2010 Theme: Play To Your Strength

We have spent a lot of time in the past three years keeping things together. The economy. Industries. Companies. Lives. All of this has been super important, because without our MacGyver-esque patchwork, the chances are good that everything would have come undone.

In 2010, we can honestly say that we’ve survived. Sure, there are still plenty of areas of concern in marketing, the economy, social media, etc. There are and always will be areas in which we can do better, in which we can shore up problems. But we’ve survived. We’ve gotten this far. We’ve played defense and kept the opposing team known as chaos more or less at bay.

The problem with playing only defense, no matter how superbly? No sports team has ever won a game by being solely good at defense – at best, you’ll only end in a tie. That doesn’t mean defense isn’t important. It does mean that to win more, you have to stop playing only defense and start taking ground, start putting some of your own numbers up on the scoreboard.

As we look out at the vast expanse of history yet to be written in 2010, the 364 days ahead, I’d encourage you to change your game. I’d encourage you to play less defense and more offense.

I’d encourage you to play to your strength, which is my personal theme for this year. Prior to the Great Recession and ensuing scramble for survival, there were things that in good times you were really good at. You had these as strengths, as superhero powers. These were your star quarterbacks, your best offense. You might have been superb at search engine optimization or writing eBooks or designing new products. These are the skills that made you happy, made you productive, and made you some money. These are the skills that out of necessity you had to backburner in order to keep the lights on in your organization. When the opposing team rushed you, you had to get your offense off the field and get your defense in play as fast as possible.

Do you remember them?

It’s time to reawaken those skills. It’s time to reawaken your superhero, dust off the cape and powers, get your best quarterback off the bench, and play to the things that you’re really good at and enjoy. True, you may have a different job or title today than you did during the last boom, but the mental skills and faculties you previously had are still there. Find ways to bring them back into the work you are doing now.

Play to your strengths. Deploy your offense. Look for opportunities to do more of what you know you’re really good at. Find ways to work your powers into more of what you do every day. Give your defensive linemen a breather and score a touchdown or two this year.

See you on the field.

Photo credit: Chip Griffin


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  • http://www.silverstockreport.com/ Jason Hommel

    There was one person who said that the best defense is offense. He's half right together with the person who said that all you need is defense. Good point in saying that the best you can come up with if you're purely defending is a tie. That's applicable in life and in business as well. Let's be wary as part of our defense and use our talent as our offense.

  • joemueller

    After reading this, I pulled a book off the shelf, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. Reading this book and taking the Internet-based profile really helped me identify my strengths. Those strengths helped me recognize opportunities to develop skills like those you mention above. Thanks for the nudge to do some additional reflection before getting back to the grind.
    Happy New Year!

  • joemueller

    After reading this, I pulled a book off the shelf, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. Reading this book and taking the Internet-based profile really helped me identify my strengths. Those strengths helped me recognize opportunities to develop skills like those you mention above. Thanks for the nudge to do some additional reflection before getting back to the grind.
    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.silverstockreport.com/ Jason Hommel

    There was one person who said that the best defense is offense. He's half right together with the person who said that all you need is defense. Good point in saying that the best you can come up with if you're purely defending is a tie. That's applicable in life and in business as well. Let's be wary as part of our defense and use our talent as our offense.

  • joemueller

    After reading this, I pulled a book off the shelf, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. Reading this book and taking the Internet-based profile really helped me identify my strengths. Those strengths helped me recognize opportunities to develop skills like those you mention above. Thanks for the nudge to do some additional reflection before getting back to the grind.
    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Very inspiring, Chris. I'm ready to lead the team down the field, so to speak. Encouraging us to play to our strengths is a smart proposition. But what if you don't know your strengths? Have you gone through any exercises/read any great books on how to identify your strengths? I've done a lot in the past year to explore what my strengths might be, but you always seem to have some pearls of wisdom to bring some tool or process into the fray. Any tips? Happy 2010!

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Very inspiring, Chris. I'm ready to lead the team down the field, so to speak. Encouraging us to play to our strengths is a smart proposition. But what if you don't know your strengths? Have you gone through any exercises/read any great books on how to identify your strengths? I've done a lot in the past year to explore what my strengths might be, but you always seem to have some pearls of wisdom to bring some tool or process into the fray. Any tips? Happy 2010!

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    Very inspiring, Chris. I'm ready to lead the team down the field, so to speak. Encouraging us to play to our strengths is a smart proposition. But what if you don't know your strengths? Have you gone through any exercises/read any great books on how to identify your strengths? I've done a lot in the past year to explore what my strengths might be, but you always seem to have some pearls of wisdom to bring some tool or process into the fray. Any tips? Happy 2010!

  • joeredit

    I know a company in our industry that ONLY knows how to play defense and they've been on a slow death spiral for the last 10+ years. As a privately held company with only one owner, there is not the sense of urgency to try to “win” – they seem to just keep playing “not to lose.”

    One of the challenges they seem to face is that their leadership doesn't seem to see this. How do you get the offense on the field when the “coach” is perpetually out to lunch?

  • joeredit

    I know a company in our industry that ONLY knows how to play defense and they've been on a slow death spiral for the last 10+ years. As a privately held company with only one owner, there is not the sense of urgency to try to “win” – they seem to just keep playing “not to lose.”

    One of the challenges they seem to face is that their leadership doesn't seem to see this. How do you get the offense on the field when the “coach” is perpetually out to lunch?

  • joeredit

    I know a company in our industry that ONLY knows how to play defense and they've been on a slow death spiral for the last 10+ years. As a privately held company with only one owner, there is not the sense of urgency to try to “win” – they seem to just keep playing “not to lose.”

    One of the challenges they seem to face is that their leadership doesn't seem to see this. How do you get the offense on the field when the “coach” is perpetually out to lunch?

  • itaz

    Life is akin to playing chess. You remember and memorize attacking moves which lead to victory not defensive moves which lead to a draw.

  • itaz

    Life is akin to playing chess. You remember and memorize attacking moves which lead to victory not defensive moves which lead to a draw.

  • itaz

    Life is akin to playing chess. You remember and memorize attacking moves which lead to victory not defensive moves which lead to a draw.

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