Thursday, October 18, 2007

Knowing My Strengths

I am reading the Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanleyand on p21 it gives this amazing example about focusing on your strengths:

Should a baseball batter whose batting average is .253 (which is mediocre at best) spend more time working on his hitting? Maybe, but if this person is an amazing pitcher named Greg Maddux, certainly not at the expense of his pitching. His skill with a bat is not what makes him an indispensable part of the lineup. "The moment a leader steps away from his core competencies, his effectiveness as a leader diminishes."
One BIg Idea of the book is that it is much better to focus and hone in on your strengths that come natural while letting people with another strength set fill in the weaknesses rather than spend countless extra hours focusing on how to overcome your weaknesses in an attempt to become well rounded.

So i took the test that comes from NOW Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. Here were my 5 main strengths:
  • Includer
  • Woo
  • Positivity
  • Activator
  • Relator
Read below to learn more about my strengths

Includer
"Stretch the circle wider." This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person's feelings. Why do that if you don't have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily
rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.

Woo
Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don't. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet-lots of them.
Positivity
You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation.Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. You seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy, but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won't allow it. Somehow you can't
quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one's sense of humor.

Activator
"When can we start?" This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You mayconcede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuableinsights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only actionleads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that "there are still some things we don't know," but this doesn't seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning.
You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can't. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.
Relator
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people-in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends-but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want
them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk-you might be taken advantage of-but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.

Good stuff.

2 comments:

Timmer said...

Brent Dongell. What's up man. Hope you are well. I breeze through your blog occasionally... PBA (where I work) is big on strengths in reslife...so I thought I'd share mine :) ...relator, responsibility, learner, input, strategic.

Brent said...

dude, so good... what i ahve found is the strengths line up so well. I can totally see each of those especially the relater, responsibility, and input in you!