I am a big proponent of knowing your strengths and covering your weaknesses. I read a few books on this but the one that started it out was Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. This really opened my eyes to the idea that we really have 5 core strengths and we should FOCUS on them.
When you or your kid received a report card – did you focus on the A’s first, then discuss the B through F(s)? OR did those other non-A’s just jump out at you and you couldn’t help yourself?
It’s a fact that you only have 5 major strengths and the sooner you know them the better you are. My wife and I have been strengths advocates for our 3 daughters, many of their friends, and extended family members.
I can’t tell you how many books we purchased of the book – Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath for our family and friends, but it is a lot. We have made it a priority to help them understand their strengths as it truly can change a life. I have heard many stories of doctors being doctors because their parents were and then being so stinking unhappy – they quit. I believe to capitalize on your strength you will consciously and unconsciously be a happier person, be a more successful person (your definition), and have a positive impact in this world.
When I discuss the strengths idea with the “kids” and others they are very receptive. So it usually goes like this:
- Take them out to wings etc. (one of my favorite places), or just our house
- Give them the book with the code (My wife and I usually write something in the cover)
- Pop open my laptop and set them up an account
- Have them answer the 20 minutes of questions
- Feed them
- Review their 5 strengths with them
- Review the action plan briefly and print out or email it to them, so they have it to review in detail in the future
- Have them add a contact in their phone as Strengths Finders – <their name> so they always have access to them
It is really cool to see them connect dots in their brain. We feel it will change the trajectory of who they become. The goal is to arm them with information about themselves to make better decisions in life. PRETTY STINKING COOL.
I started this early with my wife, our 3 daughters, and me. I didn’t necessarily put it into practice early in my learning’s, but now it is a constant guidepost. As the younger generation grows up, they will refer to those strengths during decision times – like what should I major in, what job should I look for, what job should I take. If they are armed with this information about THEMSELVES, it may just help them make better decisions across the board.
- I encourage you to get the book Strengths Finder 2.0, and know your strengths. I know there are a lot of test out there but this one is easy for you to affirm yourself and works across the age groups.
- Get the book and do it with someone in your family
- Try it with co-workers.
After being CEO for 18 years at Pinnacle, and now Chief Strategy Officer and in charge of taking our ERP division to the next level. I am keeping my strengths and others constantly in the forefront of my mind. My last 2 hires – right and left hand luietenants – I openly talked about my weakness and specifically stated they would need to offset them as part of their roles. Really cool, honest, and expectations set properly from the start. Nothings perfect, but getting that right has caused us to accelerate a foundation to grow on.