I suck at most anything mechanical. Working on crossword puzzles does not excite me. Sudoku leaves me sad. Handyman I am not. Working in the soil feels like nothing but dirty, unsatisfying toil. Figuring out how to better use technology leaves me dizzy and headed for a tizzy. Networking events make me nauseous. Ask me to engage in small talk and you’re quickly going to see me walk another way. Black tie events, to me, are best approached with dark jeans and a tee. I invest very little effort in being well rounded. How ‘bout you?
I play to my strengths. Simple, not easy.
You see, friend, the world will tell you to work on what weakens you. Performance appraisals, 360 feedback, and countless, well meaning colleagues will tell you exactly what they think you need to work on to improve your performance. 99% of their feedback will not be helpful. The best feedback always comes from the activity. Tune in. Understand who you are, what ignites you, and what makes you feel joy at work and at play. Your strengths are not defined as stuff you’re good at. Nope. Your strengths, properly defined, are what makes you feel strong. Do you know yours? Do you play to them everyday, or just on the weekends or when you have the time? Do you know how to make them stronger? Are you still doing the work? Slow down and sit with this for awhile.
Studying, learning, and applying what causes individuals, teams, and leaders to go from a lone toward becoming all ONE lights my fire. Preparing for one on one practice with any one of my 18 individual clients is almost as flow producing as the actual practice itself. Practicing with any of the 12 teams, I’m blessed to call BTL, is my greatest strength. No work makes me feel stronger than creating a MOT with a team of men and women who’ve come together for the express purpose of becoming more than they currently are. Sends tingles down my spine and makes me conscious of my creator. I feel strong, joy, and am filled with gratitude. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am doing good work. Feedback from others is always welcome but rarely moves the needle. Feedback from the work, however, is the station locked into my internal dial. I am not alone. Masters understand that the best feedback is from the work itself. Masters are not overly focused on others input, normal humans are fixated here. Masters are not trying to become something they’re not. Normal humans are constantly obsessed with others opinions. Masters play to their strengths and make them even stronger. Masters fixate here. Do you?
Messi is the soccer maestro that leaves most defenders frozen in their tracks. He’s a master. Watch him on film and be amazed at his moves. The ball appears to be attached to his boot. Here’s a funny fact. Messi hardly touches the ball with his right foot. I mean come on man, wouldn’t you expect the maestro to be equally adept with either foot, able to beat his opponent regardless which way they play him? Nope, turns out he’s not very good going right. In fact his touches are 10 – 1 left foot to right. He plays to his strength 10X! His opponents know this. His coaches know this. No matter. Turns out you don’t even have to be well rounded in your chosen endeavor, you just have to be extraordinary. Freakin’ magic, huh.
Do not run from feedback. Let it in. Welcome it. Learn from the 1% that can make a world of difference. Let most of it run right on through. And, tune your dial to the work itself. You will quickly learn what works. Don’t fixate on applause and being popular. Fixate on mastering something meaningful and joyful for you. Tune into your God given strengths and keep working ‘em like life depends upon it. Never stop working. Never stop learning. Never stop your pursuit of excellence. You are meant to labor in love, not vain. Labor in love. This is why the BTL Band believes our O.P.U.S. Acrostic is freakin’ magic. You see, friend, opus is a meaning maker. Play to it. Play with it. Who knows what a 10X touch might do for you and our world. For those of you I’m privileged to play with, see you at our next practice. See you in my place of opus. See you soon, my labor of love. See you soon. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…