Brilliance is Focused, part two

Dan Sullivan heads an organization called The Strategic Coach. His organization helps business owners better run their companies and their lives. Several years ago I attended an extensive Strategic Coach program and one of the best take-aways was a simple method for discovering unique ability. Since brilliance happens when we express our unique ability–this was important stuff.

Here’s how I began my discovery (and how you can begin yours). The first thing was to consider all the work, chores, hobbies, sports and other activities that I did. The next step was to decide at which of those activities was I incompetent, at which was I competent, and finally, at which was I both competent and highly energized.

At some activities, try as hard as I might, I’m just not particularly talented. To be blunt, I’m lousy at them. Filing and organizing my office are two activities I find painful. I put those activities off until things are such a mess I can’t even function. I have received training in how to do those things, but it was of little help. Try as I might, these sorts of activities repeatedly lead to failure, frustration and stress. They’re just not me.

At other activities, such as gardening and home repair, I’m competent – I can get the job done. I can even do a masterful job at these activities. But they take lots of effort; I have to work at them. When I’m done doing them, I’m exhausted.

Finally, there are those activities at which I am highly competent and love doing. These activities are easy, effortless and enjoyable. They don’t tire me, they energize me. Facilitating a creative thinking session, putting together a presentation, and public speaking are examples.

Dan Sullivan suggests that it is here we find our unique ability. I suggest it’s here we activate our brilliance.

The trick to success and a life of satisfaction is to fill as much of your day with unique ability activities as you can. To do that you may need to find people for whom your incompetent and competent activities are their unique ability. Get the balance right and you have formed an energized, focused, brilliant team.

Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg, the infamous captain of the Caine, instructed his crew: “Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard, standard performance is sub-standard, and sub-standard performance is not permitted to exist – that, I warn you.”

Focusing on activities that are our unique ability will ensure that brilliance is our standard performance – this I advise you.

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