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If you’re content to let your skills stagnate, then you will never fulfill your potential as a team member in any organization. This is particularly crucial in the Information Age, where industries are changing rapidly and certain skill sets are becoming obsolete overnight. As Robert Greene, author of Mastery, states: “The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.” Great team members make time in their weekly schedule for refining their talents and adding new ticks to their repertoires. When every member of the team in committed to personal growth, this not only creates an awesome working atmosphere, but it constantly brings new information into the organization which assists creative problem-solving.
Mindvalley, a company known for its progressive workplace culture, actually instructs its employees to spend 5 hours of their working week on personal development tasks such as reading a book or learning a new skill. When team members are honing their skills and undertaking personal growth challenges, teamwork will naturally flourish. However, when you’re brutally honest about your weaknesses, you can finally accept them and hone other skills that will make you extremely valuable to your employer. Teams benefit when individual members are fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses, but it’s especially important that leaders understand the key attributes of their subordinates. Good leaders know how to delegate effectively, while bad leaders give the inappropriate work to the wrong workers. If you’re a good copywriter, you might excel at crafting thoughtful words in solitude, but perform badly when forced to interact with clients face-to-face. Likewise, a good salesman can easily build rapport with prospective clients, but they might not be good at producing well-researched blog posts for the company’s website. With this in mind, if you read most job descriptions, you could come to the conclusion that companies are only looking for outrageously extroverted salesmen – for every single role!
Valuable team members should be experts in their chosen disciplines – they shouldn’t be expected to switch roles with one another when there isn’t a major overlap in competencies. For the same reason that Hightower plays as a linebacker and Brady plays as a quarterback, putting individuals in roles where they can fully utilize their talents is essential if you want your team to function optimally.