Since I was made aware of my StrengthsFinder results 15 years ago, I constantly try to find new ways to leverage my greatest areas for success – my strengths.
What are my StrengthsFinder results? I have taken the test a number of times during the past 15 years, but my core strengths have stayed the same. A few strengths have jumped in and out of my Top 5, but here are my most common strengths:
- Focus – People strong in the Focus Theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
- Achiever – People strong in the Achiever Theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
- Competition – People strong in the Competition Theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
- Significance – People strong in the Significance Theme want to be seen as very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be involved in meaningful work.
- Relator – People who are strong in the Relator Theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
Strengths in the Past Year
This past year I have worked full time consulting with organizations around building strengths based cultures. I also work on business development for our company. Additionally, I keep an eye on internal operations and keep our President informed of key issues as we move along.
One of the most fun things about being in a small boutique consulting firm is the variety of what each day might look like – it is never boring.
With all of those hats in mind here are 5 ways I leverage my StrengthsFinder results in my role as a Senior Consultant with Leadership Vision Consulting (LVC).
1. Every day I start with the most important things that need to get done.
This taps into my Focus and Achiever strengths that work well to push me towards finishing vital work. The challenging part of having this pair, is sometimes it feels like I never get enough done, even if I have accomplished quite a bit in a day. The skill I have added to my repertoire over the years is the ability to say that enough has been accomplished in a day.
2. In my areas of responsibility for business development, I need to connect with people who could benefit from the strengths based organizational consulting we do.
I start with “Who.” and then I work on “How.” Who do I need to connect to our company and how am I going to do it? I believe the work we do is very significant – that alone fires me up each day to get our message out to the right decision makers.
My Significance strength paired with Woo can help me understand which people within an organization, are the ones to make things happen. Who are the decision makers who can get things rolling? In any room of people, these people stick out to me and I try and find a way to connect with them.
Once I make a connection, I try to leverage my Relator theme to find common ground and build a deeper relationship with these key influencers. Business development is an ongoing and never ending process so what I mentioned earlier about Focus and Achiever plays in here as well.
3. Our work serving clients demands that we are able to quickly assess the environments are invited into to do our work.
Competition for me is a strength that used to be more about winning and now is much more about comparison. This ability to quickly compare helps me see what is working in a culture, and what is not. I could not imagine doing consulting without this ability to quickly compare.
4. Many strengths have the ability to be our greatest area for success and also get in our own way if we do not wield them correctly.
Focus is one of those strengths for me. Throughout my life I probably rubbed people the wrong way from time to time because they thought I was ignoring them. Really I was just focused on something else. My team at the last place I worked knew this about me and routinely asked “Are you focused right now?” This was a great way for them to manage me as their leader.
Focus now allows me to block out distractions and lock into whatever I am involved with. When this happens I get into a flow and time flies by. Do you have areas like this in your life?
5. Many times in my life, the unexpected happens.
In those situations many people seem to freeze and not be able to react. I get calmer in those situations and know what to do.
My wife and I were boating in Florida with my Dad and step-mom when the tide started to go out quickly. Our small fishing boat became stuck miles from the boat landing where we launched. Everyone was starting to get agitated and scared, and I just calmly used an oar that we had to push us to deeper water. It took a long time, but we were able to get where we could once again use our motor.
By using my strength of Command, I kept calm and instructed everyone else to do so as well. Things happen in leadership. I am thankful for the ability to keep cool under fire.
How do you leverage your strengths? Do you take stock of your everyday comings and goings and think about how you can fully leverage your strengths? In my experience, your greatest area for success comes from being more of who you already are.
What about you?