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Work in Your Strengths!

March 05, 20244 min read

I regularly see a theme trend in the lives of my clients. Many leaders remove themselves from working in their strengths and choose to work in areas of weakness.

No one is good at everything. As most of you know, leaders wear many hats. One secret in being successful is choosing wisely what hats you wear.

I regularly advise my clients to “work in their strengths.” This concept can literally change your organization and your life! Discover 4 keys to working in your strengths below.

Discover Your Strengths

Key #1 – Clarify Your Strengths!

Defining your strengths shouldn’t be hard for most people. What are you really good at doing? Consider rating yourself on a scale from 1 to 5 in the following 6 areas. Better yet, ask your spouse or co-workers to rate you.

Connecting with People                 

1    2    3    4    5

Organization & Details       

1    2    3        4    5

Financial Management        

1    2    3    4    5

Communication/Public Speaking               

1    2    3    4    5

Personnel/Recruiting Volunteers                

1    2    3    4    5

Strategy & Planning             

1    2    3    4    5

The higher you rate, the better you are at particular roles. While there are other areas of importance, these 6 categories are significant in any organization and leadership position. Most likely, one or two of these areas stand out in your life. It’s the area you perform the best.

Use Your Strengths

Tip #2 – Utilize Your Strengths!

Think about how you use your time. Do you spend the most time in areas where you perform the best? In other words, do you work primarily in your strengths?

It might surprise you that many leaders regularly remove themselves from their strengths and work in areas of weakness. This is particularly true when you lead a growing organization. 

You don’t really feel you have the help you need. The work needs to get done. You are the only one who really can do it. Little by little, you take on one job after another.

Before you know it, you are spread too thin. Most importantly, you have removed yourself from your strengths and find yourself doing too many things that you do not do well.

Working outside of your strengths increases stress, fatigue, and discouragement. It’s just hard to work in areas unnatural to you. 

On the other hand, working in your strengths energizes you. It’s always easier to work in areas you do well. In fact, sometimes it doesn’t really feel like work. After all, you are good at it, and it is natural and exciting to you.

Work in Your Strengths

Tip #3 – Complement Your Strengths!

What about all the areas that are not your strengths? Who is going to do those tasks? Initially, you may need to continue doing them but recognize that you are not the one to continue doing them.

The problem is not that you cannot do them, but if you do them, you will not be doing something else. That something else is taking advantage of what you do well. 

One example is the area of organization.  Many leaders spend a great deal of time organizing promotions.  If this is not one of your strengths, it likely takes a great deal of time and creates a great amount of weekly or monthly frustration. Why not consider finding someone else to perform this work?  If possible, hire someone to do those things.  If not, find a volunteer who has good organizational skills and empower that person.

Focus On Your Strengths

Tip #4 – Enjoy Your Strengths!

Working in your strengths is fun! You are good at it. You enjoy it. Doing so moves your company ahead.    

For example, if you are good at connecting, focusing on contacting people will grow your company and build deep relationships.  Removing the weekly tasks that you really don’t perform well frees you to connect with people and grow the company.       

Why would you want to work at something you don’t do well? It is painful and unproductive. Sure, you might save a few dollars, but you will likely wear yourself out.  Stretching yourself by working in areas of weakness will limit your ability to provide good leadership for your company.  

Working in your strengths provides air for your wings. You will find yourself re-energized and excited about life and work. After all, you are “working in your strengths.”

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Dave Pennington PhD

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