In baseball, the “sweet spot” is typically the spot on a baseball bat where a hitter will get a powerful, clean hit. When hitting a ball with the bat, hitting it outside of the sweet spot will typically make the ball go up or down, and the bat twist. The result is that the full force of the swing isn’t transferred to the ball.
When hitting the ball on the bat’s sweet spot, however, the bat doesn’t twist, and the full force of the swing is transferred to the ball, yielding a nice, clean hit.
Did you know that YOU have a sweet spot, and trying to operate outside of your sweet spot can actually cause more harm then good over time? Think about it: if you are a person that has always been an exciting, outgoing, fun-loving person and you are confined to doing bookkeeping or accounting, which bores you to tears, how long do you think you can do it well, if you can ever do it well, at all?
- What if you are a business owner who is great at making a particular item or providing a particular service, but not so great (or interested) in the day to day management of the company?
- What if you are great at selling things, but not so great at the deliverable end of things?
- What if you are great at leading or innovating, but not good at bringing those ideas to market
Most people have one or two things that they are very good at. Rare is the person who is good at leading, building, selling and managing. Most of us have a sweet spot in which we operate very well. Unfortunately, for many businesses leaders, it takes some time to get out of the “chief bottle washer” mentality, which says that they do everything necessary to run the business, from mopping the floors to cleaning the toilets to washing the bottles at the end of the night.
The question is: is this sustainable? Is this the reason these business owners started their businesses? Are they operating in their “sweet spot?” How would their businesses be different if they found a way to operate in that sweet spot? Would the business grow? Exponentially, perhaps?
Like anything, identifying the items that you are doing that are outside of your sweet spot takes careful evaluation, usually involving perspectives, not only of yourself, but of those who are closest to you. Some people use personality tests, work style tests, etc. The important thing is to get an accurate assessment of how YOU work best.
The next step is to plan how to “fire yourself” from the work that is outside of your sweet spot and to model your work so you operate there most often. That doesn’t mean that you drop everything and act as though someone else should have to pick up the pieces, but rather, determine how to make the smoothest transition so that you business isn’t interrupted.
One final piece of advice: find someone or people who can do the jobs better than you. Your customers will benefit. Your company will benefit. Your team will benefit. Being able to get great people around you is what makes great companies great. If you’re a great manager, find a great leader. If you are a great leader, find a great team. Don’t let your ego make your company fall.
Be extraordinary. Work in your sweet spot. Let someone else wash those bottles!
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].