Harry Hopkins was one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s closet and more productive advisors. He served as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 1939 and 1940 and as a liaison between the US, Russia and Great Britain during World War II.
While serving in the Roosevelt administration, Hopkins was dying of stomach cancer. Even though he was in great pain, Hopkins accomplished more than many of his peers. Winston Churchill even nicknamed Hopkins “Lord Root of the Matter.”
Hopkins knew what he was great at. He focused only on projects or tasks related to his strengths. He passed on almost everything else because he lacked time, energy and health.
Hopkins said yes only if he knew the task would build on his strengths as an effective administrator. So, if you want to work like Hopkins, ask yourself: “Where can my strength produce the biggest result?”
How to Build On Your Strengths
If you possess enough self-belief to become an entrepreneur, you must have an idea of where your strengths lie. Perhaps you excel at coaching clients to succeed, turning prospects into customers, or creating information products. If you’re working for someone, you can identify your strengths through self-reflection or by reading through old performance reviews.
Perhaps you’re great at writing articles that promote the business, understand how to use paid advertising to promote your company’s products, or possess attention to detail others lack. Once you’ve identified your strengths, say no or yes to projects based on what you do best.
You might be competent in other areas of the business, but you’re unlikely to achieve the same results as someone who excels. Instead, ask a colleague to help, contract a freelancer, or collaborate. Go a step further and explain to team members what your strengths are and how those strengths will help the company achieve results.
For example, an advertiser might say to their boss, “If you will give me a budget of a thousand dollars a week, I will generate 200 leads for you.” Or a content marketer might say, “If you give me time to write two articles per week, I will generate a 10% increase in website traffic.”
How Managers Can Build On Their Teams’ Strengths
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was built on weak foundations and tilts to one side. It’s a fun place to visit if you’re a tourist who wants to take a zany picture. But a ten year restoration project during the 1990s to stop the tower falling cost more than €30 million.
If you want your business to stand tall, enable your teams to build on their strengths. Ask: Where do my colleagues’ strengths lie? And: How can I help them perform?
As a productive manager, your goal is to help the A players on your team perform. Does the paid advertiser on your team have enough budget to set up ads that convert? Does your developer have the required tools and resources to create a bug-free product?
Have you given that expensive content marketer enough time and space to create content that stands apart from the competition’s? Do you expect the star of your team to excel in every area?
You can’t build on weakness without paying a heavy price. Instead, help team members by partnering them with others who compensate for their shortcomings.
Build On Your Successes
Big-picture thinkers might excel at crafting a vision for a project, but they will depend on a detail-oriented colleague who likes tracking tasks and projects. As the manager, consider what you and your team are great at and how they could succeed in their roles. Give people what they need, and your business will thrive.
Before he died in 1946, Harry Hopkins helped arrange the Potsdam Conference after World War II. What better way to build on strength than with peace?
Source: The One Question Every Entrepreneur Should Ask Themself
By Bryan Collins, Contributor
Techylawyer and its authors do not claim to have written this article, we acknowledge the works of the original author