Go with your strengths anyway

10 years ago my wife and I shared a house in London with a guy who worked at a major bank. I’ll call him Jack, but that’s not his real name.

fist2-650x650Jack was hired as a writer. He wrote reports. He had credentials from several impressive colleges and he knew almost everything about finance. Unfortunately, Jack was actually not a great writer. He spoke so many languages that he was always making mistakes.

What Jack could do was speak to anyone and make them love him, almost instantly. He was just that kind of guy. He was always authentic and always comfortable. With a CEO, a well-known politician or a little kid he was always the same: comfortable and completely genuine.

But he still had this problem: he wasn’t great at his job.

The thing I learned from Jack is that you need to go with your strengths.

It’s easy to feel like we can’t do the things we want to do. We’ve got obligations filling up the day. But, really successful people find a way to do the things they love anyway.

Jack made sure to take time to meet every client who walked through the office, even though that was not part of his job. He knew that he was great with people and he enjoyed doing it.

Fast forward 10 years. Jack is now in charge of keeping in contact with the bank’s most important clients and important government officials, around the world. He’s perfect for the job because he is someone anyone would be happy to pick up the phone and call and he understands people so well.

The lesson: As busy as you might get, still take time do the things you’re great at. You’ll become even better at them with more practice. And eventually the world will find a place for you at the top.

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