JMT Certified

The main thing

There will never be another you

I have heard the phrase “There will never be another you” on many occasions, encouraging the hearer to focus on their uniqueness.  In a world of wannabe lookalikes, there is a particular opportunity for those people who can find their unique voice.

As we proceed through the education system we have feedback all the time that says something like: “Roger works well in his Maths lessons, but he needs to pay more attention in his English lessons and work harder at his French.”  Throughout our education, we are acknowledged for our strengths and admonished for our weaknesses, with most of the attention focused on our weaknesses.

The world generally works in a different way, however.  Politics works on a “First past the post” system, where the one person with even a slight majority gets all the power.  A recent referendum in the UK has led to the current political minefield called Brexit, where 52% of the people voted to set in motion a series of world-changing events causing the UK to leave the European Union, of which they have been an integral part for over 40 years.

The animal kingdom shows a similar trend.  An example in the UK is the current proliferation of grey squirrels, which have all but wiped out the native population of red squirrels.  The grey squirrels in turn look to be facing a challenge more recently from the new strain of black squirrels which threaten to wipe out the greys.  

“Scientists refer to this effect as “accumulative advantage.” What begins as a small advantage gets bigger over time. One plant only needs a slight edge in the beginning to crowd out the competition and take over the entire forest.”

~ James Clear

The Amazon rain forest provides yet another example.  It is one of the most diverse eco-systems on the planet, yet half of the trees come from just 1.4% of tree species.

We see it in sports too, where one athlete only needs to be a small percentage better than their competitors, yet they can then win every competition they enter.  

If you want to be the best, you have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do.

~ Michael Phelps

So we come to the question: What can I be best in the world at?

John Maxwell offers us some advice on this in his book Leadership Gold, where he suggests that we need to focus on some key decisions, just as he did in his career which led him to become the worlds number one Leadership Guru according to Global Gurus for the last 6 years or more.

John says that first of all, he determined not to know everything.  If we want to be the best in the world at something we need to focus on that something, not on all the other somethings that look a bit like it.  It is so tempting to be drawn to the next shiny thing that looks a lot like my main shiny thing, and then after a few more shiny things we have totally lost sight of the main shiny thing.  We need simply to stay focused on the main thing.

“The business schools reward difficult, complex behaviour, but simple behaviour is more effective.”

~ Warren Buffet

John determined to stay with his strengths and not work on his weaknesses.  If I work on my weaknesses then the best I’ll become is “not bad”.  If I work on my strengths I can become “great”, and what’s more, I can enjoy it.  We need simply to stay focused on the main thing.

“The most revealing discovery was that effective leaders have an acute sense of their own strengths and weaknesses … The don’t try to be all things to all people.”

~ Gallup Management Journal

John determined to take charge of what took his time and attention.  He said: “The question for every leader is not, will my calendar be full?  The question is who fill my calendar?  

I like to say that we have been given 24 hours in every day, and that is just enough.  After that, it simply comes down to priorities.  Once we recognise that we can’t do everything, and we understand what our main thing is, it comes down to planned neglect.  We need to neglect those things that aren’t a priority, to make space for those things that are.  We need simply to stay focused on the main thing.

It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.

~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

About Roger Fairhead

Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.