Shattering the Myth of “Being Everything to Everyone”

Yesterday, I talked about the Tim Tebow’s and Paula Radcliffe’s of the world – the greats who shatter the conventional notion of what it means to be great (what with Tebow and his unorthodox throwing style and Radcliffe and her eccentric running form).

As much as we need to have our eyes open to talent in its many surprising forms, we also need to be aware that our associates or team members can’t be everything to everyone. Like specialists on the playing field, some have excelled due to their speed, while others have the strength to surmount, and still others have stamina in spades. But these athletes share one key trait: Not one is the “perfect package.”

Just like our employees, no one can be tops in all areas. Our team members can be good at a lot of different things, but no one is the perfect package on or off the field or course.

That said, we must resist the temptation to “shoehorn” our talent into areas where they may just never be that good – or the very best. To reference the Runner’s World article (June 2011) which discussed the pursuit of the “perfect form,” sometimes when you try to tweak your talent’s natural proclivities or impulses, the results are actually adverse. The RW article featured runners who had less-than-ideal form. In some cases, those runners who tried to adjust their form found the time devoted to changing this natural inclination took away from their time to really train and wasn’t worth the effort. In other cases, those runners on the hunt for the perfect form fell short and, worse, ended up injuring themselves by placing significant stress on portions of their feet and legs. This takes once naturally talented people out of commission entirely.

Keep in mind that, to effectively utilize our team members, we must recognize each of their unique characteristics and enable these individuals to achieve greatness in their respective areas.

With each part strong, you’ll be able to collectively go the distance with a high-performing team.



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