Success comes to those who have a deep understanding of their strengths and who find a way to maximize their natural abilities. I truly believe we all have our inner genius and its our mission to share it with the world! Use these 3 steps below to get started.
Step 1: Figure out what they are!
To put it very simply, you can’t focus on your strengths until you know what they are. One of the best books you could ever read to help you determine your strengths is Strengths based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie.
With the purchase of the book you are given an access code to take the famous Gallups StrengthsFinder Test which will tell you your top 5 strengths. This is where the moneys at…if you don’t already have a clear understanding of your strengths or if it’s difficult for you to articulate them this test is definitely worth 20 minutes of your time!
A second strategy to help you discover your strengths is extremely complex so be prepared…ASK PEOPLE! If your thinking to yourself “that’s dumb, how can someone else know my strengths if I don’t even know what they are…” Well here’s why.
“Many people fail to recognize their talents because its something that comes so naturally to them. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that just because something is easy to you its easy for everyone.”
During Marie Forleo’s B-School course, she had us email as many people as we could and ask them what they felt we were really good at. After we received the responses we were then instructed to review them and look for commonalities. I highly recommend you try this for yourself!
Step 2: Invest in your strengths not your weaknesses.
In life we only have so much energy, time and resources and its our job to figure out a way to utilize these resources to the fullest potential.
So you have your strengths and you have your weaknesses…which one should you invest your time and energy in?
If you focus on improving your weaknesses in the attempt to become more well-rounded you will see improvement and you might even reach the level of average. Sounds impressive right? …Yea I didn’t think so. Mediocrity actually sounds like my worst nightmare (FYI my #2 strength according to the StrengthsFinder Test is Competitive 🙂 ). [Tweet “Do you really want average to be your aspiration?”]
On the other hand if you invest in your strengths you can reach a level of MASTERY. Not only will you rank among the best in your area of strength, you will also have more fun! When you invest in your strengths you increase your potential for growth exponentially.
Step 3: Find a Way to Compensate for Your Weaknesses!
This is where the rubber meets the road and also where so may people fall short. So yes we can probably agree that focusing on your strengths will produce a higher ROI than trying to improve your weaknesses but there is another very important piece of the puzzle. You must find a way to compensate for your weaknesses. The way that the most influential leaders accomplish this is by forming alliances and teams with people who strengths are there weaknesses.
An all too common mistake is when entrepreneurs hire people who have strengths similar to their own. If you naturally excel at idea generating you better have someone on your team that is brilliant at executing. Other wise all you will end up with is notebooks full of million dollar ideas that are never brought to fruition.
For example I am excellent at strategic thinking and visualizing solutions to problems. Areas of inefficiency naturally jump out at me and its almost like my brain plays a movie on 10x speed of all the different possibilities to solving the problem. By the end of the “movie” I know exactly what strategy will work best and the systems and processes that are needed to get there because I’ve already visualized how it will all work. The final details of implementation however, is not my forte. That’s ok because I can delegate these steps to someone on my team that excels at “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” and then review upon completion.
If you aren’t in the position to, or just don’t want to hire someone to balance your weaknesses here are a few other suggestions.
- Find an accountability partner to help you stick to a schedule or plan.
- Outsource certain tasks to a virtual assistant or freelancer. Some resources to find people that can help you with things like this are Elance, Odesk, Fiverr and Mechanic
Hopefully this has helped you realize that your strengths are what set you apart and should be cultivated but by no means should you use this as an excuse to completely ignore your weaknesses without having a plan in place!
If you have started primarily focusing on your strengths instead of trying to improve your weaknesses share your results in the comments below!