31. Oct, 2019

Making Your Weaknesses Your Strengths

“To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth ... You not only can change but you do change all the time ...” Lawrence Corbridge

In his excellent book, ‘The 7-Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen R. Covey uses the example of someone who has reached retirement only to discover their ladder had been leaning against the wrong tree in the forest.

For most people, life dis-appointments stem from lack of planning and/or poor organisation. They start their working life going from one day to the next, then 500 pay-cheques later they wonder what it was all about. They had little or no game-plan other than what was imposed upon them by their supervisors. Work is over, now what?

The above quote by Corbridge, cements our theme for today of Making Weaknesses Your Strengths, or Doing the Right Thing, Right! (NOTE: career selection is beyond the scope of this paper).

The Law of Entropy ~ states that everything is in a state of decay! This implies that unless you continually review, plan and organise your life, no-matter what rung of the ladder you are on, the natural outcome will be diminishing returns!

Too many enterprises, large and small, unwittingly live this law succumbing to one of the biggest misnomers satisfying this law, colloquially called, ‘Time Management’. And if you don’t believe me, try retrieving one minute of the past 24-hours or extending today by another 60-seconds.

Only Tasks Can Be Managed!

The humble To Do List (TDL) is a grossly underused device that records and reviews everything that keeps you progressing safely on your life journey.

The TDL is the equivalent of the pre-flight check-list that every pilot uses before every take-off and, depending on which aircraft (read job-role) you are intending to fly, may change a little or a lot!

All highly effective check-lists contain two sets of ingredients that discern Planning and Organising ~ identifying what is Effective to your safe journey, and how to remain Efficient when on it.

In short, Planning is Doing the Right Thing (DTRT) whilst Organising is Doing the Thing Right (DTTR). Put together you exemplify Doing the Right ThingRight, which reduces stress and increases productivity.

Let’s break it down into two distinctly irreversible parts:

PART 1 ~ Doing the Right Thing (Planning) ~ begins with making a list of everything that supports your emotional, physical and *career wellbeing including: health, giving and receiving love, getting to where you are going, and job-specification.

For Example: most employees work 8-hours, and sleep 8-hours, which leaves 8-hours for fun each working day. This demands 40-hours to earn money to pay for the other 80-hours each week as well as enjoy leisure on your days off.

Planning, therefore, not only includes job-specific tasks, but life specific-tasks too including eating, being with your loved ones; commuting; on-going career development; as well as the key responsibilities of your actual job-description.

This IS your respective To Do List!

PART 2 ~ Doing the Thing Right (Organising) ~ begins by assigning each item from your TDL to who is going to do what and in an order of importance.

To achieve this let’s use three headings MUST, SHOULD & COULD:

  • MUSTs are those task that can only be performed by you. They cannot be delegated and include: travel to/from your place of work, meals, client and inter-departmental interaction, satisfying key points within your job-role, continuous professional development, and time to be with your loved ones. Only you can perform these tasks!
  • SHOULDs, on the other hand, are tasks that you remain accountable for to increase personal productivity but may be delegated to another. For example: someone else may organise your diary or undertake research for your work. Others can effectively do this only if briefed correctly!
  • COULDs also remain your accountability but may be delegated. They include those tasks that improve your efficiency. They are positive adjustments in support of your work!

To explore the above paper, call John on 0044 7900 251258 or email john@uetp.co.uk

We will explore Dreaming b4 Goal Setting in another paper.

*an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life with opportunities for progression