Despite all the training that we get on “improving our weaknesses,” leading from our strengths is far more effective and satisfying. Leadership training programs are increasingly focusing on helping us identify our strengths and develop habits to lead from them. Meanwhile, we can learn to delegate what we don’t do as well to those who have complementary talents and strengths.
It’s more fun and fulfilling to approach challenges and problems from a position of confidence in our own abilities—working from our strengths. Yet too often in the heat of the moment, we jump into a problem following someone else’s suggestion or direction on how to fix it, instead of figuring out how to use our own unique talents and abilities to get it done more efficiently.
In order to cultivate and lead from our strengths, we first need to acknowledge that nobody does everything well. We have to be willing to partner with other people who can complement our strengths with theirs, so all bases are covered. In the long run, partnerships can help us and our team or business to reach better, more innovative solutions with less stress, angst, and discomfort.
So let’s put our strengths out there and move forward with confidence!
- Make a list of your strengths. Take a few minutes to write as many of your strengths as you can—no judgment; just jot them down. Write how each one has helped you succeed in a specific situation in your professional or personal life.
- Nurture your strengths. Identify one way to enhance or build on your strength. Can you take a course to cultivate or complement your strength? Can you put your strength into action in a new environment or situation? Perhaps find a group of people who share this strength and work on it together in a dance class, chess club, extreme travel, etc.
- Start from your strength. As you encounter a problem or challenge during your day, take a moment to think about which of your strengths will help you most easily resolve or navigate the challenge. And invite others to the table who can help—hopefully they will do the same, bringing you in when they need your strengths!