What Should You Stop Doing?

September 20th, 2011

“Every leader must learn that just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.”

That’s what I came up with after the lady asked me to write down my favorite quote. Nothing had come to mind but that statement.

That was it. Of all the books I’ve read and of all the people I’ve studied is that THE quote? Come on. But it has stuck with me over the past few weeks since the incident. As I think back in my professional career, I have lived and continue to live that statement. As a matter of fact, the more I’m able to apply it to my life, the more successful I become.

I remember the first time that I decided to stop fixing the office printer early on my career. Yes, I could do it, but so could someone else and my time was best served elsewhere. It’s not that I’m too important to fix the printer, but for every hour I spend dealing with printer issues, I fail to do the most important things I could do for my company: lead, sell, and inspire.

I remember the day I stopped designing. I loved to tinker on the computer and come up with cool graphics. It took me hours, even days to come up with very nice work that I enjoyed, but, that ultimately did not help grow and develop my business.

The big question then is “what should I do that only I can do for this organization?” Once I understood the answer to that question and began to work in that sweet spot, I saw growth.

Today I work with people who are much smarter, more sensitive, and talented than me. But I know that what I do everyday contributes the most to my team. Often I find myself going back to doing the things I’m capable of doing but shouldn’t be doing them. When I do that, everyone loses.

What about you? What do you need to give up doing so that you can focus on your sweet spot?

Maurilio Amorim is CEO of The A Group, a media and technology firm in Brentwood, TN.

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