Over the past week, I’ve been reading two books from the Gallup Organization: “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and the more recent, “Strengths Finder 2.0”. The idea is simple: discover your strengths and build on those.
Actually, it only sounds simple. Much of what has been written in leadership development — or even personal development — has focused on how to improve in your areas of weakness. Growth plans outline how to develop new skills or improve weaker ones.
It’s not all bad. Some areas of weakness can be deadly if not improved upon. Take the ability to listen. If you’re not a good listener, you had better learn how to hear what your spouse (or boss) is saying to you.
However, what makes these two books different is the idea of focusing on your strengths. It’s our strengths that make us productive, creative, and energized. While we don’t ignore our weaknesses, we look for ways to minimize their impact on us. A person who is not detail-oriented can try to improve and place a lot of time and effort into doing so. Or, they can delegate those responsibilities to someone who loves details.
I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of “Strengths Finder 2.o” and to take the online assessment that comes with it.
Then, come back and tell me what you think.
P.S. Here are my top five strengths, listed in order: