#68: Strengths and Weaknesses

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This is a podcast episode titled, #68: Strengths and Weaknesses. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- Should you spend more time working on your weaknesses? Or doubling down on your strengths? That's what we're talking about today (plus DC's two methods for figuring out what you're actually good at). Here’s how you can support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com. PS. We just announced our first annual conference, HYPERGROWTH. Get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com using the promo code SeekingWisdom (one word)

Dave: Got the gear man?

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: I'm ready to record this damn podcast all right.

DC: Gear is my thing.

Dave: Let's go.

DC: Let's go.

Speaker 3: inaudible.

Dave: All right. Well. Man.

Speaker 3: All right.

Dave: I got a couple of things. Tell me when you're ready.

Speaker 3: All right.

DC: All right.

Dave: Three, two.

Speaker 3: Two.

DC: Yeah, we're on?

Dave: We're ready. We're ready to seed.

DC: We're on.

Dave: So, I got to tell you a story first of all. Sunday morning, I'm walking down Newberry Street.

DC: Yeah, beautiful.

Dave: beautiful day out, walking with my wife, and all of a sudden I hear, " Excuse me, are you, Dave, from Seeking Wisdom?"

DC: No.

Dave: And Leah almost fell over on the spot.

DC: Did you set that up for her?

Dave: No, I didn't. And it was some guy. What up Harrison? I know you're listening. I told you I would shout you out.

DC: Hey, Harrison.

Dave: And he was like, " I'm a huge fan. I just wanted to say hello." And I was like, " Oh, my God."

DC: Did Dave look smaller in person?

Dave: No. No way. No, way five- eight, baby.

DC: Yeah.

Dave: And so that's the question. I wanted to shout that out because I want to rant about something before we get in today's topic.

DC: Wow, I'm scared.

Dave: What's the ROI of this podcast?

DC: Oh, we better shred it down.

Dave: How do we create a Google Analytics funnel so we know how much revenue we're making, exactly how much from this podcast?

DC: Yeah, I asked Dave the other day. I wandered into accounting, I wanted a spreadsheet. I want to do an analysis, and with some pivot charts in there, and I want to look at the payback period of this here, podcast.

Dave: Yeah, they said that when you do a podcast, you should be able to get your money back in three months, right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: No, all right, that's me just screwing around, but the real reason I said that is because somebody I was having an email exchange back and forth with somebody the other day and they said they wanted to know the conversion rate on something, and I kind of flipped out.

DC: Uh- oh.

Dave: Not in a bad way, but I got mad because I think this is something that you and I have been talking about a lot is everybody wants this cookie- cutter answer.

DC: Always.

Dave: Right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: Like, they wanted me to say, oh, it's 5%, and so, therefore, when you apply it to your business, it's going to be that. Right?

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Guaranteed money.

Dave: Always. You've been battling this always.

DC: Oh, man, I can't wait. Secret formulas for guaranteed cash. Sign me up.

Dave: Why do you think this is though? People just want like a here's what you do?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: Go.

DC: Yeah, they want a formula. We all want a formula. We want steps to follow to get some results. We want to live we want to live in this black and white world where it's either it's very black and white on what you do because it's scary to be in the gray, it's scary to go into the unknown, and that's what people are trying to run away from, so it's natural. I think it's just our biases kind of kicking in and wanting a concrete answer for these things.

Dave: Yeah. My favorite example is if somebody told you the best time to send an email was an 9: 30 on a Tuesday-

DC: Crazy.

Dave: Then, guess what your best bet would be? Don't sent that email-

DC: Don't send that then.

Dave: ... at 9:30 ona Tuesday, right? That's when everyone's going to do it.

DC: Everyone's read that article.

Dave: All right. That's my quick rant today.

DC: Oh, Dave's heated here.

Dave: If I can pull this up. I want to do this so-

DC: You should watch the YouTube version of this or the Facebook Livestream, by subscribing to our Facebook page, so you can see how heated this dude is over here.

Dave: Got to Facebook, that's-

DC: He's very pale.

Dave: I'm heated.

DC: He's very pale, but now he's pink.

Dave: And right now, so I want to show you. So, the people that can see this.

DC: So, what am I naturally not good at? Lots of things.

Dave: This is DC.

DC: One of them is I'm not a naturally social person.

Dave: He sent me this message. We're using this new app for internal communication called HELPFUL.

DC: What's up HELPFUL crew?

Dave: Shout out to the team at HELPFUL.

DC: Drift customer.

Dave: Brand new Drift customer. Thank you. Glad to have you with us. And so, today, I woke up to these messages, five video messages from DC right here saying like here-

DC: Got an idea for Seeking Wisdom?

Dave: This is what.

DC: Working.

Dave: This is how my day start.

DC: This I every day. This is not a special day. Every single day.

Dave: But this is actually a great topic. You're usually pretty good at those topics. And so today we're going to talk about understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

DC: Okay.

Dave: All right. Do you remember what this rant was? All right.

DC: Yeah, this was my rant this morning.

Dave: Can you kick it off? Yeah.

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, this morning, I sent a nice little message or series of messages to Dave. I actually sent some to the team-

Dave: Yeah, yeah, it was good.

DC: And I showed them a copy of one of my favorite books that I've read a gazillion times which we recommend here on the podcast here all the time called Managing Oneself.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: By Peter Drucker. The G.

Dave: I knew you were going to do this so I did my job and took notes. I pulled out the line in Managing Oneself. He said, " One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first- rate performance to excellence."

DC: Yeah.

Dave: And yet, most people want to spend more time working on their weaknesses than their strengths.

DC: This is where conventional wisdom leads you down the wrong path, right?

Dave: Got it.

DC: So, conventional wisdom tells you over and over, sure up your strengths, be better, be well- rounded, be great at everything, have a balanced life, everything is well- rounded. I've never met a well- rounded person. Right? Everyone has areas where they're not good at. And that's okay, and it's good to admit that you're not good at those things. Dave, what are you not good at?

Dave: A lot. There's a lot of things.

DC: Yeah.

Dave: For me, I think it's I think I'm an analytical person. I look at numbers, but I'm not good at numbers.

DC: That's interesting paradox. Yeah.

Dave: Definitely not my strength. But that, to me, it's interesting that you mention this because the last probably five years, the trend, I'm a marketer, the trend in marketing was you've got to love spreadsheets, you got to be analytical.

DC: Man, that's bad news for you.

Dave: Yeah, no, so I used to think about that a lot, and I used to be like, " Oh, my God, I better get on my VLookup Pivot Table. I better learn all that stuff, right?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: I better learn all that stuff if I want to be better at marketing. And then what I realized was, I started to do other things that were not related to that stuff at all, and I started to grow a little bit more, and become a little bit more successful by not really worrying about that stuff, but caring enough, it doesn't mean I ignored it, right?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: I still cared enough or found the right people that can help. And so, to me, that's one example. Another thing that I'm not good at, personally, I don't deal well with things that aren't organized. Right?

DC: Really?

Dave: Yeah.

DC: Okay. It's strange.

Dave: Yeah, it is strange.

DC: First time I've heard that. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: Yeah, what have you got?

DC: What am I not good at? Well, I want to say that-

Dave: Okay, go ahead. Go ahead.

DC: ...you hit upon the key there which is there was a point that you realized that you weren't good at some things, and you started to focus in on your strengths, maybe tried to complement yourself on the weaknesses, and that's where you saw growth happen, so that's important.

Dave: Totally. The other thing though, it's like, I think a lot of people are going to listen to this and this is how they're going to read it is like, okay, so I don't have to care about that stuff at all? Right?

DC: You have to care about it a lot.

Dave: The lesson isn't don't care about your weaknesses, it's just understand what they are.

DC: It's exactly the opposite. You have to care about them because you need to first identify them and we're going to give you some tricks that I talked about earlier on how you identify them, and the reason that you want to identify them is so that you can find complements to fill in those areas.

Dave: And totally, and that's something that we've thought about. Like, I know you've thought about this big time, as like we've been building out our team-

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: ...how do we find different pieces of the puzzle, right?

DC: Yep.

Dave: It's a perfect example is like, why we have Amy and why we have Eric, right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: Like, my job is to lead the marketing team, but I'm the worst designer in the world, I have no sense of design or-

DC: Or style.

Dave: Or style, right?

DC: Thank you, Amy.

Dave: Thank you. And so that's an obvious recognition and say, okay, let's find somebody to fill that gap.

DC: Yep.

Dave: Same reason why, love Will, get to work with him all the time and help like, hey we know how we can complement each other on the things that we're doing as it relates to growing Drift, right?

DC: Yep, so you were asking what are my weaknesses?

Dave: Yeah, I want to hear-

DC: Lots of them.

Dave: I want to hear your weaknesses.

DC: Lots of them, man.

Dave: All right.

DC: And one of them is which you complement on is I'm not an organized person. So, I'm not good at following up, especially with email, or messages, or people, and I'm all about focusing about the here and now.

Dave: When did you accept that as a weakness though in your career?

DC: A long time. Probably like a decade in.

Dave: Was that a moment though?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: Like when you did, you're like, " You know what?"

DC: It was a moment of growth, yeah. That's okay.

Dave: You probably feel way different after that?

DC: Yeah. I was trying every to- do list, GTD, get things done, every kind of hack and trick to be able to write things down in a book, put them on my laptop, phone, whatever, and it never worked for me, and I just stopped caring about that and started focusing in on finding complementary people, So, as you see, Dave, again, if you watch us on Facebook Live, Dave has a phone, a book with a bazillion notes, a laptop with spreadsheets and notes-

Dave: Currently in Trello right now. Yeah.

DC: Trello for this episode here. And I have nothing. This is normal, right?

Dave: No, there's a can of seltzer.

DC: Can of seltzer. This is not a paid placement.

Dave: Thank you for being prepared for this episode.

DC: Thank you, Polar for this can of seltzer here.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah.

DC: But this is normal.

Dave: It tells you everything you need to know.

DC: So, I need to sure up in those areas, so that's one place that I'm weak in.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: I can go on forever. I'm not naturally social person, and so that's where Elias who's my co- founder here at Drift, he comes in because he's the extrovert, super social-

Dave: Right.

DC: ...wants to start the party-

Dave: Right.

DC: ...party starter. That's not me.

Dave: Right.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave: Or even, yeah, and then that's an important dynamic, especially as co- founders, like that's intentional.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave: Like, what if your co- founder was also introverted-

DC: Yeah.

Dave: ...and also didn't want to do that stuff?

DC: Disaster. Disaster.

Dave: How would you ever hire, recruit, right?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: That would be a-

DC: Disaster.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: Yeah, and my last kind of one that I'll speak about is that one that I actually share with Elias, although he's my opposite is that we're both momentum- makers and 80- percenters, so like meaning best- case, that we pull something to 80% before we move onto the next thing, and that's why we need to have great people like Will and other people on the team-

Dave: Yep.

DC: ...who can make something amazing. Take it 100%.

Dave: Yep. All right, and this is where I'm going to get to the advice, but the lesson is, A, it starts by understanding your weaknesses, but now the flip side of that is then you have to find your strengths, right?

DC: Yep.

Dave: So, you got to double- down on what you're strong at, instead of trying to be this like perfectly rounded 100%, find the things. And you had two good tips that I liked a lot about how to find your strengths. Do you remember them or you want me to read them to you?

DC: No, I remember them.

Dave: All right.

DC: But, I think this is a super important topic although we talk about it and we've talked about it a little bit in past episodes, but it's one that I keep running into every day with even people on the team-

Dave: Yep, totally.

DC: ...like as we start to grow and need to fill out the team, people get nervous because they see that they're not good at something, where someone might be coming in to complement that.

Dave: Yeah. I've found that even just personally, for me, it's almost like something like if you write notes, you have a journal, a daily reminder, if you have some type of daily practice, that's a good thing to remind yourself of.

DC: Yep.

Dave: Like the last couple of weeks, things have been crazy, we're growing fast, and it's crazy, and I've just had to sit down every now and then and remind myself, " You know what? You don't have to do every single thing."

DC: No.

Dave: What are the two or three things that are your-

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The one thing.

Dave: And that's why we talk about the one thing. That's why internally, we talk about like what's that... The follow- up that we often have with hiring and recruiting is like, " Okay, cool. What's that person's superpower, though?" Right?

DC: Yep. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: And that's why we talk about that crosstalk.

DC: And it has to be a complementary skill.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: Yeah. So let's talk about the two things-

Dave: Sure.

DC: ...the two ways that you can find out what your weak areas are, and again, super important to figure out what you're weak at, so then you can figure out how to complement that?

Dave: Yeah.

DC: The first is it's an easier one for all of us, it's like think about the things that you have been meaning to get to in your life? Right?

Dave: I love this one when you said it. Love this one.

DC: Personable, professional, whatever they are. Something they for the last couple of weeks, couple of months, even couple of years you've been thinking about and really wanting to get to. And then, make that list. And notice the commonalities in that list, and those things that you keep procrastinating on are areas that you are naturally weak.

Dave: It's funny when you said that and I watched that in that video that you sent. I'm a list maker, right?

DC: Yep.

Dave: And so, there's a list of things I write down here's what I'm going to do today.

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: And there's usually two or three that just have continued to carry over and over from week to month, and when I saw that this morning, I was like, " That was kind of liberating." I was like, "You know what?"

DC: Get rid of those.

Dave: "Those are gone.I'm done."

DC: Get rid of them.

Dave: And that's exactly it because I just don't do them, right?

DC: Yep, those are not your strengths. But find someone who can do those things.

Dave: Delegate it.

DC: Delegate those things or team up with someone to do those things because those are the things that you're naturally trying to avoid, and of course, we're humans, we like to kind of focus in on things that we're going to shine and feel good about ourselves doing, so we play to our strengths. So, that's an easy trick for you to do. The second thing that you can do is just as easy, think about when you were growing up as a kid, a young Dave, I've seen pictures.

Dave: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

DC: It was amazing. He had a headband.

Dave: Great.

DC: Lots of hair.

Dave: Lots of hair. Headband.

DC: King of the world.

Dave: Just as much swag. Yeah, it was great.

DC: Yeah, more sway, I think.

Dave: More swag.

DC: More swag.

Dave: Definitely. Yeah, yeah.

DC: Yeah. Young Dave, think about what a young Dave, think about your life and think about the people that you would encounter whether they were family, friends, anyone, and what were the things that they would say to you, Dave, that you were naturally good at?

Dave: Leading and getting people to pay attention to things, and I didn't know that those were marketing skills until about a year ago, but now it all makes sense.

DC: It totally makes sense.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: So, those are your power areas, right?

Dave: Yeah. I'm good at getting people to pay attention and promoting stuff.

DC: Yeah.

Dave: And now if I look back, it makes perfect sense, but those are the strengths.

DC: And on the flip side of those things, like we always talk about your superpowers, about your super strength, there's probably a complementary skill that they weren't mentioning that tells you about what you were not good at.

Dave: Right.

DC: In an area that you have a deficit.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave: I mean we know whether that is, right?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: I was like, my mum listens to the podcast, obviously, watches the videos, like in my house-

DC: What's up, Jane?

Dave: And what's up, Jane? In my house, we used to hang C- pluses in math on the fridge. That's how you know, all right? That was like, oh, okay.

DC: Whoo.

Dave: We're going to Friendly's tonight.

DC: Dave got a C- plus in math today.

Dave: I'm only going to give you two this time, what are two things that you had?

DC: That people would say about me?

Dave: Yeah, yeah. Like your strengths?

DC: In terms of strengths? Oh, there were a lot of them, Dave. I don't think I can get down to two?

Dave: Okay. I got two.

DC: I'm joking. I'm joking.

Dave: I got two.

DC: There weren't that many of them. So, one of them was that I was good at building things, whatever it was I could be building something physically, building a group, a team, or whatever, that I was building kind of having this dream in my head. I was a good dreamer.

Dave: See how this still plays out today, he's got to get all the gear for the studio-

DC: Totally.

Dave: ... buildthe studio.

DC: Totally.

Dave: It's like the same thing.

DC: Assembling. I was good at assembling things.

Dave: The same thing. Yeah.

DC: And so that was one of them that people would say all the time. Another one that I can tell you was reading. People would always say that I was always reading, and so those are my two.

Dave: I'm going to give you a third one.

DC: Okay.

Dave: Because the other one you said was you're good at getting shit done.

DC: Yes.

Dave: Bull in a China shop.

DC: I knew you would like that one. See-

Dave: That was great.

DC: So, yeah, the other thing that people would say all the time was like I was really good at getting... Well, caveat, I was good at getting things done that I wanted to get done.

Dave: Gotcha.

DC: So, it was basically like I am very good when I'm OCD about something, then I'm going to get it done no matter what.

Dave: Or if it's something that you're invested in-

DC: Yes.

Dave: ... that's like yourINTJ personality type, right?

DC: Yeah. But then if I'm not invested in it, then I'm the worst person because I can't get anything done. In that case, like answering emails and following up with people.

Dave: Yeah. Oh, man. Can we leave somebody with something? Can you leave the people with something while I pull up iTunes and give some fan love right now?

DC: Oh, you're going to give some fan love?

Dave: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: Awesome.

Dave: Yeah. We shouted out our-

DC: That's my favorite part.

Dave: We shouted out our boy, Harrison.

DC: Yeah.

Dave: Which is nice.

DC: So, one thing I want you to think about in terms of if you're on a team, if you run a team, if you're on a team, whatever it is, think about the people that are on your team today, and think about helping them identify their superpowers and their super weaknesses, and then coaching through their super weaknesses, and letting them know that it is okay, that we're all not good at lots and lots of things, and so, let's talk about together how we're going to help you complement your skillset with someone else, or some other process, or some trick, or something that we're going to put in place to sure up the narrative that you're weak.

Dave: Yep. And I mean even just that's something that we talk about as a team, like hiring and building a team, it's like it's the sum of all the parts, not just this one particular person.

DC: Nope.

Dave: I mean how many times have you probably in your career, like interviewed somebody who is an absolute all- star, but wouldn't be a good fit?

DC: Yeah, a lot.

Dave: Right?

DC: Yeah.

Dave: Because it's-

DC: Every other week I interview someone that could potentially be great, but I don't see the fit. I don't see where they're going to superpower us.

Dave: All right. So, here's today fan love. This is my favorite part because this is where the music comes in. This review is five stars only. Drift equals not just another over- hyped Boston start- up. Drift appears to be building-

DC: Global start- up.

Dave: That is true. Drift appears to be building a culture of hyper- fast and healthy growth. Their practical podcast and transparent blog, shout out to our blog, offer real value to the tech community. Really enjoyed the episode about Yvon Chouinard and morning routines. Keep up the good work. Shout out, EKL79. Appreciate you.

DC: Whoo, what's up EKL. Awesome.

Dave: Oh, last time when we plugged Hypergrowth-

DC: Yeah.

Dave: ...this talked about the ROI of the podcast-

DC: Sure.

Dave: We sold tickets to our conference-

DC: What?

Dave: ...based on us saying the promo code for Hypergrowth.

DC: That's awesome. We love this community.

Dave: Crazy.

DC: You want to hit them again?

Dave: Yeah, promo code is what?

DC: Seeking Wisdom.

Dave: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

DC: One word. All caps. Sign up for Hypergrowth. Come hang with us in person, and don't forget to leave a five- star review only.

Dave: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

DC: Subscribe on Facebook, so you can see the live videos that Amy's putting out. And I'm going to have a special prize-

Dave: Oh.

DC: ...for the first person to leave us a five- star review who mentions Amy.

Dave: Oh. That's direct- response right there.

DC: Shout out, Amy, in your response.

Dave: That's direct-response marketing.

DC: ...and I will be sending you a prize.

Dave: Love it. All right, we're out.

DC: See ya.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- Should you spend more time working on your weaknesses? Or doubling down on your strengths? That's what we're talking about today (plus DC's two methods for figuring out what you're actually good at). Here’s how you can support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com. PS. We just announced our first annual conference, HYPERGROWTH. Get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com using the promo code SeekingWisdom (one word)