SMALL CHANGE: everyone has an A Asset, their latent strength



an ebook


Ciarán Fenton

How small changes in your behaviour have a big impact on how you work, lead or follow

That’s the title of an ebook I wrote in early 2020, initially, as a series of 50 short blogs – index here – and as a framework for a longer book.


Section 1 YOU

Section 1.7 Everyone has an A Asset, their latent strength

Your sidt balance sheet

Your A Asset in your soft balance sheet is that skill, competence, or passion, which is hidden within you but which is accessible by making small changes to your D liability, your main behavioural weakness at work as perceived by others.

There are many books on hidden potential, including:

  • Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins
  • Mastery, Robert Greene
  • The Power of Now, Eckhardt Tolle
  • Man’s Serach for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
  • The Alchemist, Paula Coelho
  • Letter from a Stoic, Seneca
  • Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
  • Backbone, David Wagner
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, Mark Manson

That particular list was compiled by author Andrew Ferebee. My favourite is The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle who says that “authentic human power is found by surrendering to the Now; the silence and space all around us is one of the keys of inner peace. In the Now, the present moment, problems do not exist. In the Now, we discover that we are already complete and perfect.”

I recommend the book to clients as a means of becoming aware of their behaviour “in the Now” and connecting with what lies beneath that behaviour as a hidden strength.

I found the book a challenging read and also a challenge in applying it to my own life but nevertheless a book which I have always near at hand. It will sustain and has had enduring success although it was first published in 1999.

The Micro-Managing CEO Case Study: his A Asset

Earlier I told the story of the Micro-Managing CEOs willingness to confront his D liability in his Soft Balance Sheet.

He agreed to micro-manage a minimum of ten times less out of every hundred interactions. That was just 10% small change.

After a while, I asked him how he was getting on. He said, and I paraphrase:

  • “I reckon that I’ve clearly beaten your 10% target because definitely, I’m micro-managing at least 20% less!” [competitive, or what…}
  • “The management team is much happier” [no kidding…]
  • “I have more time” [Of course. Micro-managing is time-consuming and exhausting for the micro-manager]

He had, although he was not fully aware of it, accessed his A Asset, which was a latent ability to trust people more and to take more risks by making small changes in his behaviour. He no longer needed to micro-manage to be “in the Now”. He could discard it.

That shift took courage.

Can you imagine the positive impact on personal fulfilment and organisational outcomes if you and everyone on your team or board were to access even 10% of their latent strength by making small changes in their worst behaviour?

Everyone is unique so your team or board is unique. That means no other team or board can achieve what yours can achieve in the way it can.

If you are under pressure, either personally or as a team, look no further than your and your colleagues latent strengths to deal with whatever comes your way.

Ciarán Fenton

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