Own It!

Super Admin
Super Admin

In a recent discussion with a savvy courtroom lawyer, he shared his discomfort with his aggressive style. Despite his expertise, he felt trapped in this singular mode of operation. When I suggested the possibility of change, he was skeptical, believing this approach was all he knew how to do. I countered, emphasizing that his true strength lay in his skills well beyond his legal knowledge, such as his ability to persuade, negotiate effectively, and counsel CEOs.

We tend to pay more attention to our technical abilities, overlooking the broader, more impactful skills that define our innate capabilities. These skills include critical thinking, persuasion, decision-making, financial and technology acumen, and how we build effective teams and relationships.

Acknowledging these competencies can be a hurdle, as our humility often restrains us from owning our strengths. I advocate for a direct approach: openly own these skills by citing specific instances where you’ve applied them successfully. Hard to dispute evidence!

Reflecting on my early days as a psychologist determined to excel in therapy, I immersed myself in research, sought guidance from mentors, and accumulated thousands of hours in clinical practice. Despite encountering failures, including the profound loss of a client to suicide and stumbling through psychological test feedback sessions, I grew confident in these abilities and once I knew I mastered the, gaining more confidence to venture onto new ones. This journey led me to four career changes, 15 roles, entrepreneurship (twice), and corporate leadership.

Your career path likely mirrors this evolution. Sometimes, we may just see ourselves as bankers, physicians, or IT guys. Not boxing ourselves into simplistic categories means a whole world of opportunities open up. These non-technical abilities often serve as the foundation for our current and future achievements, far beyond our work specific activities.

Yet, the most critical step in this journey is recognizing these skills within yourself and owning them with confidence and pride. This self-recognition is not arrogance; it’s about accurately acknowledging the value each of us brings to our work and how we help others achieve their goals.

When I asked my lawyer, client, to describe a situation where he used his persuasion skills outside of the legal profession, he shared, with a big smile, how he negotiated a critical disagreement between his teenage son and daughter over sharing the car they both needed to get to after school events. “It was one of my more challenging experiences as I didn’t want to heavy-hand the situation and instead get my kids to figure it out.” He was proud of his accomplishment as a dad and afterward shared that “perhaps I should think about becoming a family therapist.”

This is about applying your secret sauce, your special skills or your personal magic. If you’re on the cusp of recognizing these broader skills within yourself but need help articulating or applying them, give me a call. Together, we can explore your professional journey, identify the key skills that have fueled your success, and strategize how to leverage them for your next career or personal milestone.

Let the magic begin!

© Richard Citrin 2024

Share this post


Subscribe to Richard’s Resilient Wednesday:

Get a Midweek Boost and a bonus Sample Chapter from Strategy Driven Leadership

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to Richard’s Resilient Wednesday:

Get a Midweek Boost and a bonus Sample Chapter from Strategy Driven Leadership

Create a Powerful Workplace Culture

Discover the 10 Keys To Strategy Driven Leadership