Know your Strengths

In order become a successful leader, you need to identify your own strengths, talents and foster them.

Your strengths are ultimately the keys to your success. "When we do things we're already good at, our business acumen is quicker," says Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor at George Mason University. "When it comes to the best way to leverage your ability, it's (best) to go through your strengths." he says.

Using these four tips, you can learn to recognise your core strengths.

 

1. Watch for signs of excitement.

When you engage in an activity you are truly good at, your excitement is visible. Your pupils dilate, your chest is broader, your speech is fast and fluid, and your arms spread wider. "You can see someone feels alive and motivated when they're using a core strength," Kashdan says. 

 

2. Break away from job titles.
To uncover your gifts, you need to explore new roles. "Think of your company as a laboratory," Kashdan says. Encourage flexible roles and see how it goes. "If people are excited about trying something else and you have some evidence that they could be good, then experiment with it," he says.

For example, one executive wanted a more creative, innovative workplace but wasn't the man to do it himself. Kashdan helped him identify a maverick on his staff -- someone creative and unconcerned with others' opinions -- then put that person in charge of innovation. By assigning roles based on strengths, rather than job titles, they were able to create a stronger team.

 

3. Notice what you do differently than everyone else.
In a situation where you are truly using your strengths, you will stand out from a crowd. Your approach will be unique. To name your strengths, you want to identify those moments and articulate how you are different.

 

4. Describe your strengths creatively.
When naming your strengths, avoid what Kashdan calls "wastebasket terms," meaning overused words like 'passionate' or 'dedicated.' Instead, come up with a unique term that captures your specific strength.

"By coming up with an exciting word, you avoid all the typical connotations," Kashdan says. He uses terms like storyteller, autonomy supporter, investigator, energy incubator, and battery. That specificity helps leaders apply their gifts. "Once you can put a word to your strengths, it becomes much more embedded in your everyday life," he says.  

 

References found at Entrepreneur.

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Responsibly

You are totally responsible for your life. This is the foundational principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work. For many people, everything is someone else’s fault. Every problem can be explained away with reasons why they can’t affect the situation or the outcome, especially at work.

The most important aspect of taking responsibility for your life is to acknowledge that your life is your responsibility. No one can live your life for you. You are in charge. No matter how hard you try to blame others for the events of your life, each event is the result of choices you made and are making.

Want to travel? Then, travel. It is not your job, your spouse or partner, the cost, or the time that holds you back from achieving your dreams. It is you. Want to weigh a certain number of kilograms? Then, eat and exercise like the person who would weigh that particular weight.

Want a promotion to a management position? Then, act like, look like, and practice the actions that successful managers exhibit in your organisation in that role. Make your desire known, too, as you will never realise your goal if you keep it a secret.

When your thoughts are negative or unsupportive of your happiness and success, you have to change your thinking. Redirect your thinking to thoughts that will support your success and happiness. Laugh, if you can, when you think about the time you spent obsessing over matters that are over and completed.

Your thoughts govern the success of your interpersonal interactions. Your thoughts are the headlights illuminating your path in the darkness. They always precede you and your actions. Said Nightingale, “The mind moves in the direction of our currently dominant thoughts." 

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Passion

We believe that passion is anything that we love, put our heart into and makes us spring into life every single day. When we love something or someone we are usually very passionate about it or towards them.

Passion to a degree can be an obsession and this can be good way if it is balanced. One example of passion is in business. If we love what we do then we are usually passionate about it. Doing something with intention is the key to our success.

Too many times in life we come across people that have a job, a partner or a hobby however, they are not passionate about it. It feels like we are stuck or we have to just accept something because we 'need it'. A business or career should have a high degree of passion involved and if you don't then perhaps you are in the wrong business. 

You have to jump out of bed each day and love what you do. Sure we all have to earn an income and pay the bills, but long term the negative impact doing something we don't love will be to our detriment. 

If you don't embrace what you do eventually it comes back to us in some form of negative way that we may create an imbalance in other parts of our life. If you don't love what you're doing then you need to consider what the alternatives are and make a change.

Success in life shouldn't mean you have to work really hard. It is about being passionate for what you do and giving it so much positive energy and time. The passion should override any feeling of having to do something that we may not want to be doing. It should feel natural and it should make you feel good. It should make your creativity burst at the seams and you want to spring out of bed every single day. 

Ask yourself the question...Am I really passionate about what I'm doing? If not get out before the lack of passion has some negative in your life. 

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