DMA Portland reviews several keys to success throughout the course of an employee’s training. In this post, DMA Portland reviews the advice of newly promoted assistant manager, Josh A. Josh’s two biggest tips for success are to maximize your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses.
DMA Portland Reviews Josh’s Keys to Success
When the staff at DMA Portland reviewed Josh’s progression from an entry level position into an assistant management role (and soon to be managing partner), Josh told us an amusing anecdote about a pizza boy maximizing his strengths.
“I was driving down the main strip in downtown Bellevue, an up and coming suburb of Seattle when I saw a sign that said “A True Slice of Brooklyn”. Being a self-proclaimed pizza aficionado, it caught my eye and I was obliged to stop in and put the sign to the test. When I walked into the small take-out and delivery based pizzeria I was greeted by a young man who seemed a bit young to be working behind the cash register. When I later found out he was 13 years old, and his mother owned the place my suspicion turned into fruition. I asked him what kind of specials they had which was responded with, “everything we make is special!” and a smile from ear to ear. I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact a boy so young would give me the best response to an indecisive customer. I probably did exactly what he thought I would do and ordered a standard cheese pie. While the pizza was being prepared, the boy sparked up small talk. He was engaging and humorous. He related conversation topics to current events and spoke about the Seahawks revival. After receiving the pizza I tipped the boy 10 dollars, told him to keep up the good work, and left with my slice of Brooklyn.”
DMA Portland Reviews the Takeaway
Even though the pizza boy didn’t have a ton of expertise or credibility in the pizza industry, he capitalized on his strengths…eagerness and enthusiasm. When all entrepreneurs started out in their journey, they were all this way…eager and enthusiastic. So many times we expect great results without having those two key ingredients. We should all remember that we should maximize what we have going for us and allow those characteristics to take our businesses to great heights.
Malcolm Gladwell, renown author reviews 'Capitalizing on Human Potential'
Josh A - Assistant Manager @ DMA Portland Reviews the Lesson
The assistant manager, Josh, at DMA Portland reviews his thoughts on identifying your skill-set and maximizing your potential.
“There are three types of skills. First, there are knowledge based skills which are acquired with education and experience. These are skills that a nuclear physicist or a linguist fluent in multiple languages might have. Second, there are transferable skills which are portable from job to job. Someone trained in human resources would be able to take those same skills and use them in a similar position somewhere else. Third, there are interpersonal skills which are unique to you and are developed over time.
The boy who grew up working at the pizzeria was gaining people skills (personal skills) as he was working there. If the boy at worked there for a year prior to me walking through the door and continued to work there for another five years, you could easily expect that his people skills were developed more and more during his tenure with his mother’s pizzeria.
Understanding and diagnosing strengths and weaknesses is the key to becoming more efficient, more effective with your time, and enable us become better communicators by understanding other’s strengths and weaknesses. It is vital to figure out what specifically we are good at, and do that more often. On the other hand being able to diagnose weaknesses and minimize those is just as important.”
Josh A. of DMA Portland reviews the steps required to maximize your strengths
The first step is to define the term “mutually beneficial” in this context. Mutually beneficial in this context means a skill one possesses that benefits them and the customer or peer. For example the boy at the pizzeria made a 10 dollar tip on an eight dollar pie because he was so engaging with me, the customer. I enjoyed my time waiting for the pizza to come out of the oven, thus his personal skills proved to be mutually beneficial. So what are three skill strengths do you have that are mutually beneficial to you and your peers? A good way to review is to seek out a peer and ask them. Although we might all say we have a pretty good idea as to what strengths we have, most of the time we will list of “modest strengths” and what we WANT to be proficient in, however never really mention what we truly excel at. That’s why it’s important to have someone that will answer your question honestly.
Once our strengths are diagnosed, it’s time for our weaknesses. It is important to find two people to pose the following question, “what are my weaknesses, and how do they impact you?” The first person should have no vested interest (business association) who will point out weaknesses in personal skills, and the next with vested interest who will point out weaknesses in transferable skills (which are mainly used in a work environment). One caveat, especially to those who are hyper competitive, is not to be overly critical. Chances are the strengths greatly outweigh the weaknesses.
After our strengths and weaknesses are reviewed/diagnosed and are in clear single sentence statement form, it is time for a prescription. Unfortunately when someone first figures out certain weaknesses they will obsess over making themselves better by negating their strengths and focusing solely on their weaknesses. This is the most common mistake. Let’s review Wal-Mart for example.
Wal-Mart has built a multi-billion dollar company based on their lower, working, and middle class customers who look for better bang-for-buck rates, this being their strength. Because of this their natural weakness is appealing to the wealthy or rich. Now, in order to appeal to the rich more, Wal-Mart decides to mark up their whole inventory, make smaller stores with more name brands and less off brands, and spend more resources decorating the place. Now they can appeal to the high end consumers but only a fool would expect the average Wal-Mart customer to step foot into the new swanky and higher priced Wal-Mart.
Just as Wal-Mart wouldn't make this costly mistake, we should not on our path to personal development. Just as Shaquille O’Neil in his prime would not give his size and strength up to become a better point guard, we should not give our strengths up to work on our weaknesses. Instead, we should develop our strengths more and focus on what we CAN minimize.
DMA Portland Reviews Josh’s Lesson
As we look at Josh’s story and lessons therein, DMA Portland reviews the possible applications. Here’s what Josh has to say:
“When all is said and done, more is often said than done. This is a formula made for applicators, not for the people who ‘have it all figured out’. Apply the concept of there is always more to learn, and there is always more to improve on, but never forget what you’re good at. Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, once said: ‘Figure out what you’re good at, and do it for a living.’”
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