Before we talk about “Unique Ability,” we should define what it is. Dan Sullivan, originator of the concept, says Unique Ability is the essence of what you love to do and what you do best. It's characterized by four things:
- It's an ability that’s so rich in you that other people notice and value it.
- You're passionate about doing Unique Ability activities, and you want to do them as much as you can.
- Using your Unique Abilities energizes you and other people around you instead of sucking the life out of you as so many business activities do.
- While you're very good at your Unique Ability, you always want to be better. You're passionate about developing Unique Ability skills, and it doesn't seem like work to do so. Leaders don't give themselves enough credit for having Unique Ability skills because they come so easy.
Why is it important to talk about Unique Ability? For today's construction leaders, it's all about impact. Contractors, or other business leaders for that matter, allow themselves to be pulled in too many different directions each day. That lack of focus causes them to fail to get the most out of themselves, their employees, and their organizations. Unique Ability is all about focus and impact.
Sullivan made a genius comment: "In business life, we don't suffer from a lack of opportunity. We suffer from too much opportunity." If you allow yourself to be pulled in a thousand different directions every business day, you'll find yourself frustrated, distracted, and unable to achieve your big picture goals. Focusing on your Unique Ability is the antidote to that universal problem.
I've done the Unique Ability discovery process and defined my four Unique Abilities: business development, writing, speaking, and hiring. Those are the four ways I can make the most impact in my company. If you too do the Unique Ability analysis, you'll define a handful of ways that you can make the biggest impact in your business, and if you focus on that small number of activities, your impact will be magnified and multiplied. Instead of finding your time and attention fragmented and your ability to influence the direction of your organization impaired, you’ll be laser focused and advance your company more quickly and effectively than ever before – not to mention you’ll have more balance in your life and time for the things that truly matter.
Discovering your Unique Ability is a simple and fun process. Buy the book Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want by Catherine Nomura. It's a short, easy read, and defines the Unique Ability discovery process. You'll have fun with it, and you'll learn a great deal about yourself as you discern what other people see as your unique talents and strengths.
In our peer group program, our brand promise is that we offer contractors four things: more money in less of their time with fewer headaches and a higher quality of life. If you define and focus on your Unique Abilities, those four things will naturally find their ways into your life too. Isn’t that what all contractors are looking for: Both prosperous businesses AND well-balanced and satisfying lives? The Unique Ability process will help you define and zero in on the things you really want in life and the skills and talents you must employ to get them.