There exists a myth about strengths and weaknesses, one which states that we all naturally possess them. In reality, we don’t. What we do possess are natural talents and non-talents, but these are not the same as strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those that thinks it is too negative to tell someone they have a weakness and wants to call it “an opportunity for development”. I actually hate this term because more often than not it supports the incorrect view that I can fix a weakness by developing a new natural talent. If one of my clients is suffering from a weakness I tell them so straight up, but the key is that this weakness isn’t natural, it is manufactured.
Weaknesses and strengths don’t exist naturally, only talents and non-talents exist naturally. It is only when I rely on a non-talent that I create a weakness for myself. Likewise, if I don’t rely on my talents, they never become strengths.
In other words, you are ultimately in control of your strengths and weaknesses. You may be born with talents and non-talents, but you are in charge of whether or not those talents and non-talents are used to become strengths or weaknesses. When you allow your success to depend on your talents, you create strengths. When you allow your success to depend on your non-talents, you create weaknesses.
To read the full story, download Genius File #5 here (the Genius Files)
The workbook is up. I don’t quite have all the tools and features on there just yet, but the free self-assessment is there so check it out. The Problem Self-Assessment is designed to help you evaluate your level of success and happiness in life and determine key areas where you may want to make some change. Just go here to create your own free account, then take the assessment (the problem self-assessment).
The Genius Files is a collection of writings and thoughts about the research behind the book, the findings of the study and the impact it has had on individuals. Each “short” document addresses one specific aspect of the book or its findings. They are now ready for you to view and benefit from – just go here to find out more (The Genius Files Downloads). Thanks and I hope you enjoy them!
To quote the late great Dr. Robert Hartman, “Stop trying to put in what God left out and instead work with what he put in!” That’s hard enough, and that’s what the geniuses we studied do every day. Do you know what your natural mental talents are? If you would like some help feel free to take the same free profile the study participants used to identify theirs. Just go here to get your own free genius profile. When your email window opens just use “genius profile” in the subject line and a link will be emailed to you where you can complete it for free.
Welcome. This site is all about you, your genius and how you can leverage your natural talents to achieve greater performance, satisfaction and success. My name is Jay Niblick and I’ve spent the last eight years conducting a study of hundreds of thousands of individuals across twenty-three countries. The results of this research has helped us to better understand some of the key differences between those who achieve significant success and those who struggle. The exciting results of this work are the lessons each of us can learn from these hyper-successful people; lessons that are straightforward, understandable and surprisingly counter to the conventional wisdom on how can improve. As a matter of fact, the most successful people do very much the exact opposite of what must of us have been taught when it comes to finding success and personal satisfaction. Enjoy this site and don’t forget to pre-register for the book that shares these lessons with you (coming out late May 2009).
In the research we measured people against five different levels of performance: poor, average, above average, excellent and genius. My use of the term “genius” doesn’t mean a person’s IQ, rather it is a title that grew out of the study and it represents the highest level of performance we measured. As we interviewed the very best people, again and again those we talked with would make statements like, “You should see Tom, he is a genius at what he does”, or “Mary is an absolute genius it when it comes to this work.” So, our use of genius in the study simply means someone who has consistently achieved the highest level of performance possible, regardless of field, level of title. In this sense of the word, anyone can learn to become a genius at something. The question is, “at what?” What’s Your Genius asks the simple question, “What are your natural talents, and how can you leverage them to become better at whatever you do?” I think you’ll like the answer too.
In the study two key differences emerged between the top and bottom performers. The first key difference is that 5th level performers all have much higher levels of self-awareness. Self-awareness is all about really knowing what your natural talents are – and are not. The natural talents I’m talking about btw are your mental talents for things like: complex problem-solving, creativity, empathy, big-picture thinking, competitiveness, attention to detail, organizational thinking, persistence and a host of other cognitive abilities as measured in the study. The second key difference is that 5th level performers are significantly more authentic. They make sure that whatever roles they fill are as dependent as possible on the mental talents or abilities they naturally possess, not their ability to try and acquire new ones. Authenticity means filling a role that is true to who you are, not spending all of your time trying to develop new natural talents. The reason this is so important is because according to everything we know about how the human mind works, we can’t develop new thinking talents. Unfortunately, this is what most 1st through 4th level performers try to do. In other words, those who struggle to achieve significant success spend a lot of time trying – in vein – to change the core of who they are while those who succeed choose to focus their energy on better maximizing that which they already are. As the elder statesman of management theory, Peter Drucker, once said, “The key is to make weaknesses irrelevant.” Notice he didn’t say, “fix them.” Making them irrelevant means filling a role where they simply aren’t important or needed. That’s authenticity!