Distinctive Thinking

on Business Success – Articles, tips, and Q&A’s

“If it’s good enough for Michael Jordan…”

Posted by bizcoachjason on June 11, 2008

“Strengthening Your Success”

I grew up a shy, introverted kid lacking self-
confidence in social areas, and not surprisingly,
I was terrified of speaking in front of people.

I vividly remember a five minute monologue
that I had to memorize and recite during 7th
grade English class. (If I ever come across
Mrs. Mitchell, I would still like to ask her what
the point of that was.)

The fact that everyone else in the class also
had to also perform a scene didn’t help calm
me down. I remember almost hyperventilating
to get the words out. My stomach got queasy.
My face was flushed. My temperature rose, and
panic started to set in. I felt very exposed,
nervous and vulnerable as I struggled recalling
the right words, getting them out in the right
order, and trying hard NOT to think about the
twenty other kids in the room with their eyes
piercing right through me as I went on…

I don’t recall exactly, but I probably earned
about a “C+” on the assignment.

So where does that leave me now?

Well, ironically I ended up creating a career
and now a business with public speaking as an
integral component. And I actually love what I do,
including delivering training sessions, providing
workshops and being a guest speaker to audiences
sometimes as large as 200 people.

Who would have thought? Not me. And
probably not Mrs. Mitchell.

What are your weaknesses?

If I were to ask you to write down your top three
weaknesses, it probably wouldn’t take you too
long to do it. However, if I asked you to write
down your top three strengths, I bet it would be
more difficult.

What are the differences between strengths
and weaknesses?

Most people would answer “Strengths are what
I do well, and weaknesses are what I do poorly.”

That’s pretty straightforward and makes a lot of
sense. But I believe that truly successful people
might instead answer, “Strengths are what I do
well and weaknesses are what others do well,
or what I overcome with my strengths.”

So, how important are strengths?

For you basketball fans, did Michael Jordan
become the best basketball player ever and
lead the Bulls to six championships by working
hard on his assists and rebounding? No, he
had other teammates to take care of those
parts of the game. He concentrated on his
shooting. He constantly worked to improve his
area of strength and went from good to great.

One of the easiest ways to overcome or
get around your weaknesses is to use
your strengths.

For me, public speaking was definitely a
weakness. But teaching and helping others
were strengths. So was leadership. When I
developed and combined those three strengths,
the outcome was a good foundation for public
speaking. Then all I was lacking was
confidence and practice.

Another option would have been to find other
ways to get the job done without the need to
speak in front of large groups. For example, I
could have done only one-on-one or small
group training. In order to “delete” the need to
use a weakness, determine other methods of
achieving the same end results. If you want to
build your business but aren’t good at writing
articles, you can host group discussions on the
topic instead. There are almost always other
options if you take the time to find them.

Another example of my stage fright, dread
and quick thinking…

When I was organizing an event in college (and
still inexperienced at public speaking), I was
scared to death when I found out at the spur of
the moment that I had to give a one-minute
welcome speech that I hadn’t prepared for, to
the room of 50 adult and student attendees.
So I made a split second decision and
delegated it to someone else right at that
moment. I was using my leadership and
relationship strengths to get out of having to
use a weakness.

How do you find out what your strengths are?

Start by making a list of activities you enjoy.
Most often we are good at what we enjoy, and we
enjoy what we’re good at. I enjoy teaching and
helping others. I have found ways to do this
through my business and volunteer activities:
coaching, networking, guest speaking, delivering
workshops and writing articles.

Is there one thing you do each week that you
really enjoy? What do you like to do to relax?
And one of my favorites: If you could go back to
kindergarten instead of working for a paycheck,
what kinds of activities would you do most days?
What subjects did you excel in early in school?
Why? Was it the subject itself that was a strength
for you, or was it the skills you used that helped
you enjoy and be good at it?

Ask similar questions to those that know you
well – your friends and family: “What do you see
as my unique strengths?” Some good follow
up questions might be, “What kind of problems
have you seen me best helping others with?”
“When do you think I’m at my best?” “In what
kinds of situations?” “Why do you think that?”

You can also take a strength or interest
inventory assessment. There are many out
there, some are quite expensive and others are
free or reasonable. It’s been my experience
that the free ones often provide more general
findings, so you may want to seek help in
reviewing the results.

Whatever your method of evaluation, I highly
recommend making the effort. Reflect on how
your strengths and weaknesses impact your
overall business strategy as well as your daily
effectiveness.

Assess if you are losing time and energy by
trying to use a weakness as an important piece
of your plan, and if you are maximizing and
leveraging your strengths.

Then tweak your action plan accordingly to take
full advantage of your strengths.

You’ll get a lot more done, have better results,
and enjoy the process a whole lot more.

Here’s to your strengths and your success!

All the best,
Jason
 


See me on the Internet TV show “SOHO Today” along with one of my clients.
May 28 SOHO Today: Business Development Through Coaching
mms://68.251.204.75/video/intimetv/soh020.wmv (Windows Media Player)


Jason E. Rosado

Business Coach
Helping small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve
their ideal business in 12 months or less.
Please see my website to sign up for the free “Business Success E-Series”! 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to ““If it’s good enough for Michael Jordan…””

  1. Webmasters said

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you!

    it is amazing and GREATE about Joran

    Thanks & REgards
    Salem

  2. jamesfeudo said

    Great post – very inspirational.

    James
    blog.jvf.com

  3. Jonathan said

    You are totally wrong about Michael Jordan about only working on his shooting. He worked on all areas of his game. You said he didn’t focus on rebounding and assists, when in fact he is one of the better rebounding guards of all-time. You said he didn’t work on his passing when in fact he is one of the better passers in the game, all-time. Your analogy doesn’t work here. Not only doesn’t it work, but I believe that you should focus on all areas of your skill set, improving strengths and weaknesses alike. Next time, before making comparisons to basketball, perhaps you should do your homework.

  4. Thanks to all for the comments on this one. I really enjoyed reading your feedback.

    I’d like to reply to Jonathan:

    I was speaking in very general terms about MJ. And I was commenting about him earlier in his career when we did go from good to great. I know he worked on all areas of his game, including defense and leadership to help the Bulls earn their championships, but he really focused on his shooting the most. It was later after his second come-back that he really started working a lot on rebounding, etc. mostly because he had gained weight and was playing a different position (small forward instead of shooting guard).

    But that is a great point, too. You should work on different areas including weaknesses to be adaptive to your situation and environment. Both people and businesses that don’t adapt, go extinct.

    Thanks again for the comments!

    Best,
    Jason

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