Understanding Strengths and Making Them Work for You

The interesting thing about strengths is they are easier to see in others than yourself. However, it is important for you as a leader to understand your strengths as well. So how do you find your strengths and what do you do with them once you have them.

When I think of finding your own strengths, I will tell you it is easier to see what they are not. As a cyclist I can tell you for instance that I am not a climber. I weigh significantly more than the 134-145 lbs that would make me a proficient climber. I am sure if I was weighing in at that range, I would probably love it. As it is, I can tell you that climbing is a weakness not a strength.

In our off the bike lives, it is harder finding what our strengths are. But, once you know them, they can be a powerful tool in your strategy to progress in your organization or manage a team.

So what are strengths in the first place. One of the definitions I like is the one given in the book Strengthfinder 2.0. The are the way you are hardwired. When you take their test, administered by Gallup, you find your top 5 strengths. For example, knowing that Strategic is one of my strengths helps me in my role as a Strategic Planner. Knowing that another of my strengths is Adaptability, lets me know why having to go to plan B does not throw me off base like it does others I know.

Once you know your own strengths and the strengths of your team, you can start to utilize the talents and passions of your people. Have your sprinters, sprint. Have your climbers, climb. Have your sales people who thrive on meeting new people, do your prospecting and your sales people who build strong relationships, be your account managers. If you maximize the strengths and talents of your people you will do as Jim Collins suggests and Lance Armstrong has proven. Get the right people on the bus and get them in the right seats and you will have success.

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