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spike bullet June 2016 ~ Where Ever You Go, There You Are

Where Ever Your Go, There You Are
What Great Managers Do
There is no one alive who is Youer than You
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
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color bulletJune 2016 ~ Where Ever You Go, There You Are

One thing Iíve noticed is that every single person I have ever met is unique and different from every other person.  Sometimes, there are similarities in looks, style, approach, background or experience.  When I look closer, there are always differences that remind me that just because one person did something a certain way, there is no way to predict how a different person will approach the same issue.

Given that we try to create "standard" job descriptions, it can be hard to force any person to do exactly what a "standard" job description says.  Eventually, we learn that the job descriptions are guidelines not exact rules and try to get the best from every person.  For side-by-side similar jobs, using each personís unique talents mean that two or more people can complement each other, using their individual unique strengths to get jobs done.

I saw this clearly in a recent job where I managed many people with very similar job descriptions.  Each person approached that job in their own unique way and by supporting each other, the group as a whole was able to accomplish far more than they would have if they did only what the job description said they were supposed to do.

Most of our schooling has focused on our weaknesses rather than our strengths.  We may be criticized for our bad spelling instead of being rewarded for creativity.  Or, criticized for not sitting still instead of being praised for our quick reactions to unexpected situations.  Or, criticized for our love of nature instead of praised for being interested in cleaning up the environment.  

I could go on and on and on.  Almost everyone can find such situations in their own experience.

What to do?  Some leaders have focused on changing those old patterns.  Marcus Buckingham has made a career of teaching us what great managers do.

What Great Managers Do

Marcus says "In my research, beginning with a survey of 80,000 managers conducted by the Gallup Organization and continuing during the past two years with in-depth studies of a few top performers, Iíve found that while there are as many styles of management as there are managers, there is one quality that sets truly great managers apart from the rest:  

"They discover what is unique about each person and then capitalize on it.  Average managers play checkers, while great managers play chess.  

"The difference?  In checkers, all the pieces are uniform and move in the same way; they are interchangeable.  You need to plan and coordinate their movements, certainly, but they all move at the same pace, on parallel paths.  In chess, each type of piece moves in a different way and you canít play if you donít know how each piece moves.  More important, you wonít win if you donít think carefully about how you move the pieces. 

"Great managers know and value the unique abilities and even the eccentricities of their employees and they learn how best to integrate them into a coordinated plan of attack."

As a manager or executive, what can you do?

First and foremost, as the great philosopher Socrates said, "Know thyself."  That means learning what works for you, where your best skills are, what doesnít work so well for you and what you are not really good at.  Use others to help with the assessment Ė counselors, consultants, personality tests, friends who will be honest, peer feedback and employee feedback ó to gain a better understanding of your unique self.

Then, once you know who you are and what is best for you, you can begin to gain a better understanding of others you work with.  Look for other people to complement your own best skills, not people who are almost exactly like you.  For example, if you are "big picture" type person, make sure you have people who are really good at getting the details handled.  If you are great at interacting with people and hate paperwork, make sure you have people around you who can handle financial details and report-writing.

If you are best at doing research, make sure you have people who are great with the creative aspects of presenting your findings to others who can support your work.

When creating teams of people, try to include people with different skills so that all aspects of a project are covered.

Third, remember, "Where ever you go, there you are."  No matter what you do or where you go, you take your unique self with you, for better or worse.

When setting plans for your day, make a commitment every day to do the very best you can in your own unique way.  Be your authentic self as much as you can, not still trying to fit into an image that your parents or teachers or boss wanted for you.  When you can work from your most positive and unique skills and abilities, life and work will flow much easier than always trying to fit your unique self into a puzzle piece that was not meant for you.  

Fourth, set a leadership example.  

  1. Reward people for doing their best.  
  2. Reward people for coming up with better ways to approach their job.  
  3. Ask for suggestions and ways to improve your business from those who interact with customers or those who build and test your products.  
  4. Reward good suggestions by adjusting your business to provide better products or services.  
  5. Continue the cycle by training others to appreciate the uniqueness in each person.  

There is no one alive who is Youer than You

The idea for this monthís article was trigged by a Dr. Seuss poem that reminds us of each person's uniqueness: Cat in the Hat juggling many things

Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

You know youíre in love when you canít fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind, donít matter and those who matter, donít mind.

Sometimes, the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places youíll go.

Today was good.  Today was fun.  Tomorrow is another one.

A personís a person, no matter how small.

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  Youíre on your own.

And you know what you know.  You are the guy whoíll decide where to go.

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!

Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So get on your way.

[from the book Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss]

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • StandOut 2.0: Asses Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work.  Marcus Buckingham.  Harvard Business Review Press, 2015.  ISBN 978-1633690745
  • The One Thing You Need to Know:  About Great Managing, Great Leading and Sustained Individual Success, Marcus Buckingham.  Free Press, 2005.  ISBN 0743261658
  • Now, Discover Your Strengths,  Marcus Buckingham and Donald  Clifton.  Free Press, 2001.  ISBN: 0743201140
  • First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman Simon & Schuster, 1999.  ISBN: 0684852861
  • Awaken the Inner Shaman: A Guide to the Power Path of the Heart.  Josť Stevens, Ph.D.  Sounds True, 2014.  ISBN 978-1622030934
  • 7 Personality Types: Discover Your True Role in Achieving Success and Happiness.  Elizabeth Puttick, PhD.   Hay House, 2009.  US version:ISBN: 978-1401924560  (UK & Australia versions)  
  • The Personality Puzzle: Solving the Mystery of Who You Are. Jose Stevens, JP Van Hulle. Pivotal Resources; (December 1990) ASIN: 0942663063
  • The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.  Jose Stevens.  New World Library, 2002.  ISBN: 1577312171
  • The 7 Aspects of Sisterhood: Empowering Women Through Self-Discovery.  Debra Gawrych.  Common Boundaries Consulting & Communications; (September 2002) ISBN: 0971064601
  • Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994) ISBN: 1879181177
  • The High Price of Manhood: A man's action plan for getting along better in the 21st century.  Michael Jay Anthony.  Lulu, 2015.  ISBN 978-1-312-29139-3 (paperback).  ISBN 978-1-329-58227-9 (ebook/PDF).
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor., 2008  ISBN: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website:  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
   October 2005 - Great Management and Leadership (guest author: Marcus Buckingham) 
   August 1999 - It's the Manager ... 
   May 2007 - The Law of Attraction at Work
   October 2009 - What is Your Primary Color?
   September 1999 - Personality Roles
   November 2003 - Attitude is Everything
   December 2009 - The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life   

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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Page updated: October 16, 2023      

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