How Strengths Mature by Leveraging Firsts

Since formally joining the Leadership Vision team in January 2016, I have been doing my best to leverage all of my “firsts”.  My colleague, Sara, emphasized the importance of maximizing on your first year in a role by assuming a learning posture. I took this to mean that I should position my heart and mind in an “arms wide open” way, willing to receive each moment with impartiality, generosity, and curiosity.

I have done my best to assume such a learning posture over the past 6 months in my role at Leadership Vision. I find myself looking at each of Leadership Vision’s services, processes, philosophies, and relationships with wide and inquisitive eyes. Not only has this professional learning been fascinating, but as I assume a learning posture, I have found it to provide space for personal reflection and self-discovery. This rich personal learning curve, has been both challenging and exciting.

As a Strengths consultant, it is essential to have a learning posture. The Talents behind each individual’s Themes of Strength are so unique, especially as they pair with other Themes.  I always have something to learn, when it comes to StrengthsFinder.  However, sometimes, I forgot that my own Top 5 Themes, are also unique. I took part in our Strengths Communicator training this past winter. During it, Brian commented to me, “Bethany, I see your Activator learning to be patient.”  That stuck with me. I have discovered that a “learning posture” is challenging for someone with the my unique ThemePrint – the talents behind my top 5 Themes of Strength.

My StrengthsFinder theme of Communication wants to clearly understand everything we do, so I can accurately express the mission and vision of Leadership Vision. My StrengthsFinder Themes of Activator, Responsibility, Achiever, together, often look like Maximizer. These Strengths begin to “chomp at the bit”, ready to make changes, move things forward, ask catalytic questions, etc. I have learned that my Strengths must be patient. I feel thankful to be working with colleagues who appreciate and elevate my drive to refine, improve, and influence. Where it is appropriate for me to weigh in or bring clarity to systems and processes, my teammates leverage this capacity to make good things great and great things excellent.

Recently, I’ve imagined myself as a racehorse in the starting gate. I was made to run. I was created for action and movement. I am in a stall, perfectly positioned for the moments to come. My work history and experiences have prepared me to be in this position. I am “chomping at the bit”, ready to race and ready to excel at the task ahead, but now, I must wait. I must be calm and focused. I see this “learning posture”, not only as arms wide open, but as an active waiting and learning.

I am leveraging my first year by actively waiting and learning. Waiting, however, does not equate to being passive.  It is looking with attentiveness, and positioning myself strategically by asking authentic questions. It is releasing a false expectation that I must contribute to have influence. It is sitting back and observing, being calm and focused. This has been challenging, yet also been extremely rewarding and enlightening as I have seen my Strengths maturing. They are being refined and sharpened. This motivates me and inspires me to step into these next six months with an even greater desire to leverage my first year in this new role.

What has the maturing of your own Strengths looked like?

How has the maturing of your Strengths allowed you to have a greater impact in your organization?