My son moved to L.A. last week to embark on an adventure. It’s a bit risky and he’s definitely taken a leap of faith—resigning from a position that paid him well and that he was successful in. While most young people his age are just happy to get a job post-graduation, he gave his up to pursue an endeavor that may or may not work. But his phone call on Monday night confirmed his decision—he was excited again, his voice filled with passion and enthusiasm. While his previous job was comfortable and he could do it well, he wasn’t working in a field where he could use his greatest strengths. But Monday morning, he got a taste or what it feels like to fully use his natural-born strengths on the job and I have no doubt that his risky adventure will lead to success because it’s honoring his strengths.
Many have used the online StrengthsFinder to discover where their greatest strengths lie (www.StrengthsFinder.com). But research has found that most people only participate in activities or work that have our strengths in play 17 percent of the time. That means, the vast majority of our days are filled with activities that bore us, frustrate us, or leave us cold. This month, we’re digging into Marcus Buckingham’s book, Go Put Your Strengths to Work. We’ll unwrap the six steps Buckingham lays out to seize control of your assets and give you a different approach to leveraging your strengths at work and in everyday life. Buckingham says it best with this, “You have development needs—areas where you need to grow, areas where you need to get better—but for you, as for all of us, you will learn the most, grow the most, and develop the most in your areas of greatest strength. Your strengths are your multiplier. Your strengths magnify you,” (p. 55). So, get ready to learn how to magnify!
There are certain things in life that we’ve grown up assuming are true, we’ve never really challenged or questioned that what we know may not be true or may not be the best way to do things. The first step in putting your strengths to work is to take a look at the three myths that we tend to believe and stop us from using our strengths. Here’s a quick glimpse of the myths and the actual truths behind them:
MYTH: As you grow, your personality changes.
TRUTH: As you grow, you become more of who you already are.
Although our values, behaviors, skills, and self-awareness may grow or change over time, the most dominant aspects of our personalities remain the same.
MYTH: You will grow the most in your areas of weakness.
TRUTH: You will grow the most in your areas of greatest strength.
Most of us try to grow and fix our weaknesses in life. But we’re the most resilient, creative, and inquisitive in our areas of strength.
MYTH: A good team member does whatever it takes to help the team.
TRUTH: A good team member deliberately volunteers his strengths to the team most of the time.
The great teams are ones that are well-rounded, precisely because each team member is not. We aren’t effective when we try to be all things to all people.
In this book, each chapter concludes with practical ways individuals can work through each step to begin achieving use of their strengths. Use these tools as you work through this book and begin to put your assets to work.
Think On This
How does my current role in ministry use my strengths? What tasks or jobs am I doing only because I’m asked or no one else will do them and how does that deter me from what I do naturally well? Of the three myths, which ones have I always believed and how have they distracted me from using my strengths?