Who should I aspire to be? Let me give you some context to these thoughts rolling around in my head.

It’s clear to me that people have gifts and talents. It’s probably clear to you too. Some people are good at football, I am not. I can enjoy working with computers and doing tasks, some people need to always have people around them to thrive. Some people like details, others like to try to plan the big picture and not worry about the details.

I’m sure if you’ve read any psychology or leadership books, done any kind of personality profile or have a decent self perception, you’ve noticed that people are different. Here’s the big question:

Should I spend my time and energy becoming better at what naturally comes to me, or should I work hard at being better at the things that are much less natural to me? Along with that, where should I try to help the people I lead grow?

Many of the leadership books out there today would suggest that the best leaders and mangers get people in the right spots that match their personalities and giftings. The right person in the right place will thrive and do better work – we should stop trying to fit a triangle person into a circle job. On the other hand, it’s obvious to me that we need to develop some skills that we don’t have. If I’m really bad at working with people, shoving me in a room and giving me task after task will not help me in the long run. A company could become more effective, yes, but my personal growth won’t happen very quickly.

I’m trying to figure out how this is playing out in my life. I feel like I’m being constantly torn in many directions and I have to choose wisely where my time and energy go. My guess is that we all just take our best crack at it and hope we come out better, more efficient and disciplined people on the other end. I’d love to hear some other thoughts and comments on the matter, so feel free to impart your wisdom on me!