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Even Superman has Kryptonite

My mother had a little quote on the wall that may have contributed to my restless identification of what is missing/wrong.

“When you’re through improving yourself – you’re through.”

I work with a guy and over the years we have both witnessed an evolution in our leadership styles but recently I was repositioned to gain an interesting insight from my colleague’s journey.

He truly lights up a room.

If you asked a dozen people I bet the common theme would be the “positive general demeanor this guy brings to wherever he goes”.

Over the past couple decades he and I have used each other as a sounding board for our next big thing.

I always focused on the area of most vulnerability.

He focused on the areas of most opportunity and what could be.

For the longest time this drove me bonkers.

I actually leveraged this “What If” approach in several complex spreadsheets which later also evolved but more on that later.

How could he avoid leaving the backdoor open to threat unless we considered every possible what do we do if ?

One day during a particularly stressful period of change, I found myself thrashing through ideas.

After I finished my view he asked me for an equal number of positive outcomes possible if we were to leverage our strengths instead of focusing on the risks .

Some might call that clichè

Some might call it naively oversimplified.

But what most recognize in my friend is a positive luminescent creative personality .

A guy who gets things built.

Conversely even attempting to consider the countless negative possibilities that might result, requires reflection, analysis and strategic preparation… all of which when done thoroughly are very demanding in terms of energy.

This time when he said “focus on your strengths not your shortcomings”,

I heard:

“Invest more time in leveraging what you you do well and less time focused on how your shortcomings may be limiting you”

For the longest time I thought the smartest guy in the room was the one who saw the train coming before the crash.

Being aware of the potential vulnerabilities while still moving forward is the benefit of experience and belief in self. Both are good tools to have. Assuming the carpenter has the energy to use it.

And like any tool, experience can only be used if :

A) You can locate it.

B) It’s not all wrapped up in a bunch of past projects

Experience can only be truly leveraged when it’s value is untethered from any past outcome.

The past is not the best predictor of the future, an individuals ability to evolve is.

I thought about it and I contemplated about how my friend is seen by others.

I began to wonder if his perspective of “building from his strengths” affords him the energy needed to get things done.

When we move with confidence in the direction of our dreams we are fully experiencing life.

And that is energizing!

Perhaps the mindset established from a strong proven foundation of strengths is one that lights up the room.


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