Wisdom Wednesdays: What is Your Kryptonite?

by Jim Galvin

Kryptonite was the green ore from Superman’s home planet of Krypton.  It could make him lose his super powers, become weak and even kill him.  Superman could do many things well but he became powerless around Kryptonite.

So what is your Kryptonite?  What drains you?  What situations and tasks suck the life right out of you, and how can you deal with it?

We all have unique strengths and weaknesses.  When we are operating in our strengths we are energized.  When we are operating in areas of weakness we tend to feel drained.

During a recent planning time, I made a list of things that drained me.  My list included:

  •  Entering transactions on QuickBooks
  • Going on back-to-back trips with no recovery day in between
  • Traveling with people who talk incessantly
  • Recruiting new board members
  • Playing phone tag with voicemail messages
  • Driving in unfamiliar cities
  • Dealing with issues related to software, hardware or website

What drains you?  Find a piece of paper or open a favorite software program for capturing ideas.  Make a mind map with a stick figure of you or the image of a low battery in the middle of the page.  Around that image list everything you can think of that drains you.  These can be situations, specific tasks or certain individuals.  Take enough time to make a long list.  Then you will be able to deal with each of them one at a time. You have at least five options.

Drop it.  Is this something you can simply stop doing without any negative repercussions?  Maybe someone else will feel strongly enough about it to take it on.
Delegate it.  Can you assign this responsibility to somebody else?  Most people would probably do it better than you anyway.
Alter it.  Can you change the conditions or your thinking about it?  With back-to-back trips, I know think of it as one long trip and pack accordingly.  I also bought a GPS for driving in unfamiliar cities.
Team it.  Who can you get to help you?  You can ask a friend to meet with you, ask your team to do it together, or hire a coach.
Reward it.  How can you bribe yourself to get it done?  Pair the draining activity with another activity immediately afterward that is fun, rewarding and energizing.

What’s your Kryptonite?  Take some time to figure it out and, like Superman, try to stay away from it!

Jim Galvin, Ed.D., founded Galvin & Associates, Inc., in 1999.  Based in Elgin, Ill., he is an organizational consultant specializing in strategy, effectiveness and change.  Jim has been a speaker at several ALDE events.  http://www.galvinandassociates.com

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