Focus on your strengths—not weaknesses! How many times have you heard that line? I can’t be the first to say it to you. So, why don’t you do it? Is it because it sounds like mom telling you to wear sunscreen or dad yelling to put on your seat belt?
Well, mom and dad were right about that and I am right about focusing on your strengths.
But just accepting that as truth doesn’t make you focus on those strengths. Because those are just words. Saying those words doesn’t show you how to focus on those strengths, help you understand why that’s important, or discover if you know what your strengths even are! Only when you do some hardcore strength training—no excuses!—and better understand who you are do you start to create real personal relevance. Which is why time with our launchbox clients—individual and corporate—starts with a personal strengths assessment.
But there’s another reason why focusing on your strengths is so important: to help you kick ass the right way. That’s right: Kick. Ass. Not kick someone else’s ass. You’ve been doing that with your millennials and likely all your people the wrong way for too long. That’s why you are chasing relevance with them.
Getting comfortable with your strengths is as basic as it gets for both kicking ass and understanding and finding relevance, because it forces you to go follow your true nature. It’s like that quote that some attribute to Einstein but is actually just a self-help line from the 1970s: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
I agree! Don’t apologize for who you are because you can’t be who you are not.
But you know what is even more stupid? Being a fish and thinking you can climb a tree. Maybe you are terrible at something because you are working from a point of weakness rather than strength. And you know what is even more stupid and alarming than being a fish and thinking you can climb a tree? Not knowing whether you are a fish or something else. That’s what you’re doing by not knowing and using your strengths—a crucial step that combines with the next steps we outline to articulate your personal value.
And its starts with asking yourself:
1. Where do I kick ass?
2. I could kick more ass if . . .
3. Where do I wish I kicked ass?
I want you to kick ass to find your own relevance and purpose in everything you do by not only understanding your strengths but also making a commitment to lead from those strengths. That’s how you deliver value to yourself and others in a way that makes a real, quantifiable difference to everyone you touch. That’s the first step to becoming the leader and manager you were meant to be and leveraging your strengths and others’.