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Doing What Comes Naturally

Another great interview about doing the job you were meant to do was in yesterday’s New York Times Business section:  “Sometimes, You Need to Blow the Fuses.”  Bill Kling, founder and president emeritus of American Public Media, said you have to follow your instincts, when asked what he would want to teach business school students.

Mr. Kling notes ‘that if your instincts for the job are good, you will be successful.  If your instincts are bad, it’s the wrong job and you should get out and try something else.’

From a coaching perspective, he offers an extremely valuable lesson.  That is:

  • Do what comes naturally.
  • Do what fits your personality.  (Consider taking the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.)
  • Do and say what you think, as you might be the only one with that perspective.  (Being assertive in a non-destructive, non-offensive manner in the face of opposition or no reaction will make you feel good and allow you to stand out.)
  • Do realize your value.  Nobody is good at everything.  And everybody looks at a problem differently.  Take the perspectives of others into account when making a decision, realizing that only those with over-sized egos believe they can do it all.

I remember reading years ago about Royal Little, founder of Textron, now number 223 on the Fortune 500 list.  He said that the reason for his success was that he recognized he could hire the best people possible to do what he couldn’t.  By leveraging others and acknowledging his limits, Little’s success in building a diversified company prompted other businesses to follow his model.

Feel perfectly comfortable being who you are, doing what you love, and knowing it’s okay not to know everything.