I am looking at many aspects of leadership differently today. One of things I am viewing through a different lens if the difference between a balanced, broad-based skill set vs. an imbalanced approach of focusing all your efforts in only doing a few things well. If I were forced to choose, I am advising young leaders to take the imbalanced approach.
An imbalanced life allows a person to do the following:
- Become great. While it is impressive for a person to be great at many things, that is quite uncommon. However, anybody can become very, very good, if not great, at a few things.
- Find your “sweet spot”.
- Become an expert at your craft or area of discipline.
- To focus and be free from distractions.
- To see unique intricacies that only experts see. This is the difference between a painter and an artist.
- Become an expert on others in your field.
- Avoid being blind-sided. There are fewer surprises.
- Develop an insatiable thirst for knowledge on your area of expertise.
- Inspire others by your knowledge on a subject.
- Have options as to where best to apply your craft.
- Identify creative ways to apply your knowledge and insights.
- Recognize peak performance. Imbalanced leaders are comfortable with having different sets of rules for different people. They realize people do not have an equal level of performance.
- Imbalanced teams perform better.
John Maxwell often says, “I only do three things well. I speak. I write. I lead. I am the product of an imbalanced life.” As I look at most great leaders, they are like John. They only do a few things well. These leaders just do them with incredible excellence, passion, and impact.
Some final thoughts:
- This should be a great encouragement to many reading this post. Stop trying to be all things to all people. This leads to average performance. Take that pressure off of yourself.
- Discover the two or three things you do very well and focus all your energies into becoming the best you possibly can be in those specific areas.
- And finally, people never pay for average. But they will line up at your door when you are doing great things.
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