Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Strengths: Are You Positioned to Win?
Do you know where you play best on the court of life?
In the world of sports, the best coaches position their players to maximize their strengths. Coaches know that if everyone plays the role that he or she does best, the team will perform much better than if players are in positions that are not well suited for their skills and talents. Interestingly enough, much of the business world has been slow to learn this lesson. Young professionals often find themselves in the trap of striving to be good at everything…and then fall short of being great at anything. Some companies push their employees to know and perform in all areas of the business…and then wonder why results are less than stellar and employee satisfaction is down. These approaches fail to recognize the importance of maximizing strengths and leave people feeling frustrated and struggling to win.
Knowing one’s strengths is the first step toward being able to maximize them. The process of discovering your strengths can be quite challenging, confusing, and even intimidating. If you find yourself struggling to answer this question, I challenge you to follow these three “R”’s:
- Reflect: Take some time to think about the things that you really enjoy doing and that you do repeatedly and successfully.
- Request: Speak with friends or colleagues and ask them what they believe your strengths to be. What do they see you doing best? When do they observe you performing with great success and satisfaction?
- Read: Pick up a book from the library or bookstore and take advantage of the many resources in today’s world that can help you learn about yourself and your strengths. Two of my favorite resources are Strengths Finder2.0 and a program that will be online in early 2010 called About Me. (Stay tuned for more on this new and exciting program!)
I have a plaque in my office from my days of high school basketball. I received the award for getting the most rebounds my senior year of high school. You see, my coach played me well to reach this accomplishment. He knew better than to play me as a guard (oh my, what a disaster that would have been for me and the team! J) Instead he put me in position to do what I did best on the court – box out and scrap under the basket to get those rebounds.
Do you know where you play best on the court of life? If not, set out on a journey to discover yourself…find your strengths, maximize them, and win in the game of life!