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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