How Do We Help Our People Perform at Their Natural Best?

January 27, 2017 | Rick VanDermyden

There’s a recurring theme that has come up recently during the leadership training I facilitate: How do we help our people perform at their natural best? It’s a great thought process, it’s a great conversation. If we could have people in the place where they are naturally at their best, what’s that look like? What’s it feel like? This conversation around our giftedness has come up many times. When you operate at your natural best you will see the following characteristics:

The first thing that your giftedness gives you is superiority. In your area, in your lane, you’re head and shoulders above everybody else in that lane. You perform better, you perform more naturally, and you can deliver the results easier than anybody else in that area. So, in your area of giftedness, you have superiority. Don’t abuse it; it is given to you so you can serve others.

Secondly, when you recognize this superiority, it should give you humility. You’ll begin to notice the superiority you have in your area and be able to recognize others who are superior to you in other areas, or “lanes”. When we see that we’re good in just this little area, we realize all these other areas where we need other people to surround us to help us be our best.  This should bring us humility, and we should model it. We know what it is to model humility when we can say the areas we are good at and that there are plenty of areas where we need help.

The third area that your giftedness gives you is responsibility. If we’re given a gift, (and we’re talking about giftedness here) if we’re at a place where we’re naturally our best, don’t we have a big responsibility to be in that place? And so for responsibility, just accept it. Just know that it is put on you, and it’s put on me, it’s put on our people, for a reason. We need to accept that responsibility of using our giftedness to put us again in that place where we’re naturally at our best.

The last thing it gives us is opportunity. When we’re at our natural best, doors of opportunity will absolutely open for you and for me. It’ll open up for our team. And so, for opportunity, go ahead and take it. When opportunity comes, take it. The great coach John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”

And so you’ll know when you’re in your area of giftedness, you’ll be better than others in that area. You know that it’ll bring you humility, and it’ll be appropriate humility. You know that it will give you a sense of responsibility for delivering that, and ultimately it will open up doors of opportunity that you’ll want to take.

As you’re thinking about how you can be at your natural best and how your people can be at their natural best, think about these 4 areas.

Where do they show up a little better? Help them to be in that place all the time, and make sure to do that yourself also.

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