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3 reasons to build on your strengths to evolve in a startup

A startup is constantly evolving, growth requires an ever faster pace and each new round of funding shakes up the organizational structure. During these times, each team member’s tasks are shifting and, increasingly more people begin to manage. That’s a transition that is not always easy for most new managers - 55.1% of them to be exact. In this article you can expect to learn the basics on how to make these transitions easy, by leveraging your strengths.

Different abilities depending on the brain

Each person has innate abilities that are linked to the functioning of their brain - we call these predispositions. This means that handling certain tasks will come naturally to you and require less effort than others.

We all have different predispositions. Making a startup grow requires 5 essential ones: executing, iterating, managing, implementing then maintaining processes, having a long-term vision. Each person naturally has 1 or 2 of these abilities.

5 predispositions to grow a startup

Each of these behaviors is useful in startups, however, some are easier to use depending on our predispositions.

  • For example, iterating requires a massive ability to constantly adapt to new ideas, environments, things… while managing requires the opposite: setting the plan in one way and hardly deviating from it.
  • Thus some people will be more enthusiastic about iterative tasks and vice versa - simply because it corresponds to their natural way of behaving.

Of course you can force yourself against your own nature and achieve tasks that don’t match your way of behaving. However, after analyzing the brains and careers of 1500 entrepreneurs, we are noticing that doing so for a long time isn’t the most fulfilling path. Here is why.

1. Focusing on your strength makes you unbeatable

We often tend to point out our weaknesses and try to find ways to work on them. Sadly, this makes us completely forget our strengths.

In reality, our weaknesses are linked to our strengths: if we are very good at organizing, we will necessarily be less good at improvizing.

So, forcing yourself to improve your ability to improvize will reduce your ability to organize: you end up being average for both.

By focusing on our ability to structure and organize, others could soon forget about your lack of improvisation because you will have compensated for it with a strength what you’re good at naturally.

By sharpening your abilities that come naturally to you, you will become unbeatable and will be appreciated for that.

A similar approach is used in sports: How many top athletes are known to be good in 5 different sports? None. They bet on one sport in order to obtain a high level and they make this choice according to their abilities and their desires. It's the same thing in startups.

  • Triathletes are actually excellent in one of the 3 sports and compensate in the other 2
  • Tennis players are often better on either the backhand or forehand, and make up for the rest
  • Tour de France cyclists are individually good on certain types of route: mountain stages, sprints, flat stages... and they can win by teaming up with complementary people

2. You can finally reconcile your desires and the expectations of your position

We often hear people suffering from their work, doing tasks they are not fond of, having daily routines that does not fulfil them.

A large part of these issues is linked to a misalignment between the person's desires and the tasks they have on a daily basis.

  • You like having the freedom to organize your days as you please, you prefer short and varied tasks… but your position requires you to create frames and structure?
  • It is very common. And often, because the expectations you and your manager have for your position are not aligned with your natural behavior.

By knowing your strengths, you can adjust your working mode and objectives to your natural way of seeing the world and doing things.

3. You can proudly assume your limits because you know your areas of excellence

All the successful entrepreneurs that we know have their limits and definitely ones similar to yours.

  • The founders of Google were terrible managers
  • The founders of Apple lacked of execution…

By knowing your strengths and building on them, you will see that you progress way faster than others and this is where you can really grow and gain confidence.

It is not about being great at everything, but simply of excelling in a few areas, like all top performers we know do in sports, in entrepreneurship…

Accepting this frees you from an immense weight on your shoulders, that of satisfying the expectations of society instead of your own.

And what about your weaknesses? Delegate them by surrounding yourself accordingly!

You don't have to be great at everything, you are only expected to be excellent in a few areas.

Who said that soccer plays must all be good in all positions? The goalkeeper doesn’t have to be a good striker and vice versa. The same thing applies in startups!

Bet on the subjects in which you have great natural potential, and delegate to others the tasks that appear boring to you and where others would thrive.

This way, each person can prosper in their areas of excellence (management, iterations, execution, etc.) without having to worry about the types of tasks they like the least. That's what we really call a team, complementarity!

Alone you are limited, together you are unlimited


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