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Turn Your Liabilities Into Abilities

February 22nd, 2012

Jean Gatz Standout StrategiesBy Motivational Keynote Speaker Jean Gatz

Now we come to the hardest part of implementing my Success Equation in your work and life. It’s time to commit to a plan for self-improvement to overcome any limitations standing in the way of achieving the results you want. Without a doubt, it takes a lot more confidence to identify and “claim” your limitations than it does to focus only on your strengths.

Can you relate to this statement?  “I feel ‘good’ when I’m using my strengths and ‘bad’ when I think about my limitations.” Here’s my advice. Stop feeling “bad” because you aren’t perfect. Who is? So you have a few flaws, some skills that aren’t up to par, and a couple of personality traits that drive people crazy. Who doesn’t? The good news is that your limitations do not have to define you. They are simply your personal set of unique challenges, and you can choose to do something about them.

As you can see by now, all three parts of the Success Equation don’t require the same amount of effort. Utilizing your strengths is fairly easy. Learning new skills is challenging, but you’ve done it before so you know you can do it again. Overcoming limitations, however, is hard work! It starts with taking an honest look at what’s really going on inside you, and admitting exactly what’s keeping you from your goal to STAND OUT in a positive way.

Part three is also the most revealing and satisfying part of the Success Equation. So don’t give in to the temptation to avoid, ignore, or make excuses for NOT learning everything you can to be a better person, friend, spouse, partner, parent, colleague, co-worker, leader or follower.

If you think that focusing only on your strengths is enough, ask yourself:

  1. Can you rely on your strengths alone to get you where you want to go?
  2. Will others always be willing to overlook your flaws and focus only on your strengths?

In a perfect world, the answer to both questions would be “yes.” But we don’t live and work in a perfect world. In the real world your strengths won’t get you through every situation. And instead of ignoring all your flaws, the people who count on you will expect you to be willing to improve in certain areas. So you must decide how to turn your limitations – your liabilities – into abilities.

First, decide which limitations are truly obstacles to your success. Then work on what’s really important and don’t feel guilty about the rest. Work on being better, not perfect. All of us can get better. None of us will ever be perfect! Got questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you! jean@jeangatz.com.

© 2012 Jean Gatz CSP   www.jeangatz.com

Six Tips for Adopting New SKILLS

February 15th, 2012

Jean Gatz Standout StrategiesBy Motivational Keynote Speaker Jean Gatz

So now you’ve figured out what skills you need to add to get the results you want – in your work and in your life. (If you missed last week’s blog you can catch up here.)

But wait! You’ve also figured out that learning these new skills is going to require extra time and effort in your already busy life. Instead of giving up before you even get started, get creative about how you will learn the skills you need to STAND OUT in a positive way. You can choose to:

  1. Learn the skill yourself. If you know that learning this skill is absolutely necessary to get the results you want AND you know you have the ability master it, then go for it.
  2. Collaborate and share skills. Sometimes skills are easier to learn when you can bounce ideas around, watch others in action and share information. Get a group together and start learning from each other.
  3. Trade skills with someone. One person’s learned skill is often another person’s strength. Find the right person and trade on your strengths. You each get to do what you enjoy, help each other, and learn from each other’s expertise.
  4.  Invest in skill resources: Technology can help you integrate many skills into your life. Is there a tool or software program that can do the job? Check with those who’ve mastered the skill you’re working on and ask what resources helped them most.
  5. Delegate the skill to someone on your team who specializes in this area AND whose job description includes these tasks. Don’t confuse delegating with pushing your work off on someone else. There’s a big difference between unloading your work on others and delegating to the appropriate person.
  6. Hire people who already have the skills you need. They would love nothing more than to get paid to do what you don’t want to do. Be selective. Their performance will often reflect on you, and you will ultimately be responsible for the outcome.

These last two may not be options for you at this time. But whatever option you choose, remember that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you don’t give yourself enough credit for the skills you already possess! Even though I consider speaking and writing books some of my greatest strengths, there are other skills I need to make my strengths marketable and add value for my clients. But I’m honest enough to admit that learning every skill might not be the best use of my time. So I trade skills, collaborate with others, and invest in resources to fill the gaps.

Think about the skills you want to add and which of these options would work for you. There’s always more than one way to get anything done! Next week we’ll talk about Part 3 – the final part of the Success Equation. So stay tuned!

Got questions or comments? Email jean@jeangatz.com.  

© 2012 Jean Gatz CSP   www.jeangatz.com