Know Your Limitations and Live Within Them

I introduced this topic at the end of 2014 with the intent of having several additional postings to further develop it. While I had preconceived notions of how I would do that, comments, discussion, and recent events have helped me take future installments even further than I anticipated.

I watch a lot of sports and constantly see both good and bad examples of my philosophy. At the very basic level, athletes in team sports know their role and do best when they stick to that, as well as the coach’s game plan. Every player has specific responsibilities which are generally based on their strengths and/or attributes – coaches don’t typically ask the quarterback to play defense and point guards don’t take the opening tipoff in basketball games.

Coaches build their game plan to capitalize on the individual strengths of their players, as well as their own approach to the game. In the first College Football National Championship, the Oregon Ducks featured their high-tempo read-option spread offense whereas the Ohio State Buckeyes approach was more old-school ball control along with aggressive defense. While I think the outcome of the game could change on any given meeting, the point is that both teams exploited their strengths while minimizing the effect of their weaknesses or limitations.

The same is true with your job – you have specific responsibilities according to your job description and you were likely hired based on your qualifications and expertise (i.e. strengths). The better you play your role, the more likely you will succeed and have the opportunity to advance … especially if you continue to enhance your qualifications with additional credentials along the way.

Putting this all together, I recommend developing a game plan for your career which capitalizes on your strengths while being aware of your weaknesses (or limitations). Part of your plan should include how to further develop your skills to strengthen, or at least minimize, your shortcomings. A well thought out game plan should lead to success and job satisfaction, something we all endeavor to achieve!

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