Whether it is a decisive decision on their part or is just something that happens without conscious participation, top performers focus on developing their innate strengths rather than on correcting their perceived weaknesses.

It is a simple distinction, but one that separates the common and the ordinary from the people performing at the top of their field. Successful people move with the tide and perform the activities that come naturally to them. These top performers not only accept their innate talents, they also work at developing them into world-class strengths.

This is not to say that top performers do not manage their weaknesses, but they invest zero time in trying to change that weakness into a strength. They do not try to be something they are not. They align themselves with peers who have complementary strengths, thereby creating a strengths-based team. Strength-based teams have a positive synergy that allow each member to perform at their peak, doing activities that come naturally to them. A focus on strengths permits the mind to dwell upon the personal attributes that are uniquely yours.

Take a look at what you enjoy doing the most as part of your current career.

1. Which activities do you look forward to doing?
2. What are you naturally inquisitive about?
3. Which activities cause you to lose track of time?

Whatever activity you perform that you can easily lose track of time in is a clue to what comes naturally to you. When you can effortlessly perform a task, this is another clue about where your natural abilities lie. Anything that you are naturally inquisitive about is another important clue.

Next, look at the activities that you do not enjoy. Is there a way for you to structure your business in such a way that you don’t have to perform those activities? You could align yourself with an assistant or a partner…..you can split commissions….you could pay an hourly rate…..the solution is really only limited to what your imagination allows you to think.

Perhaps you have the much documented fear of cold-calling, but absolutely love being in front of a prospect, developing a new relationship. If this is the case, look for someone who enjoys making connections behind the scenes. There are people out there who love cold-calling! These people might love the research that is involved in determining a suitable prospect. They could love the detective work involved in finding out who the right person is to speak with. If you don’t like cold-calling, don’t worry about it. Align yourself with someone who enjoys it to free yourself up to focus on what you’re great at. This is a very simple solution to a complex problem faced by millions of people. Allow yourself to do what you love, paving the way for other people to do what they love.

Too many people try to correct their so-called weaknesses by enrolling into training and courses to top up their skills. Many companies in the training industry actually make a fortune playing up the fear of skills-deficits. All you need to do is to surround yourself with people who have complementary strengths. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s empowering.

Top performers intuitively know that a focus on so-called weaknesses and imperfections is a negative focus on what is believed to be lacking in their life. They know that when the focus is on limitations, they will experience limits in their life. More of what they don’t want will manifest itself when the mind is permitted to dwell upon the inferior.

For instance, in my early years as a business developer in the recruitment industry, I took some assertiveness training as this trait is seen as important in sales. I would be assertive when I needed to be, but it was never a trait that I wore very well. My apparent lack of assertiveness was seen as a liability by my managers and by myself. After spending a significant amount of time and money in assertiveness training, I could understand the concepts well enough, but still didn’t have it in me to apply it to my role as a sales person. So basically, after a significant investment, the training really did nothing to support my performance as a sales person. If anything, I feel that the training set me back because I was swimming against the current. The time I spent trying to learn this new personality trait made me very uncomfortable. I was trying to wear a label that ran contrary to my nature. Essentially, I was trying to learn how to be less like myself and more like I thought I was supposed to be.

Trying to correct this weakness made me feel weak, tired and depleted of any inspiring energy. I didn’t feel good about myself or the innate abilities I knew I had. Because my focus was on what I lacked, I fell into a slump during this time.

When I eventually made the connection between investing in my strengths and performance excellence, the excitement and peace of mind of unlimited possibilities replaced the fear, anxiety and defensiveness I had previously felt over lacking certain attributes.

Once I started focusing on my strengths, I began to appreciate and notice the strengths in others as well. I surrounded myself with people who loved doing things that I did not. We had open conversations about our strengths to know where we could rely on one another. We then allowed ourselves the freedom to creatively structure our work so that we could each focus on what we enjoyed the most. Any team functions best when each member knows where they can rely on the other team members the most. The sheer enjoyment we each got from using our own personal strengths on a daily basis catapulted the success of our team.

A focus on strengths-development has the potential to:

* radically improve on-the-job performance

* enhance your overall sense of satisfaction

* train the mind to focus on The Good

* build enduring and supportive teams

* reduce your need to conform to others expectations

* eliminate boundaries to your success

* improve your self-confidence

* draw people towards your positive energy and outlook on life

* increase the number of people who want to do business with you

You have the capacity within you to infinitely create, extend kindness and see good everywhere. This can all start by keeping your focus on your own unique abilities and innate strengths. You have the power to leave people with the lasting feeling of inspiration simply be keeping a positive focus on strengths and seeing the good all around you. It is this lasting sensation that elevates you above the common and the ordinary.

©2007 Terri Roulette McCartney & Selling A Difference, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

Terri Roulette McCartney is an internationally recognized sales expert and trainer who has delivered over 4000 corporate sales presentations in the staffing/recruitment and education industries. She has trained hundreds of customer service and sales professionals how to elevate their performance using the same techniques that enabled her to personally sell over $1,000,000 per year in professional services.

The underlying principles and processes that allowed her to sell over $ 1 Million / Year in professional services is encapsulated in the training program, The Abundant Sales Process. The Abundant Sales Process is delivered through live teleseminars, workshops and MP3 downloads.

Visit http://www.sellingadifference.com to access free resources for successful salespeople, entrepreneurs and consultants and to find out more about The Abundant Sales Process.