This probably sounds hypocritical coming from a woman who has centered her entire business around reading books on personal and leadership development.
Please hear me out.
We all make choices every day about what we are going to do and what we are NOT going to do.
We make trade-offs.
We make these trade-offs without thinking clearly.
We do so unintentionally.
We say YES with enthusiasm when someone invites us to partake in a new endeavor, and then wonder how we'll create the space and time to follow through.
This was part of our conversation yesterday in our leadership book circle, as we dipped our toes into the ideas of what it means to be an essentialist, as per Greg McKeown.
For example, in my own business, I work both B2B and B2C.
From a strictly financial perspective, it doesn't make sense, as my B2B clients are more lucrative.
But there is deeper connection and joy that occurs in my B2C work.
Some of the members have been with me every other week for almost 2 years. Even though we have never met in real time, there is a bond and understanding between us.
Trade-offs aren't always rational.
They are also emotional.
In order to inform our thinking even more, I brought in 2 other ways of thinking about trade-offs and the time we are spending.
The first comes from Gay Hendricks and his Zones of Genius.
1) ZONE OF INCOMPETENCE: Those things we do that we are bad at, and know we are bad at, yet we still do them.
2) ZONE OF COMPETENCE: Those things we do that we are okay at, but so is everyone else.
3) ZONE OF EXCELLENCE: Those things we are great at, get praised for, and could potentially do with our eyes close, but that don't really bring us much joy or fulfillment. (Hendricks says we often get stuck here.)
4) ZONE OF GENIUS: Those things we do that are uniquely suited to our gifts and strengths.
When we spend too much time in activities in our zone of competence or excellence, we are making a trade-off for time spent in our zone of genius.
The second connection I brought in comes from Frances Frei, Harvard Professor and author of several books including Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You.
She uses the example of Southwest Airlines, who has intentionally made LOW PRICES their priority, and primary business strategy.
All else they choose to be bad at, and they do so with intention.
No first class.
No extensive network.
Frei says that, "organizations that try to be great at everything usually end up in a state of 'exhausted mediocrity.' "
Sometimes we have to be bad at one thing, in order to be great at something else.
We have to embrace the trade-off.
What's something you are bad at, in the service of being great at something else?
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq.