The simple truth is as OBM’s we often feel we are expected to be ‘the all in all’ for our clients and the businesses we serve. It can, at times, be an overwhelming expectation we put on ourselves, to the point of not even enjoying the work we are doing and working ourselves to the point of burn out. I should know I have been there!
After years of mentoring OBM’s and having many deep (at times tearful) conversations with seasoned folks in our industry, I have come to realize this is a very tempting TRAP awaiting many of us. The trap of trying to ‘be the all in all for our clients’. I had to ask myself why? Why do we allow ourselves to get sucked into this trap? Why are so many brilliant, talented, passionate, caring virtual support professionals (because I realize this is not just an OBM issue) falling prey to this painful TRAP?
Answer: Hero Syndrome
Ultimately at the very core of most of the OBM’s I have worked with through the years there is a very deep rooted need within that person to serve their clients at the highest level possible. To truly make an impact in the business and the lives of their clients in such a way that they are making a difference in the world around them. This servants heart, can at times know no boundaries… see no options for weakness… allow no opportunity for failure. Which is the TRAP – because it often doesn’t leave room for others to serve along side it, for the deep rooted need is for them to be the hero. What starts out as a desire to serve at the highest level often ends up as what I call the Hero Syndrome.
So let’s talk about Hero’s for a moment… when we look back at our childhood fantasy entertainment, there was always a hero there to save the day (and serve the world). So, whats wrong with wanting to be someone’s hero? Nothing in my opinion.. however, we could look also that Wonder Women did not attempt to catch bullets, Batman did not scale walls using spiderwebs, and though both were green the Hulk was no Flash Gordon 😉
The key to being a Hero is knowing your strengths. Understanding fully exactly what makes you uniquely brilliant at being you and how to activate those strengths at the highest level to ensure you are serving the business at your complete hero status. Running around trying to be everything will only leave you with kryptonite to deal with: Overwhelmed, exhausted, creatively depleted, frustrated and possibly resentful.
Here are 5 ways to let your Hero soar –
1. Find out what your strengths are .. be purposeful in both becoming aware of your strengths and developing them. So many people know what comes natural to them but they don’t take the extra effort to really develop it into a strength that empowers them to stand STRONG on their strengths.
2. Understand your weaknesses – I hate to say it friend but you really are not good at everything, and even if you are good, you are not GREAT at everything. Know where your weaknesses are then go one step further and surround yourself with people who are actually strong in your weaknesses. If you work with a team and you are not a detailed person (such as myself) be sure to hire a VA that is extremely detailed. Covering your weaknesses with people or process will save your butt time and time again.. so do it 😉
3. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of those on the team… including the client. The truth is our clients often are doing a hundred things that are not in their strengths too leaving them to deal with their own kryptonite. Lets be honest that usually turns out unpleasant for everyone involved. Same goes for those supporting the business on a day to day (ie: VA, Customer Service, Administrator), take the time to find out what the strengths of those on your team, ensure they are working within their natural strengths and make adjustments to tasks/roles if needed.
4. Commit to being the Servant Hero – without hero syndrome! This means to commit to work within your strengths, do great, amazing work that you love and allow the support of team and process to do the work that you don’t. Stay out of the TRAP of doing it all and being it all! This is literally a decision so make it and commit to it.
5. Join Tina Forsyth, for the Annual OBM Trends Call on 1/30 @4:00pm Eastern / 1pm Pacific – Find out more about how your strengths help develop a stronger relationship with your clients and essentially allow you to BE better at your service. Tina will also be sharing the Top Trends of 2013 – and how they will effect 2014 for you the OBM!
Sign up here for full details: http://www.OBMAcademy.com/freetraining