Monday, 10 August 2009

Play Where You Play Best

I got asked a good question in an interview last week about whether ‘juggling’ was for everyone; wasn’t it important that some people remained specialists in one field rather than be good at more than one thing?

Absolutely. I don’t think everyone can become a juggler. Instead it’s about being authentic: about your work life reflecting your multi-dimensional talents. So if your talents are brilliant but singular, don’t fake it and try to become a juggler. Stick to what you are good at, and passionate about. The world needs specialists, whether engineers, scientists, footballers or designers. But don’t be limited by your specialism, look beyond what you currently do to consider what else you are good at. Don’t limit your potential.

So juggling is not about stretching your talents in ways they don’t stretch; it’s about knowing all the stuff you’re good at and focusing on that. Stuff you’re not so good at? Delegate or outsource that.

It’s like Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide Of Saatchi & Saatchi said in my book, 'Juggle!':

‘It all starts with knowing when you are at your best and playing there all the time. I focus on those things I'm good at and try to get world class at them. The stuff I can't do I ask others to handle and choose people who are brilliant at it, significantly better than me at least. None of us is as good as all of us and I make sure that I have a bunch of inspired people around me who are all experts in their fields’. *

Last Friday I was working on the copy for my new website. I was on the 4th draft and was struggling. I knew I needed a fresh pair of eyes to polish and improve it. Sure, I could have spent hours persevering but I knew my limits; I recognised it was time to call in an expert. I ‘phoned my copywriting friend Rich and asked him to get involved.

And that’s what being an effective juggler is about; sure, stretch yourself in loads of directions that reflect your desires and talents. Play where you play best; and bring in experts for those areas where you don’t.

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