent. And if anyone wants to get better clarity around a problem and how they can solve it, they come to me. I hold a monopoly on problem solving.

Recently, I blogged about the importance of wielding strengths. What would happen if we all identified that one thing that we, as individuals, hold a monopoly on? Maybe you are the fastest typist this side of the Mississippi. Maybe you can communicate calmly and effectively with everyone. Maybe you are the best damn night manager at a fast food chain. Perhaps you make amazing gut decisions.

Whatever it is, make that your focus. If you spend each day trying to secure a monopoly centered around your unique talent, all of your shortcomings would fall to the wayside. Who cares that you cannot operate a computer when you speak 16 languages? And who cares that you cannot speak 16 languages when you can dissect a computer and reassemble it in 12 seconds flat?

If you are the damn best (or the best that you can be) at one thing, you can offer the world so much more than your talent. You can offer inspiration.

Today’s Challenge: Spend time identifying your “Unique Abilities”.

--Tony Rose is the author of Say Hello to the Elephants: A Four-Part Process for Finding Clarity, Confronting Problems, and Moving On

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