Everyone is naturally loaded with a wide range of skills at which they naturally excel. These abilities, despite being second nature, can also be developed. In fact, “…people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strength instead of correcting their deficiencies.” – Tom Rath
Peter Drucker said, “to achieve results, one has to use all available strengths…these strengths are the true opportunities.”
Know Thyself and Be Thyself
“‘Know thyself’ was the inscription over the Oracle at Delphi. Moreover, it is still the most difficult task any of us face. But until you truly know yourself, strengths and weaknesses, know what you want to do and why you want to do it, you cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word.” “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it’s also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis
J. Richard Hackman, a Harvard professor said: “Excellent leaders… are aware of their natural styles – they know what they like to do, what they can do easily and well, and what they can accomplish only with difficulty if at all. They learn over time how to exploit their special strengths and preferences, and how to contain or circumvent their weaknesses.”
The authors Stavros and Torres wrote: “We’re typically over-qualified in naming our weaknesses and much less savvy about those things at which we are naturally good.”
Implementation: Identify your personal “Zone of Leadership”
Questions create reality. If all we ask are questions of what is not working, we risk missing what is already present. To fulfill the potential of an individual, organization, business, etc. we must focus on strengths. Research shows us that people who focus on strengths are proportionally more successful than those who focus on weaknesses. We simply need to expand our perspective.
Ask yourself, What activities in your life are in the overlap of strengths and passions? These represent your personal “Zone of Leadership.”
- What do you feel passionate about?
- What are your strengths?
- When are you at your best? When are you in the “Zone”?
For additional help with this exercise: take the online survey StrengthsFinder to identify your top 5 “Strengths” and VIA Character to identify your top 5 character strengths, your “Passions.”
As always, contact us with any additional questions, we are happy to help you get in the Zone!
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