Chatting about a new business venture with a friend of mine the other night we were talking about our own long term development.   We both share similar ideals and an internal drive to continually learn and develop our skills.   We have big plans for our future venture together however regardless of what we do we want both ultimately want to create a business that will help others to develop and improve.  

This got us talking about development and how that my friend has learnt to recognise his strengths and his weakness and that now he doesn’t get hung up about his weaknesses.  He knows what they are and does things to improve them, however he knows that this is limited and so he also spends lots more time building on his existing strengths. I am also doing the same.  I have some good strengths and some weaknesses that I know I’m improving on but also need more work.  

So when we were talking about these areas of improvement we realised that in life you cannot do everything and sometimes it’s better to either accept your weaknesses or in a business environment utilise someone else that is strong in the areas you feel you are weak in.  

We called this “Outsourcing your weaknesses”.  

This happens all the time at businesses regardless of size.   Large organisations have departments.  The finance team are strong with all things financial but not great at selling, and vice versa for the sales team.

If you manage a team within a department with lots of different tasks then look to see what the strengths in the team are.  If you have tasks you need to do then can you delegate them to someone else who can do them better than you?   

On a much smaller scale if you are just starting out in business and you know that you have no design flair in your body but a great product then don’t try and design anything, just outsource it.   If you are great at IT and are providing IT support services but not confident at selling then outsource it.

Now I know this is all good in theory and in practice it can be a lot harder, outsourcing costs money & time, you need to manage people, deal with potential internal politics and more.   So to begin with you might need to work on these weaknesses a bit yourself so if you are poor at finance then learn the basics.  You don’t need to become an expert just do enough to get by.  

Then when the time is right get someone else who is better than you at that skill to do the job you need.   Surround yourself with people who are experts in that area and have the confidence to do so.   You are then free to use your strengths to achieve what you want to.

So to conclude I’m saying that you should be aware of your weaknesses and your strengths,  look to continually develop both however in a business world if you can outsource to people with better talent, skill and knowledge than you in certain areas then go for it.

Blake Henegan – Optimus Sourcing