I'm a huge proponent of strengths based leadership.
Let me explain.
Strengths are not necessarily what you are good at, but doing activities that engage your strengths bring fire to your belly, a sparkle in your eye, and time flies by so quickly it seems like you just started.
For example, based on a StrengthsFinder assessment, one of my top strengths is "Analytical". I love gathering data, then seeing the patterns that form. I love solving problems and puzzles. On a day that has challenges, I am truly happy.
But I'm not talking about the things that bring you energy. I'm talking about the activities that you find soul sucking, uncomfortable, or perhaps just boring.
Now the interesting thing is that the list of soul sucking activities is different for every person.
Some people hate budgets while others love "the story the numbers tell you". (I am not making this up, I actually heard someone say this.)
Some hate interacting with people, others love it to the point of not getting any work done.
Some hate persuading others to see their point of view (otherwise known as sales, politics, or executive leadership) while others thrive in this area.
Some people thrive on change, while others love consistency.
But that doesn't mean you get to choose to do only the things that energize you.
Being a leader doesn't give you that luxury.
You are responsible to ensure that everything necessary gets done.
Sometimes you are lucky and have someone on your team that gets energized by the things that you don't. Delegation is a good thing in this case.
But sometimes it is up to you. There is no one to delegate to.
That means it's up to you.
In this case, there's not much passion to draw on.
So you draw on another leadership trait - discipline.
Discipline is not the most popular word in the world, but without developing the self discipline to do the "nasty but necessary" activities, you will never be effective in your role as a leader.
Without discipline, important things will be left undone.
If you have followed this blog for long, you will notice that most of the posts are written to remind myself of the important things I need to stay on top of. The fact that others read these posts is still pretty amazing to me.
I recently posted on the 10 Crucial Survival Skills for the 21st century CIO. First in the series was Competence. Read the post here.
Discipline - the art of doing the nasty but necessary is one of a CIO's key competencies.
But just in case someone else is reading this... what are the things you find "nasty, but necessary"?
10 Crucial Survival Skills for the 21st Century CIO