Actualizing Your Strengths

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None of us like doing stuff we’re not good at. It’s not energizing and it leaves us feeling like neutered idiots. This, my dear friends, is why I’m a huge advocate for the StrengthsFinder® assessment. It’s such a great starting point for identifying what your core competencies are and how to create an environment where you can feel fully alive more consistently.

If you’ve never heard of the assessment before, here’s a little run down:

– Built on 3 decades of research (across multiple industries and nearly 50 countries).
– Measures the presence of talents in 34 general areas or ‘themes.’
– Talents naturally exist. Strengths must be developed and are the product that results when one’s talents are refined with acquire skills and knowledge.
– It’s a starting point for self-discovery.
– Signature themes (your top 5 results) are unique to that individual. 33,390,720 different sets of signature themes are possible.

That last number is why we use this thing at B!G DEAL BRANDING. It reinforces our belief that if you own who you are, develop your strengths and create space to function in your sweet spot within your business, no one will be able to touch you.  No one will be able to replicate the core of what you do because it’s unique to who you are. With practice, you will be able to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a specific task. You’ll dominate your competitive landscape.

Does that not make anyone else excited? Even just a tad?

Here’s what happens when you’re not functioning in your strengths (this is straight up from the book Strengths 2.0):

– You’re quite simply a different person.
– In the workplace, you’re six times less likely to be engaged in your job (yes, the workplace includes your home office).
– You’ll dread going to work.
– You’ll have more negative than positive interactions with your colleagues.
– You’ll treat your customers poorly.
– You’ll achieve less on a daily basis.
– You’ll have fewer positive and creative moments.

Sound familiar? Need a Prozac? Kidding.

Here’s the deal. When we’re functioning in our strengths, it is PROVEN that we’re more positive, hopeful, confident and action-oriented. Most people aren’t living in their strengths because they don’t even know what their strengths are! So, the first step is to buy one of the following books:

1. Strengths 2.0 — Tom Rath (for the basic run-down of how this thing works — also the most popular)
2. Strengths-Based Leadership — Tom Rath (for those of you who want to know how your strengths play into leadership roles)
3. Now, Discover Your Strengths — Marcus Buckingham

Don’t buy a used book! The code that comes with the book is what gives you access to the online assessment. Only one code per person. Yes, that means you have to buy a book for each person who wants to take the assessment (which I highly recommend for teams). Follow the directions from the book and take the 30-40 minute online assessment. When you’re finished, you’ll get your top 5 results. Study them, interact with them, start carving out opportunities to practice them more regularly. If possible, get a certified Strengths Coach through Gallup to help you better understand what they mean. Whatever you do, don’t just look over it once and put it back on your bookshelf. This WILL NOT help you better understand what you’re capable of and how you can maximize your potential.

If you’ve completed the assessment, we’d love to hear what some of your strengths are and/or how this has helped you in business and life! Leave a comment below. And, stay tuned! Next week we’ll go over how to incorporate your strengths in your business.

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