Bob Grauer, the president of our largest business unit, told a great story the other day:
“Highly effective people are not perfect,” he said, “they are good at what they are good at, and strategic about what they are not.”
“Every day I park at the back of the parking lot, so it takes me a about thirty seconds to walk from my car to the front door of the office.” (He’s a runner, so he covers a lot of ground fast.)
“That thirty seconds gives me time to think about the impact I’m going to have on others, and how I want to ‘show up’ for them. It gives me a chance to clear my head, to put the phone calls and the to do list and everything else behind me so I can be the best version of myself. That way when I walk in the front door I can smile, say good morning, and generally make it a pleasant morning for everyone else.”
Bob knows what he’s good at: getting things done, breaking through obstacles, making decisions, and having tough conversations.
He also knows what he’s less good at: connecting with others, expressing empathy, and being sensitive to others’ emotions. (He doesn’t give himself enough credit for the people stuff, although he’d never be accused of being too ‘touchy-feely.’)
Bob’s a human being, not a perfect being. But he knows what he’s good at, and he’s strategic about what he’s not. And that’s what makes him effective.