You need ideas to write, you need ideas to speak and you need those to execute; yet research and surveys show these 3 skills normally do not exist together!
Pick the names of great authors, barring few exceptions, by and large they were not great communicators. Take examples of effective corporate mentors, they make poor managers. Bosses, who speak very well, hate to put same in writing and instead chose to assign planning and execution of their ideas to their sub-ordinates. I have witnessed many of such bosses in their younger years. They were never good implementers.
USA has produced some of the finest orators. Among its Presidents, John F. Kennedy has been rated as no. 1 orator. Historically famous speeches that he gave were written by his advisor and primary speech writer Ted Sorensen. Barrack Obama, current President has been rated as 3rd best orator after Franklin Roosevelt. His famous speeches until March, 2013 were written by White House director of speech writing Jon Favreau. Point to note here is that Ted Sorensen and Jon Favreau are not know for great speaking skills and these Presidents were not the authors of what they spoke!
Take the case of Russian born Vladimir Nabokov, who is known as one the most ingenious authors of 20th century for his originality and highly accomplished writings. His speaking skills were not impressive.
In today’s highly competitive world, you need all 3 skills at good levels – writing, speaking and executing. It looks, as though, nature refuses to grant all 3 in 1 person. Some are blessed 2 out of 3; but being blessed with all 3 seems to be a rare feature!
Why is that?
Why 2 or more skills at great level is unique and rare!
It is like a good tennis player can’t be a good badminton player; it is nearly impossible that a decent soccer player can ever to be a deserving (American) football player! Here below is how it seems to work:
- When you become good at or have natural taste for a particular skill in professional or personal life, you are inclined to become better and eventually great!
- When you fight on more than one fronts, you run the risk of losing all. Knowing this well, you dissuade yourself to focus on more than one skills.
- When you become great in one skill, you stand out of the crowd and come in limelight! When you are acknowledged in what you do, you get addicted to it! This alienates you further from other skills or traits.
Therefore, you would notice that geniuses are not great at people skills; conversely, those having people skills are seldom genius!
- Rule of nature seems to clearly suggest that being too good at one makes other ones grim for you. So, if you are dedicated in translating your ideas into words, you would neglect or hate to give voice to the same. That is how good writers would not become good speakers and vice versa. When you are too engaged in execution, you become least concerned with words or voice!
It is for this reason that darling of public invariably fails to become darling in private (even for his/her most dear one)!!
Hence, Excellence inherently invites adversity in one or another form.
- Now comes a major paradox – our polity and practices are such that during starting phase, we are encouraged to focus on one area or skill, which is very understandable. We would tend to become from good to great in that skill! In corporate life, if we become great in one skill, management would brand us as experts and that compliment becomes a curse in terms of climbing organizational ladder beyond a certain point.
And, if we focus on “no one area”, we would be master of none and run risk of being branded mediocre!
So, life looks to be a constant struggle; continuously countering with contradictions or conflicts, meeting diametrically opposite demands, managing right and wrong, good and bad. As a matter of fact, our lives have actually evolved out of conflicts, if you closely observe.
Above also implies that initially you need to focus on one area; but deflect it to other allied ones at an appropriate stage or time. This is very critical. You should restrain yourselves to go too deep of any area, if you want to emerge as true leader.
There seems to be one way out of above jumble mumble or vagaries of your life. Bring harmony in your thoughts, traits and tastes! I am sure, you have come across someone, who does most of his/her things right. What that person actually does is to think, write, speak and do in full harmony. When there is harmony in approach, outcome for everything is at optimum level and hence very appealing. It does mean simple, straight, smart but well connected thinking and doing.
Finally, simple mantra to get it – harmony enters, when your inner conflicts exit!