One Important Choice
by Kevin Eikenberry
It might seem a bit strange to highlight one particular choice as important. After all, I'm guessing you can immediately think of many important choices you have made in your life. However, the choice I'm talking about isn't deciding what job to take, where to live or who to share your life with. Actually it's a more fundamental choice that in my observation some people have never really considered.
My goal for the next few hundred words is to give you three specific examples of why making this choice in a certain way can have tremendous positive impact on your results, and then explain the choice itself.
Strengths vs. Weaknesses
Much has been written in the last few years about the wisdom of considering strengths, rather than just weaknesses, when looking to improve performance. While we certainly don't want to deny our weaknesses or assume that we have no areas for improvement, a complete focus on improving on weaknesses denies the chance to leverage our greatest strengths when striving for improvement.
Think about it this way -- can you grow faster by working on things you really struggle at or by continuing to improve on things you are already good at? And, if you are spending at least some of your time improving on your strengths, won't it likely be less of a drudgery and more of a joy?
If you think about it this way, it makes sense. And the research supports this approach. We can improve more rapidly in any area if we take a balanced approach to working on both our strengths and our weaknesses. Once you realize the wisdom of balancing work on strengths and weaknesses you will see how the choice makes a difference.
Reaching Your Goals
One approach to goal setting is to set a goal, build a plan and follow that plan religiously. This makes logical and linear sense; you built a plan so you follow it. Unfortunately this approach often turns the focus onto the plan, rather than the goal. It pre-assumes that there is one (best) way to reach the goal.
You see this happen to teams all the time: people focus on the process more than the outcome, and people get so focused on the trees (the plan) that they can't see the forest (the goal).
Is it possible that there could be a variety of ways to reach your goal? Of course it is! The important choice will help you see and take advantage of this fact.
All of us face problems and spend time in problem solving. Whether doing problem solving personally or as a part of a team, there is typically a tremendous focus on determining the problem followed by the desire to quickly move to a solution.
Again, good common sense says we need to identify a problem, find a solution and move on. And yet, the important choice may alter your approach in small but significant ways.
All of us make a choice to see the world in one of two ways -- either a place of plenty, of options, of abundance or a place of lack and limited options. As I mentioned in the beginning, this choice may not even be something you have ever considered. But once you have, and once you make the conscious choice to see the world as an abundant place, your perspective, options and approaches become much more expansive.
You can choose to see global warming as a problem or as the call to action to develop new technologies and approaches. You can choose to look at the world as a place full of options or one of limited opportunities.
How does this relate to the examples above?
Seeing your strengths as an opportunity for improvement expands your potential significantly (and limits your tendency to compare your weaknesses to the strengths of others -- further putting you in a mindset of lack).
By staying focused more on the goal than the plan you allow yourself to notice new opportunities and approaches that might get you to your goal more directly (and reminds you that there is an abundance of ways to reach your destination).
When you see the world as a place of abundance, you are more likely to look for other possible solutions, rather than latching onto the first one you think of or find. Making the choice for abundance allows you to look for and see more possible solutions (including the one that might make all the difference).
Hopefully from just three examples you see the power of this choice. I urge you to consider the choice you have made up until now -- and how that choice impacts your daily life and results. Remember always that whether conscious or unconscious this is always a choice, and that you can make a new choice anytime . . . including right now.
Potential Pointer: Making the choice to see the world as a place of abundance and great options allows you to see more options and create greater results. The choice is yours.
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/leadership.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.
Kevin Eikenberry may be contacted at http://KevinEikenberry.com or info@KevinEikenberry.com