I read over the weekend that the Ford F-150 pickup will sport a new grille, wheels and other tweaks for the 2018 model—just two years after a new version design and a couple of years before the next planned redesign. Apparently, the Ford truck has enjoyed being a bestselling truck for about 40 years.
So why does Ford invest so heavily in its best model instead of directing resources toward improving a lagging model? After all, they are already the best. Seems like they should try to get another model to the same status. But that’s old-school thinking—identify what you’re not very good at and bring it up to par.
It’s the same thinking that all professionals should be good at everything. But the research and practice over the last few decades has clearly indicated that, even if you improve something at which you aren’t very good, you will never be the best. So it would be better to concentrate your efforts where you can be really good and move that needle there.
For instance, if you aspire to be a strong business developer, you are likely to not devote the effort to deepen your technical knowledge. You would rather invest in developing relationships and finding business opportunities. If you really enjoy serving clients, you may be more interested in developing staff instead of marketing. The point is that you should aspire to be excellent in a couple of areas and competent in other important areas. If you’re a duck, let the rabbits do the running and you do the swimming. This approach allows you to practice YOUR way and enjoy your career. And in the end, that’s what it is all about.
Clarify where you should concentrate your efforts and set your development and results goals accordingly.