Crises and special events force us to find extra time in our day for crucial tasks. In an ordinary week, however, those hours are buried in unnecessary meetings, interruptions and inefficiency.
Don’t wait for the next emergency. I suggest two ways to regain wasted time.
- Analyze your calender: Look back at the last month. which meetings were truly needed to advance your goals? Then look forward at the coming month and eliminate ones that you can bypass without any consequence.
- Ask for feedback: Our worst time-wasting activities are often invisible to us. Ask direct reports and peers to identify tasks that you could do less often or stop altogether.
While selling yourself in the talent market place, focussing on hard-won strengths required for the job in question can be all too easy.
These skills are often the ones that many other people have too. your most outstanding talent is probably something you do without even thinking. Ask colleagues or friends what strengths you might be undervaluing.
Lead with these exceptional skills instead. Articulate to prospective employers, or to the boss who is considering your raise, your unique value proposition as an employee. Employers don’t just want someone slightly better than everyone else; they are looking for someone with a truly distinctive skill set.
Constructive criticism is essential for creativity, innovation, and problem solving. To succeed in life you need all these three and therefore, you need to be sure not only that you are open to criticism, but you actively seek it out.
Don’t simply ask for general feedback but ask people- direct reports, peers, close friends- to poke holes in your ideas and approaches.
Critique can be a useful approach to test your ideas and keep people and your team accountable!!
You would agree that all of us have atleast one disruptive skill- an ability that sets us apart from others. You may have been honning yours for years, or you may be so innately good at it that you don’t even notice it.
I suggest these ways to identify your unique skills!
- Watch your reflexes: you may instinctively do what you are good at even without noticing it. Ask yourself when I feel more successful or invigorated, what i am doing?
- Look for confluence: A distinct skill may not be one thing, but an unusual intersection of ordinary profiencies.
- Listen to compliments: Peers, managers, direct reports, and even spouses are often good mirrors of your inherent strengths. Don’t habitually dismiss compliments, but mine them to discover your unique skills.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of your desire to learn. Successful people keep their minds open to new things because they know that no matter how high their level of mastery, there is always more to discover.
If you have become expert in one field, seek out other fields where you can transfer and apply your expertise.
When facing challenges, even ones you have faced many times before, adopt a learner’s approach- ask questions or find new ways to solve the problem.
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ONE UP!!
You will accept that when you are particularly good at somethingh, its so easy to rely on that strength. For example, if your forehand is your stronger strike, you will position yourself to use it much more often.
But turning weaknesses into strengths will give you a competitive edge and make you a more effective leader.Focus energy on improving your weak points. Think about your last performance review or ask your peer what one capability you really need to succeed in the current environment.
Believe me! there is no better way to impress than to reveal a killer back-hand stroke when everyone’s expecting your solid forehand.
As a rule, critical thinking is the norm in academia, and asking questions is necessary. Questioning ideas is the first step, and second is questioning the question itself.
As a result, academia has a reputation for being too open- ended and sluggish. In industry, we prefer to set a deadline, get things done and most importantly focus on execution. We worry that thinking about an idea could hold up progress.
Combine the two approaches to be sure you are both thinking creatively and getting results as well. Ask lots of questions but don’t let the questions impede movement.
The questions should drive you toward a clear, defensible outcome!!