How to Exploit Your Strengths to Rock at Work

How to Exploit Your Strengths to Rock at Work

Want to rock your tasks, goals, projects, relationships, and career? Exploit yourself at work, in a good way. Build a custom strategy for success based on your unique Strengths and those of the people around you. Step 1: Clarify Your Strengths We’re all good at something. Everybody has a unique set of talents. The trick is naming them with enough specificity to take action. Saying I’m good at “details” sounds good but leaves much to be desired for turning that into action. Are you good at collecting details, organizing them, discovering them, communicating them, analyzing them? A little more “detail” please. Clarify your Strengths with specifics. Gallup’s StrengthsFinder tool is a good place to start. The StrengthsFinder assessment provides you with a unique combination of 34 total Strengths. Your top five are your dominant strengths and opportunity for greatness. Each individual taking the assessment gets a detailed report customized based on their unique combination of top strengths. Note: the math says there’s a 1 in 33 million chance you’ll find someone with the exact same combination, so you get to be unique AND have clarity. Here’s a quick example: If one of your top five is “Strategic,” Gallup’s short definition says you “create alternative ways to proceed” and “faced with any given scenario, you can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.” Aha! We can start to understand better how this might be applied. Step 2: Personal Strategy (moving from knowledge to action) Knowing your Strengths is just a start. Putting them to work in a strategy is where the rubber meets the road. Like a coach determining a...
[Lucrative Lookback] How to Leverage Your Team’s Strengths in the Workplace

[Lucrative Lookback] How to Leverage Your Team’s Strengths in the Workplace

We all have those little things we don’t enjoy doing. They’re usually the things we stuff to the bottom of our to-do list. For some, it’s expense reports, for others it’s making a powerpoint to show to the boss. Think about whatever those pesky little tasks are for you; I bet you can come up with a handful. In this Lucrative Lookback, we’ll see how leveraging the strengths of your teammates can help you eliminate some of those pesky little tasks. In fact, what would life be like if you could eliminate at least half of them from your life? Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?! It’s possible to make this a reality when you learn to leverage your team’s Strengths! Let’s see it in action. Boss: “I’ve had it with this “bleeping” car! “ Me: “What? What’s wrong?” Boss: “I’m supposed to pick up our two most valuable clients and it’s making loud grinding noises and won’t accelerate!” Me: “OK. Are you alright? Do I need to come get you?” Boss: “I’m pissed! This damn thing won’t go over 20 mph, the engine is revved but won’t shift into upper gears, and when I come to a complete stop the engine dies. Now I’m coasting to every stop light in hopes of not actually having to stop!” The company car was several years old and based on the description from my boss, Christine, I figured the transmission was shot. Long story short, the mechanic said the repairs were more than the car was worth. So, Christine says, “This car is a piece of shit! You can squash it flat...
How to Leverage Strengths in the Workplace

How to Leverage Strengths in the Workplace

We all have those little things we don’t enjoy doing. They’re usually the things we stuff to the bottom of our to-do list. For some, it’s expense reports, for others it’s making a powerpoint to show to the boss. Think about whatever those pesky little tasks are for you… Now, imagine what life would be like if you could eliminate at least half of them from your life. You just wouldn’t have to do them. How does that feel?! It’s possible to make this a reality when you learn to leverage your team’s Strengths! Buying a car with the boss. Boss: “I’ve had it with this “bleeping” car! “ Me: “What? What’s wrong?” Boss: “I’m supposed to pick up our two most valuable clients and it’s making loud grinding noises and won’t accelerate!” Me: “OK. Are you alright? Do I need to come get you?” Boss: “I’m pissed! This damn thing won’t go over 20 mph, the engine is revved but won’t shift into upper gears, and when I come to a complete stop the engine dies. Now I’m coasting to every stop light in hopes of not actually having to stop!” The company car was several years old and based on the description from my boss, Christine, I figured the transmission was shot. Long story short, the mechanic said the repairs were more than the car was worth. So, Christine says, “This car is a piece of shit! You can squash it flat and send it to the recycle yard. I’m never driving it again! Find me a new one and we need it soon!” Then, she listed...
Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

The mountain. When someone learns about my weight loss journey to shed 200lbs without surgery or pills, I always get asked “How did you know where to start or what to do to lose that much weight?” The answer is simpler than you might think. I realized that if I focused on the mountainous task of losing 200lbs that I would get completely intimidated by the big, hairy, aggressive goal I’d set for myself; I would be overwhelmed about where and how to start and sustain the changes necessary to overhaul my nutrition and lifestyle habits. So, instead of looking miles ahead at the distant, looming mountain, I chose to change my perspective. I looked straight down in front of me into the six inches of space that lay directly in front of my feet. I asked myself what kind of baby step or change I had to make FIRST. Then, I focused on that small, sustainable change or habit and integrated it (and only it) into my lifestyle. Once I felt I had that step down pat, I took the next logical, small and sustainable step towards the mountain. I kept my head down and feet moving, step by step. If I got distracted by the mountain casting its shadow onto my path, I reminded myself that the journey I opted to make would take me to the mountain and OVER it - all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other. Is that the flashy, awe-inspiring answer people wanted to hear? Maybe not, but it’s what worked. Simple isn’t always “sexy”...