Thursday, May 17, 2018

Self-Leadership #3 Play To Your Strengths

What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths - and can call on the right strength at the right time.”
(Tom Rath)

Self-discovery is nothing if not personal both in the process and in the results. There is no formula by which you can find out what makes you tick, no standardized test that will reveal your goals in life. Looking within yourself to ask the tough questions is an individual quest, and you must not conform to what you think the results should be.

The trick is to find your own strengths and to play those strengths. As you start to answer the questions that lead to self-knowledge, certain strengths – and weaknesses – in your own character will begin to become evident (This is not a bad thing. Strong people tend to have strong weaknesses; as long as you're aware of them, they don't have to work to your disadvantage). Good leaders will work to reduce their weaknesses, but moreover, they will use their strengths to the greatest advantage. Focus more on your strengths than weaknesses.

There are many ways in which we may learn more about our own strengths and weaknesses. Some of these are techniques we can choose to practice, such as prayer, meditation or long walks in the park. These are methods by which we pay attention, in very specific ways: with intention, in the present moment and non-judgementally. Keeping a journal can also be a way to learn more about yourself. Other learning experiences are less voluntary; pain, for example, can provide invaluable insights but is rarely a method that people would choose for themselves.

The important thing is to make the commitment to self-knowledge, through whatever means works for you, and to accept and use to your advantage the results of this discovery process. You see, you can't be a good leader if you only compare yourself to others. You have to look into yourself. Your greatest strengths as a leader are those qualities that are unique to you. As you discover them, use them to your advantage. Different people find their ways through different paths, and if you take someone else's path, you may not like where you end up.

Here three (3) ways to learn more about your strengths and yourself:

#1 Choose Your Own Path: It doesn't have to be the path less traveled or the one of least resistance. What matters is that it's the right one for you.

#2 It's Not a Failure If You Learn Something: Be open to the learning process. Whether its pain, mistakes or success, every experience can teach you something. Sometimes the hardest lessons are the most important.

#3 Practice Continuous Renewal: Continuous, disciplined self-examination internalizes the lessons you're learning about yourself and allows you instinctively to play to your own strengths.


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