and Founder of TallgrassLeaders.com. Underrating oneself, as this executive did, gives rise to two common distortions in managerial behavior: overdoing and underdoing. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses gives you a better understanding of yourself and how you function. As I moved up the ladder, two of my strengths became especially crucial to my role: learning agility and perseverance. Say yes, wholeheartedly. Generally, you’ll focus on your soft skills as strengths — there are other ways for interviewers and recruiters to glean hard skills, whether it’s through take-home assignments, a coding interview or examples of your past work. It’s simple – you can’t lead with your strengths without knowing and utilizing them. Lead from your strengths and you will be a rockstar! After 20 years in banking, I decided to swap my career at a top tier global bank to pursue my dream of running my own business. But overlooking strengths can be perilous, too. Whether you focus on developing your strengths, or your weaknesses, is up to you. It can be just as difficult for high achievers to see their strengths as it is for them to see their weaknesses. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. HIGH5 is offered free of charge because we believe that everyone in the world would be better off if each one of us focused on our strengths. I'm great at listening and find it's really important, especially with remote teams, who feel … C. Frown. We use the power of community to help you take the next step in your career. Know best. Be sure to concentrate the dose, grouping positive comments about specific strengths in one place in an assessment report or during a performance evaluation. Develop / broaden capabilities as a leader and executive Build capabilities—Invest in, be candid with, coach, sponsor, mentor, and develop team, teamwork, and hire/identify successor (s) Play—Create a place for fun, humor, work-as-constructive-play Impact—Care for own, org’s impact on lives, society and the planet “I do have a good-enough understanding about things most of the time, but that’s not brilliance.” The problem that arose from this misjudgment was that he could be abrasively impatient. But overlooking strengths can be perilous, too. Know Your Strengths Executives fail when they can’t see their weaknesses. Whether you call yourself an entrepreneur, solopreneur, executive, or leader, they all have one thing in common – you are in the drivers seat calling the shots. Saves you time – Finding out what you are good at will allow you to save time on having to re-learn a … “I don’t have to give up my fastball,” he reasoned, “I just don’t have to throw it all the time.”. Instead, focus primarily on your strengths and try to cultivate these whenever possible. Rath and Conchie argue that strengths are what make leaders great, and that great leaders know what they're good at and play to them. For some people, such a major career transition can be extremely stressful. Are humble and understand that a team works best collectively. Think about it. And there’s a corollary: Don’t jump to the conclusion that executives who get great grades through 360-degree feedback have nothing to learn. In fact, when my colleagues and I direct an executive’s attention to the data on his or her strengths, a typical response is, “Don’t tell me what I’m good at. Confronted with a chorus from his colleagues and subordinates confirming his unique brand of intellect, he concluded: “I guess I don’t have to prove I know everything.” He also realized how he could modulate this strength to the best effect. How to become a better leader by knowing your strengths. Ellevate Network is a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed. Lead With Your Strengths. Once managers realize how strong their skills are in a given managerial area, they can calibrate their reading of how much is enough. She works with senior female executives on developing their authentic leadership style, boosting their confidence and identifying the internal blocks that may that prevent them from achieving career advancement. How can I use more of my strengths at work so I am more fulfilled in what I do? Take these nouns and create “I am” statements such as “I am honesty” and “I am perseverance.” This will help with the next step –creating an action plan to put your strengths to good use. Once you’ve identified your strengths, it is important to make them actionable by converting the strengths into nouns. In his book “Authentic Happiness,” positive psychologist Martin Seligman defines strengths as traits that can be acquired, while talents are innate. Listening. My perseverance allowed me to deal with change management effectively and to bounce back from two major economic events – the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001 and the global economic downturn in 2008. You will feel the difference, just like your family, company, and community. http://www.shooptc.com/know-your-strengths-as-a-leader/ As a leader, it is part of your job to know your own strengths and help others grow. We use the power of community to help you take the next step in your…. When a staff member asked him to repeat a point in a complex presentation, for example, he chided her for not keeping up, noting that if he got it right away, she should. Understand your superpowers, and your kryptonite, and you can get better results, be more successful, and build great teams! ... Knowing your own strengths can help you identify similar or complementary strengths within your team, allowing you to both tap into the passion of your people, and identify and fill any gaps to strengthen the overall team. The idea that positive feedback can be as effective as negative feedback in improving performance is not the prevailing view among managers. Once you have your list of strengths, ask yourself the following questions: 2. Fortunately for me, my transition happened relatively quickly and effortlessly. Your paycheck is more directly tied to your behavior in … Executives fail when they can’t see their weaknesses. Andy Murray has a natural talent for tennis, but it is not the technical or physical abilities that separate him from other top tennis players. 11 When asked whether I like to serve my team, I: A. By understanding their strengths fully, they are able to focus more clearly on what they are good at. Conflict resolution skills. 10 I think that great leaders: A. Not Having a Vision for the Future. That’s what worked for the media executive mentioned earlier. In what areas of my life do I use these strengths? By knowing your strengths you can say “yes” to leadership responsibilities that will grow you and help you become a better leader. If you delve a bit more deeply into Andy Murray’s life experiences, you will find that throughout his life he has applied these strengths – from the Dunblane shooting in his hometown to becoming the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Knowing your strengths allows you to engage in activities that will enable you to shine Knowing your weaknesses will allow you to make decisions on how to compensate for them. All rights reserved. What if an individual's strengths are evenly spread out among all the domains? There is no cause for … Take one brilliant and well-respected media executive that my colleagues and I interviewed. This destructive behavior intimidated his staff and deprived him of their full contributions. You don’t just happen to be a leader. When you are starting out, talents such as technical and analytical abilities are important, but as your career progresses and you become more successful you will find that you move from using your talents to utilizing your strengths more. Give me something to work on.” This common reaction underlies the first rule of applying positive feedback to unearthing strengths: Get beyond the idea that praise is principally a tool to make people feel good or to fortify them against the negative feedback that is about to hit. It is Andy’s grit and resilience that make him one of the best tennis players in the world. Each of our Strengths will show up differently, depending on … For instance, if you are looking at career options, you would be able to narrow down specific job scopes based on the things you know … Third, when offering positive feedback, don’t assume that people will immediately take it in. When I was managing a global team, the technical abilities of my team were quite similar. Why? For instance, if you are looking at career options, you would be able to narrow down specific job … Focus on your strengths. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. A true leader is always thinking of ways to improve their product … This post was supposed to be about leading with your strengths, so how come I keep talking about discovering and growing your strengths? Last year a friend who is a highly effective executive coach for leaders and emerging leaders in the Fortune 500 mentioned the Strengthsfinder assessment to me. Trang Chu is a Certified Executive Here are a few tips: 1. Some might consider focusing on personal weaknesses at all as waste of time, or even a mis-framing of the issues. A leader needs to know his strengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What was the result. C. Give their team members plenty of space to let them get on. A leader in that position has very little chance of success. B. Successful leaders spend most of their time developing their strengths … Reasonably enough, executive development programs often focus on reducing these deficits, whether the weakness is in public speaking, time management, or people skills. Strengths are seen as a direct outcome of some specific behavior exhibited by the leader. Understanding your strengths keeps you ahead in a lot of things. That's why they're leaders. With this feedback, look for any common traits or patterns. What has made me stay in a role where I have not used my strengths? I experienced this during my years working in banking. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The flip side of this dynamic is underdoing. This test takes just a few minutes to complete and measure 24 different strengths. Since a leader is someone who needs to regularly meet with strangers in order to discuss business, as well talk to employees regarding tasks and their work performance, it should come as no surprise that social skills are crucial and something at which they should be adept. B. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses gives you a better understanding of yourself and how you function. One of the great things about the era of social media is that just about every one of … Second, don’t assume that standout strengths that are obvious to you are as obvious to the individuals who possess them. Knowing your own Strengths is critical. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Every leader has shortcomings, from the CEO down to the frontline supervisor. What great leaders have in … Conflicts can be detrimental to any organization, potentially causing chaos … Being able to identify your strengths is a valuable tool-- especially when it comes to leadership. Moreover, they viewed failure as temporary and something that can be changed as opposed to attributing the failure to someone or something else. Find Your Strengths: Take the Test & Use Your Results to Grow Your Career, Life, & Relationships [Stephenson, Richard N.] on Amazon.com. My learning agility allowed me to find roles that involved building businesses and would continue to challenge me. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Are You Inspiring Your Customers? These were the same strengths that gave me the confidence to leave my comfortable career in banking to pursue the riskier path of becoming an entrepreneur. Fourth, because of this natural resistance to hearing positive feedback, be sure to administer a heavy dose. Then make a list and determine what they suggest about you. Be intentional about knowing your value and strengths – you will gain clarity, inspiration, and motivation with one simple act of self-discovery. The executives we’ve worked with cite several reasons they reject praise: They’re afraid of becoming complacent; they’re concerned it will go to their heads; they fear it will burden them with other people’s expectations; and they worry that receiving praise only raises the bar even higher. Find Your Strengths: Take the Test & Use Your Results to Grow Your Career, Life, & Relationships Because I knew that the strengths that allowed me to perform well in my role as a banker were also the ones that would benefit me in my new career as an entrepreneur. Talents can only take you so far in your role. He goes on to say that moral strengths such as integrity, honesty and will are also values in action and that these strengths can be seen across different situations over time. Everyone has strengths but few people know which ones they possess. We share our expertise on leadership, business skills and more. Assessment by Others  - Another way of recognizing your strengths is to ask 5 people who know you well to identify what they feel are your strengths. Being able to identify your strengths is a valuable tool-- especially when it comes to leadership. Once managers realize how strong their skills are in a given managerial area, they can calibrate their reading of how much is enough—and tone it down or ramp it up as needed. In this case, the media executive overdid it by aggressively asserting his intelligence. You may opt-out by. For example, they may play it safe interpersonally by avoiding close relationships or regular one-on-one meetings, even though their colleagues would (and do) tell them that their people skills are a strength. You will, for instance, have more clarity about the career path that would be best suited for your natural talents, tendencies, and abilities. Self-Assessment - A quick way to discover your strengths is to take the “Brief Strengths Test” created by Martin Seligman at www.authentichappiness.org. Today, you can discover your Strengths. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Ellevate Network is a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed. Break away from job titles. Marcus Buckingham, the world’s foremost authority on strengths-based management and leadership in the workforce, explains that the key to success is to first identify your strengths, then … Am not sure. This can be a better approach then identifying personal weaknesses. Another executive that we consulted with was worried that he lacked authority—even though he was a naturally commanding person—and so he poured it on and was perceived by his staff as overpowering. #2 Know how to help others discover their strengths The best way to delegate is to empower. Knowing your Strengths as a Leader or Entrepreneur. One way to correct these types of performance problems is to bring executives’ perceptions of their strengths in line with reality by tapping the power of positive feedback—not as a motivational tool but as a device to remedy misperceptions. Take This Quiz To Find Out, Avoid These Dangerous Assumptions When Selling To Women, Equal Means Equal: Looking Closely At Rights For Women, It's Obstacles Women Face In The Workplace - Not A Lack of Ambition - That Causes Them To Opt Out, How To Deliver The Ultimate In Luxury Retail Experiences, Italian Style, 5 Things To Do If You Want to Get Promoted (And You Aren't The Boss's Favorite), To Be A Successful Woman Entrepreneur, Treat Your Business As You'd Treat Your Body. Executives who underrate themselves in a given aspect of management may have a void in their repertoire despite having the skills to address it—again, failing to recognize a strength. So how do you go about identifying strengths? To uncover your gifts, you need to explore new roles. Understanding your strengths keeps you ahead in a lot of things. Self-awareness: knowing yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your emotional state, etc. “I don’t think of myself as unusually smart,” he told us. Though his peers and his staff acknowledged his intellect in a variety of ways, he remained steadfast in his belief that he wasn’t exceptional. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. When you study lastingly successful people, you find that they have one thing in common: they focus on their strengths, and manage around their weaknesses. Just as individuals can have trouble hearing criticisms, they can have a hard time accepting praise. Leaders are also able to use this skill to identify strengths in others. Self-Awareness, strengths, and weaknesses Strengths aren't the same as talent. What separates him are his strengths. Our goal is twofold. But sometimes it’s a leader’s strengths that are the problem. Know Your Strengths, Own Your Strengths. We can all be more successful by taking the time to get to know our strengths and areas of improvement. In general, knowing your strengths will allow you to make smarter choices and decisions about your life, career, goals, and circumstances. delegating tasks that you're not as good at to others who are more skilled or experienced However, the individuals who tended to perform better were those who displayed optimism and hope, as they were better able to overcome setbacks and frustrations. But sometimes it’s a leader’s strengths that are the problem. We can empower our followers by helping them discover the strengths and talents they have. Coach 3. Successful leaders spend most of their time developing their strengths and applying them in the workplace while simultaneously managing their weaknesses. User Profiles. You intentionally become a leader. First, to help people become more self-aware by making transformational tools available to the public. 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