How are those you lead benefiting from what you are really good at? How is your leadership impacting those you lead?
Of course, we all want to believe we are great leaders, but we can’t be great at everything and we can’t be great all the time.
If you can harness your strengths, you can maximize your capacity to lead and inspire others to new heights.
To do that you have to
Reflect and Get Feedback
First ask yourself…
What am I good at? What am I the “Go To” person for?
Now this isn’t the time to be humble this is the time to let your ego fly, go ahead… what do you really think are the things that you are really good at that separate you from the crowd.
Is it your ability to listen or maybe you’ve got a kick ass sixth sense?
What ever it is. Name it. Write it down.
For the next step, you’re going to need a bit of humility
You’re go to pick 2 or 3 people who you trust to be honest with you, for better or worse, who know you well enough to help you figure out what you are really good at.
It is probably best to reach out to people who have worked with your or have seen you in action in a context where your leadership shines.
You can send an email, give them a call or take them out for a coffee. You are going to be amazed by what people have to say.
It should give you a much fuller picture of your strengths.
Similar to the first exercise, you’re going to take all of this information, bundle it up with your own reflections, then sort and code.
Step 1: Group together the ideas that reflect similar or common strengths.
Step 2: Decide which words or phrases best represent what you are really good at.
Step 3: Select the 3 words or phrases that reflect your strengths (hold onto these, you’re going to need them tomorrow for Exercise 3)
So when I did this exercise, I thought of quite a few things:
I am really good at giving advice. I am like an information hub, my head is filled with all sorts of information that other people actually find helpful. I am really good at directing people to resources. I am good at connecting people and networking. I am good at creating the space for others to lead and learn. I am really good at organizing, planning, and facilitating.
Notice I didn’t write “Good listener” because I am not, I mean I can be, but it really takes a lot of work and I haven’t fully honed this skill so it really isn’t a strength, even though it seems like something I should say I am good at. You see the point of this exercise is to capture the things you are ACTUALLY good at, not the things you want to be or should be…those become goals and possibly strengths in your future.
When I asked other people what they thought, this is what they said:
Conflict resolution, communicating difficult issues or topics or subjects, writing, professional tips, resume writing, motivating and encouraging others, facilitating and teaching, providing information for school, career, and success, challenging my comfort zone.
So when I sort and code I get a short list of my strengths:
1. Encouraging and empowering others to lead
3. Providing information and resources
What are your top 3 strengths?
Are you kind of person people “go-to” to solve problems? Or get advice? Do people rely on you to help them creatively? Or are you great with numbers? Or all of the above?
When you asked your friends, colleagues, and mentors about your strengths, what did they say?
You should have an amazing list, one that makes you feel proud and maybe even blush a little.
Group those strengths together and bundle them up into 3 words or phrases.
You’re going to need this impressive set of strengths and your bold words and statements for the next exercise.
I am going to show you how to put it all together to craft your Leadership ID or personal leadership philosophy.
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