Finding the Right Fit, or Altering the Fit to Make it Better for You

“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn

 After week one of the NFL season, all teams, especially the coaches are evaluating what went right and what went wrong. While it’s true they had four pre-season games, they understand week one was the truest test of the plans and team they put together during camp, pre-season and when they cut to their 53-man roster. For coaches like Pete Carroll, the Monday after Week 1 is the first “Tell the Truth Monday.” (TTTM)

In last month’s article, we unpacked the why for applying StrengthsFinder concepts to successfully build your career so that you are better able to flourish and find what you believe is success (for you.) To recap, we dug into three solid reasons (provided by Kathie Sorenson, the former consultant with Gallup and Steve Crabtree, Senior Editor and Research Analyst at Gallup) as to why StrengthsFinder concepts apply including:

  • Own Your Own Development.
  • You are successful because of who you are, not who you aren’t.
  • You cannot be successful alone.

 Click here to read last month’s article if you missed it (or would like a refresher.)

 It would seem that “Tell the Truth Monday” is where discussions happen around a player’s weaknesses, their lapses in performance and “how can we avoid putting player X in that situation where he won’t be successful?

And that brings us to concept #4.

 4) What about your weaknesses?

What? You’re probably thinking, “But that is what everyone else focuses on with me. My weaknesses are what have kept me from getting to the place I want to be.” (I understand that tendency to focus too much on weaknesses. I fight that tendency every day.) Sorenson and Crabtree state, “Don’t focus on your limitations—but don’t ignore your weaknesses altogether, either. Instead, identify their source. Are they talent-based? Or are they rooted in lack of education, experience or opportunity?”

The Top 5 StrengthsFinder report works to identify which innate talents we have so that we can apply them more often to help ourselves and the team (whatever that is) we are a part of. As suggested earlier, “talent-based weaknesses are situation-specific.” On Tell the Truth Monday, coaches are considering questions like “what situations, specifically, do we need to game plan for so we can avoid putting Player X in that performance-deficit situation again?” Of course, this makes sense, as the coaches (and the players) are looking to “avoid failure because of weakness(es).”

However, it would also seem that film-study and game planning also consider how to overcome the weaknesses, and the barriers to successful performance in the game when it matters most. At the NFL-level, players are constantly hit by the fact that their talent alone is no longer good enough to help them perform, deliver, excel and win. Players like Wilson, Brady, Brees and so many others have proven that preparation, study and similar help them perform at their best, often instinctively in the split-second time it takes to succeed in the tightest scenario.

What do we do with these pesky weaknesses that seem to be barriers to our success then? Sorenson and Crabtree suggest that we look carefully at our target role or career path. They encourage us to ask, “How would your non-talents affect you in that role? How important is that aspect of the work? Who could help you to compensate for those non-talents?” (The answer: Good mentors.)

5) Make sure your plan is one you would CHOOSE to do, not one you feel you SHOULD do

Sorenson and Crabtree state, “Most successful people would agree that developing a career plan is essential. You wouldn’t try to launch a new product, or manage an existing one, without a plan. Career development without a plan isn’t career development at all — it’s career risk!” If that is true, maybe you need some Career Coaching (and Planning) with me? Note: I’ll have an entirely new platform ready to go for just this purpose by November 1. How about we get started?

Again, Sorenson and Crabtree state it so clearly. They say, “Your plan should articulate the steps you will take to move your career development forward. Then it’s up to you to make them happen. If you detail the steps without taking them, your plan is worthless.”

They also strongly suggest that your plan be founded in the innate strengths you have. They should be linked, very clearly, to your talents; because it is within the use of your strengths, your talents that you and I are most likely to find the “recharging” fulfillment we are seeking. Jim Rohn, the highly respected business philosopher suggested that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” I have always loved that quote and it lines up well with this concept. Perhaps we should always consider the quality of the “career board” (made up of friends, mentors and coaches) that we invite (or allow) to help us (or hinder us) on our career path? Anyone on our “career board” should be individuals who are know our strengths, “believe the best” about us, and are willing to offer their insights, connections and support.

6) The test of development: results!

Finally, Sorenson and Crabtree state “Landing the position you want is only the initial outcome you should expect from your career plan. A role that “fits” who you are — one in which you thrive — is satisfying and motivating.”

Since NFL games in weeks 2 through 16 are coming, we get to see firsthand, the results of player development. Which coaching staff, which players are the best at maximizing their individual and team strengths and at minimizing the weaknesses and barriers to their game-winning success, on a weekly basis. In looking through this lens, we can see who the best head coaches (and staffs) truly are, can’t we?

If you’re a leader at your facility, how are your peers, your customers and members rating you as a coach?

If this article (and the one prior) were inspiring to you, I hope you’ll reach out to me soon about what you took away from it and what we might be able to do together to help you reach for and attain your short and long-term career goals.


Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Cell: 206/335-5260