Rise Up to Your Strengths

Capitalize on what YOU do best

I never connected with the original Disney version of The Jungle Book like I did with the other Disney movies, but I’m a huge fan of the 2016 film. One scene, in particular, near the end of the movie gets me every time.

[Spoiler Alert]

Mowgli starts to storm toward Shere Khan along with the wolves, but he’s barred by Bagheera, who pins him down:

Bagheera: Stay here!
Mowgli: But I want to fight like the wolves!
Bagheera: You can’t fight him like a wolf! You’re NOT a wolf! Fight him like a man.

This scene makes me emotional. Most people probably wouldn’t find it as deep as I do. For me, I’m taken back to my youth, when I spent countless hours on the basketball court training with my dad and various coaches.

My dad would always say to me, “Kaci, you’re not the strongest out there. You’re not the fastest. You’re not the quickest. But you’re the smartest. So make that work in your favor.”

He was right. I was the gangly, undeveloped tall girl out there amidst, many times, some big, powerful girls. The only way I could compete against them in the post was by rising to my strengths while understanding their weaknesses.

Today I apply this mentality to my career in marketing. Sure, there are areas of my life I can (and try to) improve on, but here’s the deal: I’ll never be the charismatic public speaker, the life of the party, the extroverted salesperson. But I don’t have to be any of those things, nor do I aspire to.

I’m sitting right where I want to be — as a marketing manager with a keen eye for analytics, a knack for content marketing, and a clear, strategic vision for the future of my specific area in my company’s marketing department. I’m who you want running everything behind the scenes. I thrive behind a computer screen and all its technology.

Gary Vaynerchuk is well-known for quotes like this one:

“You have to double-down on your strengths and punt your weaknesses. You need to figure out who you are and go all in.”

It’s time to figure out who you are. What are you good at? What are you not?

Don’t miss opportunities to develop your weaknesses, but more important, engage your strengths. Find ways to do what you’re the best at 80% of the time and what you’re not, only 20% of the time.