If you want to get to the top, develop skills that complement what you already do best.
The Interaction Effect
In cross-training, the combination of 2 activities produces an improvement (an interaction effect) which substantially greater than either one can produce on its own.
For example, combining diet and exercise, has long been known to be substantially more effective in helping us to loss weight compared to either diet or exercise alone.
So, pick 2 skills you want to develop and focus on them. And make sure this skill has high degree of utility and a great interaction effect.
Great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Building Strength Step by Step
Now, as a practical matter, cross-training tailored for great interaction effect for leadership skills at time is clear-cut.
But here just in case, step by step on how to do so
- Identify your strength
- Choose a strength to focus on according to your level of importance and how passionately you feel about it;
- Select a complementary behavior you’d like to improve;
- Develop it in a linear way.
Now, focusing on your strengths is hardly a new idea. 44 years ago, Peter Drucker made the business case eloquently in The Effective Executive,
“Unless … an executive looks for strength and works at making strength productive, he will only get the impact of what a man cannot do, of his lacks, his weaknesses, his impediments to performance and effectiveness. To staff from what there is not and to focus on weakness is wasteful – a misuse, if not abuse, of the human resource.”