Mentioned previously in despatches

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People want to hire energized people who are passionate and excited about what they're doing.

A man I know was the driving force behind health reforms that saved the lives of millions of people in the developing world.Certainly he achieved this feat with great strengths.He was deeply connected with his values.He cared deeply about others, friends and strangers alike, and did whatever he could to help them.Success as an academic traditionally lies in one’s ability to see and expound the gray.But he never saw the gray.He saw the world in black and white, right and wrong.This simplistic view of the world is something that people in academia try to hide or overcome all the time.But he never hid his simplicity.And that was the source of his power, the secret ingredient that enabled him to save so many lives.He cut through the morass of a debate and arrived at the simplicity of righteous action.Yet another friend, an outstanding investment manager, spends all his time obsessively looking at, thinking about, and reading financial statements of companies in which he is considering investing.He lives and breathes them.I once invited him to spend the weekend skiing.Instead of skis, he brought a stack of annual reports that stood three feet high.But his obsession has made him one of the best stock pickers in the world.We all have quirks and obsessions like these.Maybe we don’t admit them, even to ourselves.Or we worry that they detract from our success and work hard to train ourselves out of them.But that’s a mistake.Our quirks very well may be the secret to our power.The second element is your weaknesses.Rather than avoid them, embrace your weaknesses and spend your time this year where they’re an asset instead of a liability.The reason this pedicab had been hired instead of the others was immediately obvious.Nobody wants to sell a commodity, and nobody wants to be a commodity.Yet even though we all know that, most of us spend a tremendous amount of effort trying not to be different.We model ourselves and our businesses after other successful people and businesses, spending considerable money and energy discovering and replicating best practices, looking for that one recipe for success.If you look like other people, and if