I had the pleasure of working with Ray Pittman when he was the President and CEO of CBRE ANZ. One day I asked him, what he has learned about himself over his career. He told me, ‘I think as I’ve gotten older and more experienced, I’ve realised who I am. I have certain strengths which can really add value. I have certain weaknesses that I’m not going to change. I’ve learned to accept that about myself and to really focus on what I am good at. Underlying it all is to just be accepting of yourself and not get down if you make a mistake or criticise yourself’.
Ray’s story is the essence of owning your spotlight.
Undertaking any meaningful endeavour requires you to be at your best; to own the spotlight of you.
I appreciate that the sheer concept of being 100 per cent who you are is tricky. We all start out with the best intentions, don’t we? Remember the dreams you had for yourself as you were growing up, or when you finally stepped out in the world? Remember when you decided what type of leader or business owner you would be?
Somehow along the way the various parts of our personal brilliance are beaten out of us: in the playground, in the workplace, on the back of 360 performance. Or maybe you can still remember how you felt after receiving the negative feedback someone once gave you.
Here’s the thing: your business, your team and your family need you to be the best version of yourself, to own your individual spotlight, so they can be the best versions of themselves too.
- Take Ownership of You
Like Ray, you need to accept yourself by owning the areas you’re absolutely brilliant at as well as your limitations and imperfections (of which we all have many). Identify your blind spots. Become comfortable with them. Accept they don’t have to hold you back.
This will allow you to align who you are, what you think and feel, with the actions you take helping you operate from a place of truth, which is what others are drawn to.
John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach, advised, ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are’.
- Own Your Plan
You are your own biggest business asset. The biggest competition you have is yourself. You can have all of the determination and drive in the world but unless you’re able to maintain focus you’ll always struggle to hit your goal.
We often get distracted with the external forces fighting every nanosecond of our attention and we distract ourselves, putting things off, placing our ‘somedays’ and ‘tomorrows’ on the ‘once-we-have- achieved-XYZ’ list.
Owning your plan takes determination, resilience and a belief that what you’re doing means something to you.
How you choose to move through life—you controlling life, or life controlling you—is up to you. You have to take ownership of your plan, your direction, your ultimate journey, your focus to make the difference you want to make.
- Own Your Inner Genius
In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery or expertise in a field. Whether you agree or disagree, the point is you’re an expert in something that’s taken a level of investment to become great at.
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. You’ve invested your time, energy and money to understand and master what you do. Until you own and share your expertise it’s an uphill struggle to leverage your personal value, build engagement, or maximise connections or conversations because you’ll never be able to share yourself wholeheartedly with conviction and make the impact you want to make.Get clear on:
– What are you known for?
– Who do you help or serve?
– What are the problems you’re solving for them?
– Why does what you do matter?
Owning your spotlight starts with you reclaiming who you are in your entirety and owning who you ultimately want to be.
It’s only by practising this that we can become confident about what we’re bringing, have the conviction and passion about what we’re doing and ultimately be remembered for the impact we’re individually making.
PUBLICATION: CEO World
PUBLISHED: MAY5, 2020