Place focus on your strengths

We have all heard that we should determine our strengths and weaknesses. Some people might tell you to focus on your weaknesses and try to fix them. The crowd that I run with says just the opposite. As a leader, work on your strengths to make them stronger. Find someone whose strengths are your weaknesses and put them on your team.

Since I know I can’t hammer a nail straight when I have a major household construction project, I have learned to find a contractor or a friend to take care of it. My time is much better spent marketing, selling, speaking or writing. My neighbor loves to cut grass and do yard work. He is good at it. My yard looks great because I am happy to pay him to take care of it. I can then focus on improving my marketing, selling, speaking and writing skills or spending quality time with family.

As a high school soccer coach, we work daily with our goalkeepers to improve their skills. We don’t try to turn them into goal scorers. We have other players that do that better. We spend time with our strikers strengthening their shooting skills.

My wife and I have common values but complimentary skill sets. They say opposites attract. That may be why. This helps our marriage and our business. Are there things that you need to let go of? What are you doing that someone else should be doing so you can focus on or further develop your strengths?

Last week I mentioned the Shale Crescent USA planning session lead by Tom Heywood. One of the exercises Tom led was a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. It was enlightening. One of the major outcomes of this session is that Shale Crescent USA’s strength is marketing. Marketing is creating awareness. Our marketing through print, online, TV, radio and in person through conferences and our trip to Japan in January and has reached prospects globally. The Japanese said, “We had no idea. We thought all the gas was in Texas.”

Another strength of Shale Crescent USA is our technical support for state and local economic development groups. The IHSMarkit study released in March at World Petrochemical Conference in Houston, Texas said that the Shale Crescent USA Region is the most profitable place in the world to build a new petrochemical plant. This is one of the best sales tools local economic development groups have. We are happy to share it so the Region can succeed.

We also learned at the planning session what we can’t or shouldn’t do. Shale Crescent USA can only sell the region. We have no property or economic incentives. The final sale to bring a company here is a state or local responsibility. Infrastructure and workforce development are two other areas best left to other organizations like possibly the Tri-State Shale Coalition. Our time and funds are best spent marketing and selling the Shale Crescent USA region and providing technical support for our economic development groups.

Our trip to the White House last month was to provide data that can help to justify the construction for an expanded I-68 from Morgantown to the Ohio Valley and through southern Ohio to I-77. Other groups will need to do the hard work to actually get it funded and built.

A few months ago, the Shale Crescent USA Tech Team spent over half a day meeting with an Asian company in Marietta explaining the advantages of locating in the Shale Crescent USA. They already had signed a confidentiality agreement and had our study. We had to put it into context for them. They are working with Jobs Ohio, the West Virginia Development Office and others on sites. Their leader called me a couple of weeks ago to say, “Your Team has convinced us. We are coming to the Shale Crescent.” They have about 6 sites they are looking at. They hope to decide in the next few weeks where in the Shale Crescent USA they will be locating. Now Ohio, WV and individual sites must compete for the project. No matter what happens, our Region wins.

What do you do or your organization do best? How can you do it better? What do you need to let go of so that you can focus on your strengths? We know now that Shale Crescent USA is a marketing and technical support organization. We can sell this region better than anyone. This is where our organization needs to focus its time and funds. Where do you need to focus your time and funds?

The world has changed for the better. This region is responsible and that is very cool! Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA www.shalecrescentusa.com. He has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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