To be a success in business today is not about qualifications, skills, experience, or even who you know.
It is about knowing who you are. Yes … who you are. When you know your natural strengths, your weaknesses, your behaviour, your unique gifts, you create value – value in what you have to offer.
Your value may be in what ideas you have; it may be in your ability to build connections; perhaps it is in knowing the “right time” to say or do something; or in having the skill of knowing how to beak something down towards achieving a result.
This value leads to trust from others. With trust comes the opportunity of sharing, creating new avenues for personal and professional growth.
And … it doesn’t matter whether you are a successful leader or manager, the best sales person or “just part of the team” – the following “rule” applies to all.
When we recognise our own unique talents and utilise our natural behaviours we have the potential to be in flow – where we are able to (seemingly) effortlessly perform at a high level for extended periods of time, producing great results.
The other extreme, when we are not being our natural selves, produces a sense of resistance, and we have the potential to fail, or at least struggle.
The problem is that while we can all find (and stay in) our flow, most of us have been so conditioned over time by external forces or “learned behaviours” (eg family and peer pressure, workmate’s comments, managerial expectations, social media and so on) that being out of flow can become more the “norm” than being in flow.
There is a “simple” three step process you can follow that is useful in discovering your natural flow:
- Take a physical stocktake of your own natural talents.
- Determine the environments in which your natural talents will shine and be fulfilled (remembering it is not what you do but how you do it that counts).
- Find the areas that allow you to make the most of what you have discovered via Steps One and Two.
Interestingly, these natural talents manifest as your behaviours, thoughts and emotions – the “real you” that people come to know, and choose to engage with. In a sense, these talents reflect your “natural energy” – how you approach life. We each have our own blend of energy, and it is how we choose to utilise this that allows us to be who we really are.
Rather than address all these elements that make up the person we present to the world here – our natural talents, learned behaviours, external influences and so on – let’s focus for the moment on the (four) energies themselves that we can all recognise within us.
The following snapshot will give you a glimpse of who you really are, or could be, at both work and home.
- loves to create new business ideas – products and services
- competitive by nature
- loves being acknowledged for their achievements
- not good at getting ideas past the creation stage
- considers the question of “what” in all they do.
- loves to be around people, leading teams
- can appear (or actually is) very disorganised
- at their best when interacting with others
- considers the question of “who” in all they do.
- needs to talk things through with others
- doesn’t enjoy being left to do things for themselves, causing frustration
- good at identifying products/services that would work in the current market/business climate
- considers the question of “when/where” in all they do.
- very analytical, paying great attention to black and white details
- looks to creating systems and process that support business
- can appear pessimistic due to their meticulous nature
- considers the question of “how” in all they do.
- in everybody
- based around understanding … the “why” of the world
- when we understand our why, everything else begins to make sense.
Your first reaction to reading this is, quite likely, that you recognise elements of each in you. True, we all have a mixture of these energies within us. However, one will strike a chord with you more than the others, and this will be your (most) natural energy.
When you put your “energy mix” to work in your world, you will better understand why you are currently successful; or why you have a number of challenges standing in your path; or why you have yet to discover the career/business that “works” for you.
You will be better prepared to begin to understand, accept and engage your strengths and gifts, and enjoy the experience of “being in flow” – dong what you do best … naturally.