Strengths for Life

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Dear Colleague,

Much in the world is uncertain. Much in life we don’t control. But specifically knowing your strengths and how to access them, gives you fearlessness in an uncertain world. You get to lead your life, it doesn’t lead you.

Using strengths, you have an opportunity to see who you really are. You won’t waste time trying to significantly improve in areas where you aren’t naturally gifted. No one is good in everything. That’s why we have teams and partnerships.

Strengths fortify you emotionally. Once you identify your strengths, you won’t second guess yourself and your decisions. A sense of self-confidence, assurance, and courage naturally emerges.

Simply stated, going with your strengths today gives you a rock solid future. Success comes from staying focused not on what you can’t do, but what you can do.

Dick and Ricky Hoyt are an example of focusing on what can be done. As a father and son team, they have completed 212 Triathlons and 4 Ironmen. Together they are 35 minutes off the world record at the Boston Marathon for their age group.

But Ricky has never walked, much less run a step in his life. And he can’t talk without the use of a computer. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and from birth his life has been very different than yours and mine. But he has gone with his strengths, a fierce, competitive spirit and an attitude of “Yes I Can”. You may have heard their story on HBO’s Real Sports. If not, you can order their DVD at teamhoyt.com.

A few ideas:

  • Purchase the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath and take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment that accompanies it. It is a thought provoking tool that will identify your top 5 strengths.
  • Review any assessments you have taken: The Myers Briggs, DiSC, HBDI, Hogan Leadership Series, or others and write down the strengths you find in these. We often take them for granted and need to be reminded of what we naturally possess.
  • Review your past year. Where did you succeed? What were your disappointments? What did you really enjoy doing?
  • Ask someone you know well and trust to articulate the strengths they see in you.
  • List 20 things that you like to do. List 20 things that you don’t like to do. You won’t even need an on-line assessment for this strength evaluation.
  • Everyone can leave a legacy, not just the rich and famous. Take one hour (either by yourself or with a significant person in your life) and write down your 2011 goals. Then write down your 2031 goals. What do you need to do immediately and in the next 20 years to achieve your life time goals?
  • Write the inscription that would be on a plaque or statue built in your honor, or have someone who knows you write it. In a sentence, you will have the end result of your hard-wired and factory-installed unique strengths and abilities.

Here’s to another great year and your continued growth and enduring legacy for many years to come!

Susan sig