I know everyone has been asked during an interview, “What is your greatest strength?” Of course you have an answer to the question right then. However once you get on a team, are you actually playing to that strength and is it really a strength of yours?
One of the DAXKO Reading Groups available this summer is Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham. For those of you that were part of the last DAXKO Reading Group and read Now Discover Your Strengths, this is a great follow up book. Here’s a teaser to peak your interest…
Buckingham’s main concept is to always play to your strengths. If you are trying to improve on a weakness, it is going to take a lot of work to get really good at that one thing. In contrast if you try to improve something you are already good at, then you will grow exponentially in that area because it is already a strength and probably something you enjoy doing.
Go Put Your Strengths to Work focuses a large section of the book on working with a team. If everyone on a team plays to their strengths, then the team will be much more successful. This is much easier said than done. It is really hard to tell a team mate that you can’t do something, because that is not one of your strengths. Or you should do this other task because you are really good at it. In the long run it is better for the team to work together than everyone doing individual tasks that may be challenging for them.
What if you don’t know the strengths to focus on? Buckingham gives a great tip in this book to identify your strengths. As you are going throughout your week and you finish a task that you absolutely loved doing, then write it down. At the end of the week or several weeks, take that list and review the tasks that you enjoyed doing. Most likely you’ll see a theme in those tasks and can closely relate it to a strength. How do you determine if you “loved” it? Be on the watch for tasks that simply make you happy. Or tasks that you get so caught up in that several hours have passed and you haven’t even realized it.
I would recommend this book to anyone that needs reminded of their strengths and how to maximize those strengths for the greater good of your team and your company.