I tend to do things at the last minute. It drives both my wife and business partner mad. In fact, my wife frequently refers to me as “Last minute dot Barling”.When catching a train, I regard anything over a minute or two spent waiting on the platform as time wasted. And I bring this attitude to work. In general, if it doesn’t have to be done now, it doesn’t get done. The flip side is that if it really needs to happen, it does. The danger is that this detailed dissection of my personality threatens to be one of the most irrelevant and boring blogs of all time, but the point isn’t the rightness or wrongness of my approach. Rather, the point is that we all have personality traits that lead to ways of working which are hard to change. We can either struggle with this, or embrace who we are, then organise to get the best out of everyone. There’s a hard truth that takes a long time to learn: We might be able to change a little, but mostly we need to learn to live with ourselves. My checklist for doing this successfully in business includes the following:
- Play to your strengths. Do more of what you do well;
- Cover your weaknesses. Try to control the downside, and avoid jobs that don’t play to those strengths; and
- Partner (recruit or marry!) people who complement your strengths and cover your weaknesses.
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