Good afternoon all
Last week I shared a tool from Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of highly effective people”
This time around, I would like to share the impact that Strengthsfinder had on my life. You can read either Marcus Buckingham’s book, “Now discover your strength” or Tom Rath’s book, “Strengthsfinder”
The Gallup research Company did extensive research to uncover that there are 34 strengths.
The traditional model for growth holds that we should focus on those areas we are weakest. The strengths model holds we should focus on the areas we are strongest in. It doesn’t say we should dismiss or down- play managing weaknesses, but rather play to our strengths. “What’s more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth, when they invest energy in developing their Strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” – Tom Rath
I have experienced considerable growth in my own life since I found my own strengths and have endeavoured to put them to work. I trust it will be of value to you as well.
Here is a summary of the key take outs from the book by Tom Rath.
#1. Focus on Your Talents and Potentials
Popular self-development literature will tell you that you can achieve anything you want, no matter your starting point.
But Tom Rath righteously says instead that talent and potential do matter. At least if you want to maximize your potential and achieve the most you can achieve.
#2. Don’t Waste Time on Weaknesses
Most people waste a lot of time and effort trying to “fix” their weaknesses.
That’s silly, because you struggle against your natural tendencies, come short against people who are naturally good in those areas and to cap it all off… You make yourself miserable.
Except when weaknesses hold You back. Dropping your weaknesses doesn’t mean ignoring anything you’re not good at. There are baseline competence levels in some areas that you want to reach.
For example if you’re a public figure, CEO or representative and are terrified of public speaking, you should probably address public speaking. But it doesn’t mean you will spend years trying to get better at public speaking, it means you will reach a level where you can comfortably speak to the press and effectively address the employees.
Basically: focus on your weaknesses only when they interfere with your strengths.
#3. Find Partners with complementary Strengths
Instead of addressing all your weaknesses, find partners who are strong we are you are weak. This allows you to work on your strengths while someone else does the best possible job in your areas of weakness.
This is called comparative advantage.
#4. And Work on Your Strengths
Tom Rath says your time is best deployed working on your strengths. So, if you’re good at selling, become great at selling.
Why should you focus on your strengths? Because by combining effort with talent, you will make the quickest progress while getting positive feedback and results and while enjoying yourself.
#5. Talent Becomes Strength with Work
Do not confuse talent with strength. You still need to work at what you have. Talent per se means little. A talent only becomes a strength when you work on it. Talent is having natural abilities at something, but results are erratic and random. A strength is a consistent, near-perfect performance at a given task.
If you want to dig a little deeper, here is a link to a free strengths test:- https://high5test.com/
It may be best to finish with a quote by Tom Rath, “You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a whole lot more of who you already are.”
Building strong entrepreneurs