Focusing on Your Strengths

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This post is by Cindy Biggs, an expert guest blogger who worked for 33 years in the non-profit healthcare sector before applying her strengths as a professional Leadership Development Expert and Executive Coach, Trainer, and Mentor.  As an international Turning Learning into Action Associate, she knows how Professional Coaching can significantly increase your return on investment in leadership training.  Cindy uses the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment, Strengths Based Leadership:  Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, in most of her work.  She has coached numerous leaders of all ages to focus on their leadership strengths to find a job and career and LIFE that will be integrated that they can love and enjoy.  For more information on Cindy, or to learn more about opportunities related to strengths-based coaching and training, you can contact her via email at cindyjbiggs@gmail.com, phone at 330.465.9089, or on her website at www.SEEBIGG.com.

In the 1950s psychologist Donald Clifton asked the question, "What will happen when we think about what is RIGHT with people rather than fixating on what is WRONG with them?"

Imagine that. Most evaluations I have had throughout my career depict what I am doing well, but always end with goals or actions that I have to take to fix my weaknesses.  Those are the things that are not my strengths.  Really? 

Clifton’s work led to four decades of world-wide research by Gallup.   The strengths based leadership movement began.  Over thirteen million people have taken the strengths finder assessments to discover their top five leadership strengths.   

After working within the strengths based leadership movement these last ten years, what I have learned and observed is that the most effective leaders always know and invest in their leadership strengths. They also know that, to get the most leverage, they need to focus on their team’s strengths by surrounding themselves with the right people to maximize their own strengths. 

Imagine if you are told, ”Here’s what you are doing well, so let’s figure out how you can focus on those areas of strengths even more over the next year?”

According to Gallup, the advantages of doing this are huge from a company and employee perspective!

  • Employees are 3 times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life
  • Employees are 6 times more likely to be engaged in their job
  • Companies report greater employee productivity, profitability, and less turnover when they focus on employee’s strengths

When leadership focuses on their strengths, team members:

  • Look forward to going to work
  • There are more positive than negative interactions with co-workers
  • They tell their friends they work for a great company
  • Daily, they will achieve more
  • There are more positive, creative, innovative moments

So, The BIGG question you can ask yourself is, “On your very best day of work, that day that you come home and talk about how great your job is, what did you do?”

Have you had a day like that? I hope you have.   If so, this is the day that you focused on your strengths.  You will love the work that focuses on your strengths, as I have. 

What can you do to start focusing on your leadership strengths right now? 

  1. Take the Stengthsfinder 2.0 assessment.  You can go to the Gallup website or Amazon to order a new copy of the book that includes this assessment.
  2. Use this “template” of your leadership strengths to determine if you are in the right job that focuses on your top five leadership strengths.   This can also help you determine what kind of job or career would focus on your strengths even more.
  3. Consider working with a coach to help hold you accountable for moving forward in your life and career by focusing on your strengths.  I would love to have a sample session with you!

 

Image credit: FreeImages.com/Hervé de Brabandère

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