Everyone looks at themselves in the mirror every single day. People can describe their facial attributes and blemishes in extreme detail. People are too hard on themselves as it relates to their physical characteristics. We should all spend more time looking inside ourselves and take a true inventory of what we possess on the inside as it relates to heart, passion, skill sets, relationships, etc. Why is that we have better than 20/20 vision as it relates to our physical characteristics but many are nearly blind when it comes to what is inside?
The skill to be introspective is one of the most importance skills to possess as an entrepreneur. I haven’t found too many people that disagree, in theory, with the concept, “surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.” However, very few people put this into practice. Call it pride, call it self preservation, call it what you will but it is a blind spot for many. People don’t take the time necessary to truly look at themselves from the inside and assess themselves in an unbiased view.
I have seen several situations where executives/managers want to be the smartest person in the room so they surround themselves with lesser talent and manage via their title. I have also seen entrepreneurs that felt like they should know all of the answers and try to act their way through a situation where they have a blind spot. A true look in the mirror would have been an easy way to improve those businesses.
Every one of us should take an unbiased view of where we are on various skills. The most important part is to be honest. Rate yourself based on a true assessment and not based on where you want to be or where you think you should be. My weakest skill by far is the written English language. I don’t hide it, I just have always invoked the help of others and probably always will.
After you truly understand where you are at, don’t hide it, embrace it. First you need to surround yourself with folks that are very strong in the areas that you are weak. Think of this first as you are building out your team. The next thing you should do is invest the time to improve your skills. Go out of your way to seek out others that are strong in areas where you want to improve. For example, if you are in sales and want to improve on your financial skillset, take an accountant out for lunch. Share your sales insight with them in exchange for their advice and knowledge in finance. Another great way to improve your skills is to read. If you want to learn about technology, go ahead and pick up a book or start reading blogs. You will surprise yourself at how much you will learn and improve when you focus on this and have surrounded yourself with people that are better at it then you.
As we look ourselves in the mirror everyday, take a few minutes to see how you “look” from the inside. That zit will go away on its own. However your skillsets won’t improve unless you take the initiative.