When I worked with elite athletes we were always looking at how we could improve performance. Rather than working on what they were good at we would spend time working on areas that they struggled with. Sounds obvious but many people will focus on what they enjoy doing or feel are their strengths. Last week my dad gave me a newspaper cutting which sums it up nicely.
"The key to success, regardless of the activity, lies in focusing your efforts on your weaknesses and the areas you like least, rather than concentrating purely on your strengths"
Now that I'm working in the private sector I still adopt the same approach. We get our clients to look at their blind spots (e.g. they are very good at telling me how good their training has been but brush over the fact that their diet has been less than satisfactory. We work with them on their blind spots to really boost their efforts).
My dad is always offering some great words of wisdom and sent me another gem. This tale is called Two Wolves.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He
said, 'My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.'
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: 'Which wolf wins?'
The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'