Are You Focused on Your Strengths?

“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong… And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” – Business guru Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005)

As many of you who already subscribe to my Leadership Power Tips know, one of my favorite books is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. When coaching my clients, we talk a lot about Strengths and seek to gain clarity on what theirs’ are. I just completed reviewing my Strengths after reading Strengths Finder 2.0, the upgraded version by Tom Rath. The goal of Gallup Management and the authors “was to start a global conversation about what’s right with people.”

I fell in love with this goal and overall philosophy right away. My passion is to have more leaders really understand who they are by being more aware and observant of the impact of their actions. What do they do well and what do they not do well. Becoming clear on both is really important to leadership development. Focusing on what is a strength as a leader means you will have an opportunity to make a dramatic difference for yourself and your employees. As a leader, I support building on who you already are and being aware of who you are not, managing your weaknesses.

The research Gallup has done “discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” Their research also indicates “that people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.”

In these tough economic times, it is already challenging without the added dynamic of not being able to use your strengths and do what you do best everyday. As Gallup’s extensive research has found (and you and I know from experience) when you are not able to use your strengths at work, chances are that you:

  • hate going to work
  • have more negative interactions with people at your work
  • treat customers poorly
  • speak negatively about your company to your friends
  • achieve less
  • have fewer positive and creative moments

So, if you are experiencing any or all of these, please take the time to pick up this book, Strength Finders 2.0 and begin to confirm your strengths, your natural talents. As 2009 comes to close, now is the time to review what you will focus on in 2010. Why not start out with building on your strengths?

My top five Strength themes are Relator, Maximizer, Positivity, Learner and Intellection. What are yours?

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