We are all good at something and most of us are not good at everything.

It wouldn’t make sense for a sport team to have their leading scorer focus on everything else it takes to operate a sports franchise other than being the best at creating scoring opportunities for the team?.  Imagine had Wayne Gretzky played goalie some games, coached other games, performed general manager duties sometime, helped with travel plans, equipment management, payroll, administration, arena operations amongst the numerous other functions it takes to operate a hockey team / organization.  Well that would have just been silly, he and the organization obviously would never have reached the pinnacle of success that it did.  But because Wayne Gretzky did focus his time and efforts on honing and delivering his unique value, he became the greatest scorer of all time which subsequently created a dynasty of its own spawning many other great players and people in the making.

Now this is a stark comparison to most of our situations, however it is very important to recognize the model of honing and focusing on your specific craft while building a network to manage the supporting functions on the perimeter.  Whatever it is that you are good at, it is probably the best use of your time to do those things as much and as often as possible.  To be as effective and happy as possible, you need to start reducing the time spent on the things that make you less productive, less satisfied while increasing the time developing, performing and delivering your core value, making your core value and competencies your focus and your priority.  Only when you start doing this will you and your team then become all that you can and should become.

Of course there will be many practical responses such as “I can’t afford a personal assistant or a coach”.  “Someone else won’t care as much as I do”, “they won’t do it the way I like it done” and the list can on and on… But if there is something that you are good at, or even great at, take pride in and it can be of value to others, then I ask; “Would it not make sense to do more of “That” specific thing as you can”?

Your “That” can be anything.  It may be practicing law, medicine, accounting, sales, providing services, manufacturing and or creating products, athletics and or arts.  Your “That” can and should be further broken down into subcategories which allows you to drill down even deeper to the core of what your finite expertise is.  Once you can dial in to honing your finite expertise, your “That” then becomes so much more valuable and sought after.  So exactly how and where do you stop doing the things that you are not so good at? The things which keep you from doing all that you are really good at.

Quite simply, you begin by assessing and listing the all the things that prevent or distract you from your core competency.  Once you have identified your systemic time suckers they need to be rated and categorized.  From there appropriate tactics need to be formulated.  Such tactics can be as simple as scheduling, dividing labor, delegating tasks and for some it will mean hiring or contracting other resources and or technologies.  Keep in mind you cannot irresponsibly hire a Team or resources that you cannot afford or are not the right fit to your needs and organization.  However as soon as you can, gain effective control of your schedule, divide your labor, incorporate technology, hire a people, delegate the most non-essentials functions and start maximizing your time focusing more and more on your area of expertise.

This step as scary as it may seems, needs to be recognized as an investment in both you and your Team, strategically and wisely executed so that it will yield a targeted ROI for you, your people and your organization,.  It is further imperative to have the right people on your Team in the right seat, doing the things they are good at and enjoy, knowing their strengths and contributions to the Team. (Please reference my November’s editorial in the BL on “Barriers to Effective Teams”)

But what if you can’t afford this?  Certainly this is a very real concern and a fair question.  To address this let’s consider, if you are truly really good at something, allowing yourself the time to incrementally progress to doing more of “That” something full-time, is an investment and a strategy that you “need” to employ to generate more opportunities, more market penetration and more revenue.  So I counter the “what if you cannot afford it question with: “How can you afford to miss out on opportunities?”

Think deeper, if you are not out there ceasing opportunities, I assure you that your competition will, leaving you at even greater risk…

Look to successful business people, professional athletes, actors, entertainers or any profession, it is their “Craft” and they find a way to spend as many hours each day studying,  planning, creating, working out, practicing, and honing their craft.  They all have some form of teams and coaches to help them, to support them, to balance things and no matter how it happens, they ensure that they focus as much as they can exclusively on their craft.  You too need to find a way to get the help you need to develop, improving and deliver your craft because;

“No one can do it all on their own and succeed, we all need a TEAM”


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