Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Accessing Your Resources - Your Highest and Best Use

In the winter of 1776, Thomas Paine said “These are the times that try men's souls”. He was describing the challenges encountered in the American Revolution. Recently, at my Vistage CEO group, our speaker (a Vistage speaker of the year), Michael Allosso, gave a talk called “You on Your Best Day.” This talk reminded me of the importance of using all of my resources, to find my highest and best use, and be at my best everyday. This is particularly important now, with the state of our economy, and the post-election uncertainties we are facing. Here are the 5 ways I tap into my resources:

  1. Remember peak experiences: Thinking of the times when I have excelled, where I produced extraordinary results, and asking myself, what was it about me that enabled me to do that? The innate skills that enable us to do excellent work, in business or in our personal life, are always available as a resource to be reused again. Sometimes we forget these skills are there! Don’t stop at one – keep going until you have a strong list.
  2. Ask others: What do people like best about you? We did a survey of our customers a few months back, asking them what aspects of our process and our services they liked best. They mentioned attributes we don’t always remember to discuss. It was very informative in terms of how we can be approaching new customers.
  3. Differentiation: What is it that I can do that is unique, special, different or better than the way my competitors approach the same thing? This is an asset with value.
  4. Unconditional Giving: I tell everyone I’ve placed in a job to put me on their contact list as a resource (about anything they need) – forever. If you network a lot, you probably can steer anyone to a resource that can solve their problem. Offer to do this, and the payback will be automatic. Be a resource, without a quid pro quo expectation, and people will always want to work with you. Allosso says, “People should be better as a result of having spent time with you.”
  5. Focus: I am easily distracted. I’m a possibilities and alternatives thinker, so I’m always wondering about something else. Being fully present helps me concentrate on the task at hand, and apply the particular resource I intend to bring into play that day. This makes me more effective!
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