Monday, October 7, 2013

What’s YOUR Pixie Dust?

My kids are all grown up now (gulp), so it’s been a while since I read Peter Pan, but I have to say:  I always loved the story.  The thought that you could sprinkle a little pixie dust on something and it would magically work, always intrigued me.

I thought about this the other day when I was on my way to lunch with Jake, one of my partners, because I swear that one of our supervisors has pixie dust.

Jake was wondering what it was that made it possible for this great supervisor, let’s call her Sue, to leverage her abilities so that multiple folks, working all at the same time on different assignments, always get their jobs done and done right.

While we were talking, I realized that Sue and her team could produce an incredible volume of work with really very little time involvement on Sue’s part.  Others, in her same position, have been unable to be this effective.  

So what’s the difference?

Pixie dust.

Sue sprinkles pixie dust on everything that she touches.  Just like Tinkerbelle leaves a trail of pixie dust behind her, Sue leaves a comment here, a compliment there, a suggestion here, and by spreading her pixie dust as she goes, her subordinates can fly.

Her ability to approach her team in ways that inspire them to get the job done is her pixie dust.

Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach coined the term “Unique Ability” many years ago to describe the one thing everyone has that allows them to be incredibly productive, energizing and impactful on the world around them.  

I write about Unique Ability in my book, Say Hello to the Elephants.

Well, now that I’m old and soft (except for my physique, which is now svelte like a rock star)I prefer to call this “pixie dust.” Emotionally, pixie dust is the phrase that really describes just how special your Unique Ability is.

I believe that we all have pixie dust. If you think about your day, where do you shine?  What can you do that produces superior results and impacts people in a way that others cannot replicate?

This is probably your pixie dust.  

I know that you have pixie dust, and you have to find it if you want to leverage that unique thing to make yourself happier and more prosperous.  

Successful people have identified what their pixie dust is and have used it to help them in their vocations.  

I have my own pixie dust, and it has helped me live a life that is magical.  Not to be cheesy (okay, I’m going to be cheesy), but pixie dust has allowed me to fly.

Pixie dust is your unique, intellectual capital. It represents the confluence of what you know and deploy in a way that others cannot.

So how do you find your pixie dust? Here’s step one

Sit down where it is quiet and list all the things that you do.  Separate these things into four categories:

Things I do well.
Thinks I’m okay at.
Things I do very well...and...

OMG! I’m so good at this it would make your head explode!

That fourth column is where you will find 
your pixie dust.

If you need more help finding your pixie dust, check out the Unique Ability chapter in Say Hello to the Elephants.

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