Episode 6: “Living in Your Strengths”
QUESTION: Why is it important to know your strengths?
- Recommended Tool: Strengthsfinder 2.0 Assessment – To break it down to its base level, there are 34 strengths that Gallup has identified, and categorized them in what they call “themes’.
- If you don’t know your strengths, then as a leader, you don’t even know what you are leading from.
QUESTION: If they are my strengths, then they probably come naturally. So, why do I really need to know about them?
- It is important for you to know your strengths because leading from our strengths makes us more effective in all areas of our lives, whether personal or professional.
- It is important for us to know the strengths of others. As leaders, we need to learn how to lead others according to their strengths. Not ours.
There is a difference between living in your strengths and leading with your strengths and both are important.
Living IN your strengths:
This is about you personally living in your strengths and doing the things that you are best suited to do.
I have always kept to the belief that we should try to live and work in our strengths zone. And the reason for this is, it’s going to keep you thriving, and keep out a lot of the frustration.
It is perfectly okay to not pay a ton of attention to the stuff that you’re not really good at. Which, is why the strengths Finder report is so important. If you have a list of 34 strengths and you have a top five, then you also have the bottom five.When I got my report, because of my personality of course, I skimmed over my top five strengths and immediately looked in my bottom five. I had to continually come back to my top 5 strengths.
Leading WITH your strengths:
Leading with your strengths is where leaders make their money, and by money I mean… Impact.
Leading with your strengths is about identifying with other people and utilizing your strengths to help others live in theirs.
I’m always trying to find out the better way to be the best “me.” I’m never trying to be somebody else.
I have strengths of my own. You have strengths of your own. The chance that we all have the same strengths is very minimal. Focus your time getting better at what you are already good at.
The STRATEGIC Theme
QUESTION: What does it look like to lead IN and WITH my strategic strength?
- The Strategic strength allows people to cut through all the clutter and find the best route when something needs to get done, when you’ve got to get somewhere.
- A specific way of thinking. It’s a specific perspective on what is right in front of you. It allows people to see patterns.
- People with the strategic theme ask “What if” questions.
- People with the Strategic strength can see potential barriers and obstacles. They can see over the hedge and see what might happen.
Ideas for Action:
- “Strategic” people want to be a resource for other people.
- Good leaders ask good questions. Somebody else might have the answers. You just need to ask the questions.
- If people don’t know what you need, it’s not their problem, it’s your problem. Let people know you’d like to be a part of the process.
QUESTION: How do we help others live within their strengths?
ANSWER: You need to know what your people are good at and what they are bad at.
What to do with Strategic people:
- Involve them in the process and planning sessions.
- Give them enough time to work things out.
How can people get better at living in their strengths and leading with their strengths?
- Take the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment.
- Go to www.risingtideleadership.com for the free strengths coaching review.
MO’s Final Thoughts:
We all have strengths. If you’d really like to be a leader, but you don’t know where to start, take the Strengthsfinder assessment. Learn your top five and start living within those strengths and pretty soon you will be leading with those strengths.
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