I’m Not Talented

I’m Not Talented

I will admit to having somewhat of a natural gifting when it came to the guitar.

But in other areas of life where I’ve created any level of “success,” it was not because I was talented or gifted.

I’ve been dedicated to my success as an entrepreneur for 12 years.

I’ve been reading and implementing personal development materials for 15 years.

I’ve been fascinated by words and the art of writing for 26 years.

I’ve applied myself consistently in each of these areas. If I’m any good at any of it, it’s only because I’ve committed myself to practice.

I’m not talented. That would be amazing. I often wonder what that’s like.

There was a price to pay to get to my humble little hill in a world filled with mountains.

Improvise or Come Prepared

Improvise or Come Prepared

I’ve tried both ways.

Improvising does leave space for others to contribute and speculate on what could be created together.

Unfortunately, a lack of direction can also become the bane of your existence. Team members may not know how to help and may not stick around if you do not lay out a clear plan with specific actions to be taken.

To be fair, I’ve still accomplished some cool things while improvising. I launched Elite Players: All Access Pass and raised over $2,000 for Sahakarini. I’m not saying there was no intention behind these projects, but I threw caution to the wind when it came to the details.

Coming prepared is a different feeling.

While showing up with a plan may not leave as much space for others to contribute and speculate on what could be created together…

It makes next actions very clear. Your team members get a better sense of where and how they can contribute. They have a better idea when the project is moving and when it’s not.

And, while I hate to admit it, I have found that team members are also more inspired to take ownership of the project and be in action when there’s clarity. They also stick around.

It may take many tries to figure out how to come prepared, however, so improvising still serves an important purpose, especially while you’re learning how to prepare.

Systems or Open Door

Systems or Open Door

Some leaders end up going back and forth on systems or open door.

“Systems didn’t work last quarter,” they say, “let’s get rid of them.” So, they go back to an open-door policy by default, not realizing that’s what they’re doing. They may have the intention of setting up new systems, but they vastly underestimate how much time or effort this is going to take.

You can have it one way, but you can’t have it both.

You can’t take away systems and expect your team not to come knocking at your door requesting email bulletins, meeting times, deadlines and due dates, expense accounts, anything, and everything in between.

You may have a blanket answer for them – “just check our team Dropbox.” But in the absence of systems, your team will default to asking you for guidance. Self-serve is not an option.

In your mind, Dropbox may be the system, but you don’t have systems to manage the system, so it’s a moot point.

Don’t blame your team if they don’t make it to meetings, don’t know when something is supposed to be done by, or don’t have the links to the team Dropbox that was supposed to go out last week. You’ve adopted an open-door policy by letting go of systems. You are the system now.

You can choose systems, or you can choose open door. Both are valid. But where one is largely self-directed, the other will require your input at all hours, any hour of the day. Always know which you’re choosing.

Generating the Dartboard

Generating the Dartboard

When you want things to be done a certain way but don’t provide the empowerment or resources necessary for it to occur, you’re putting the cart before the horse. And you’re confusing people.

If you want to be powerful in management, you must show people the dartboard. “Here’s the bull’s eye, the target to aim for.” If you are not talking about the bull’s eye, or at least the dartboard, you’re wasting your breath.

Most managers over-explain obvious facts everyone knows and spend no time on the crucial details that move a project. Details they should be revisiting and re-presenting for their team repeatedly. Then they blame project managers for not doing their job. Is it your project manager, or is it your lack of leadership? Consider that it’s your lack of leadership.

Your opinions also don’t matter. In other words, if you set a goal for your team to generate $50,000 in sales in three months, and they reach the $50,000 figure in three months, but not in the way you wanted it to be done, it’s because you did not tell them how it was to be done. They still met the goal and you must fulfill on your promises, whatever they were. If you have a problem with how things were done, either throw out your preferences or get in the practice of generating the entire dartboard, not just the bull’s eye.