When I am often asked to do things that don't play to my strength zone and could impact on the affectiveness of the team, two words often come to mind.
I don't often use sports analogies but when they describe a situation perfectly it's hard to resist.
The story of Diego Forlán's unsuccessful career at Manchester United, is one of those perfect examples.
When Forlán joined Manchester United on the 22 January 2002, for an estimated £6.9 million he must have thought he was making the best career move of his life. After all, MU was a legendary football club with lots of money and with arguably the best head coach in the world in the form of Sir Alex Ferguson.
With his talent and a pocket full of money, the stars seemed aligned to give him a stellar career. But unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.
He scored a few goals, made a few headlines but never seemed to really fit in with the big red machine. He eventually left Manchester for a smaller club in the form of Villarreal and his skills and ability seemed to really takeoff. Even becoming the star performer at the 2010 World Cup.
You need to recognize when your leader is not playing you in your strength zone and do something about it.
Sometimes you will be blessed with a wonderful boss or manager who understands your position and wants to help you play to your strengths.
Hey, It doesn't happen often but it's been known to happen.
For most of us unfortunately, we won't have that luxury. We can't sit down and have a heart to heart with our boss about what we feel they are doing wrong in leading us so we have to get smart about how we lead ourselves.
Doing well at our jobs inspite of our bosses not because of them is an important lesson to learn.
This will require a lot of internal motivation, so don't be expecting any "High fives", pats on the back or that a boy! while you work on getting this process right.
I recently read a wonderful quote that said, and I'm paraphrasing here: "Everybody has genius within them. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it could go the rest of its life believing that it is stupid."
My challenge to you:
Know what game you are playing.
Are you an employee or an entrepreneur?
Are you going to do this thing you are passionate about as a hobby or are you going to be a professional? Decide and own it!
Know what plays to your strengths. And focus on your strengths.
And play your position to the best of your abilities. Not someone else's.
So the next time your boss wants you to operate from a position of weakness or you find yourself continually in an environment that plays against your strengths. Remember these 2 words.
What do you think your strengths are and how can you operate more from them? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.