Is Your Main Thing Really Your Main Thing?

The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.”  Stephen Covey


What is your “main thing”? What is it that you do so well that people are willing to pay you for it? If you are not doing your main thing, or what you do best every day, chances are you are frustrated and even disengaged at work. According to Gallup annual poll, only 31.5% of US employees were engaged at work in 2014. That means that 68.5% of the US is not engaged in their work! As business leaders, this should scare us!

My main thing is leadership. Specifically: strategy, process and structure, and communication. Today, I do that from a business point of view by setting business strategy and vision, building processes and structure to implement that strategy and then communicating to the organization through this process. Prior to business leadership, I did the same thing from a project management perspective and, earlier, from an engineering and construction perspective.

Looking back on my career, most times I experienced frustration in my job was when I was operating in a role that did not allow for the use of my “main thing.”

So what is your main thing and, even more importantly, are you creating an environment for your organization that allows your employees to discover their main thing and adjust their roles to take advantage of these strengths?

This does not have to be a daunting, overwhelming or a costly task. There are many tools and consultants available in the marketplace to assist in this process. I would recommend running your employees through at least a personality profile exercise and a talents exercise. I have included some links below for your reference.

Personality Profiles:

Talents and Strengths:

Executive level options:


I have heard some business owners complain that if they teach their employees this information that some of them will leave and go elsewhere. My response to this is to quote Zig Ziglar;

The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.


Would you rather have a fully engaged and super productive workforce and risk losing a few people who go elsewhere to pursue their “main thing” or retain 100% of your disengaged and unproductive employees?

Seems like a “no-brainer” to me! Build a work environment where your employees can discover and refine their “main thing” and then adjust their roles to take advantage of these strengths!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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