Play to your strengths

What do you do really well? What do you love to do? What skills, talents or abilities do others recognize you for? These are important questions for businesspeople, and any individual, to ask when developing their skills, talents and abilities.

The most successful people in business, investing and politics are those who play to their strengths. They are passionate about what they do and, because of that, they do it much better than others who are trying to do it all. This is called rational targeting. If you enjoy playing baseball, you’ll play the sport as often as you get the opportunity. You’ll become much better at the game than someone who really doesn’t care about being out on the diamond with a bat and a glove.

You gain a couple advantages. You will spend more time playing because you like it, and therefore, your skills will improve. And because you love baseball, you’ll want to learn everything about the sport, how to get an edge, what plays will secure a win and so on.

By playing to your strengths and doing more of what you love, you will get ahead in business and in life.

But first, you must identify your strengths, and this requires self-reflection. You may need to consider feedback from mentors, colleagues, close friends and family to tease out those strengths if you have trouble pinpointing them yourself.

By playing to your strengths and partnering with others who are strong where you are weak, you’ll form a winning team. This rule follows in business, marriage, the community and most other aspects in life. In business, I know I can’t be a technical expert on every area of insurance and benefit services that we offer. But throughout the years, The Fedeli Group has attracted talented individuals who are experts on a full range of insurance, employee benefits consulting and risk management solutions. We have built a team of strong players.

We focus on personal and professional development, identifying strengths and making sure our people are in roles where they will succeed. And we ask our associates to be committed to lifelong learning.

To be successful, you must help others to become the best versions of themselves. This includes identifying the strengths in others and giving them opportunities to use their talents and abilities.

We also encourage relationship mapping, in which you are here and with whom are our relationships strongest. Looking at this map and applying the rational targeting concept, determine where the need is. How can you help? How can you play to your strengths while leveraging the strong relationships you have? Connect the dots.

People have told me one of my strengths is networking, which is the exchange of information, ideas and resources. I enjoy meeting people, solving problems, building relationships and adding value as a businessperson and as an investor.

Throughout the years, I have discovered one way I can bring tremendous value to our organization and to others I associate with is to use the power of networking — to be the quarterback who brings together talented people. As a result, we have built a strong network of individuals with incredible strengths and talents.

These are people with high integrity that I trust, admire and respect who, in turn, trust and respect me. I introduce them to potential opportunities, so they are able to share their talents and strengths with others. When we play to our strengths, success often follows.

Umberto P. Fedeli is CEO of The Fedeli Group