In the constant struggle to improve ourselves we often reflect on our weaknesses. Indeed, a surprising amount of our time and energy at work is focused on the people or organizational shortcomings – that gap between perfection and what we actually managed to achieve.
For many leaders, this pervasive focus on weaknesses fosters a mind-set of scarcity – a feeling that there are too few talented people in the organization to help it deliver the required goals and objectives. Many leaders that we talk to find it very hard to recognize, accept, and appreciate any other view.
The same may be true for you but what if we could change the capability and capacity of our teams by starting with strengths and leveraging our people’s strong desire for purpose? What if we could shine a light on what they do well and link it to their ability to understand how what they do on a daily basis positively impacts on the organization’s performance as a whole?
We can start making deliberate choices about the mind-sets that best serve us in a given moment and learn through practice to shift into them naturally. This allows new behavior that improves our ability to lead at our best.
In terms of finding our strengths and the organizations strengths, we need to spend time reflecting objectively on what it is that makes us successful. There is no magic in the act of self-reflection on strengths. The magic comes when we learn to integrate our strengths into our daily work. This is a real challenge, since many leaders believe that strengths are the words that come before the inevitable “but” in their performance reviews.
It takes hard work to shift mind-sets in the face of mounting pressures and concerns. We adopt the athletically inspired mantra “no pain, no gain,” as if the shift to “playing to our strengths” was unrealistic, yet we overlook the fact that professional athletes always aspire to play to their strengths.
In working with leaders, we spend a lot of time helping with enhancing their self-awareness. The vast majority find that the simple act of viewing the environment through the lens of strengths is a doorway to enhance their effectiveness, generating positive emotions and energy to get things done.
To be sure, everyone has weaknesses to improve. But deliberately shifting to a focus on strengths is a far more inspiring approach; you’ll raise the odds of motivating everyone around you and unleashing enormous energy to deliver results, creativity, innovation and change.
The reality is that we need talented people who know they need to do fantastically well and if the leadership team takes the same attitude, we can create a culture where each one can give his or her best which in turn can lead to corporate success.
We have to find the strengths of each individual and of the organization so that we can create a sustainable model that will see off the competition. Shining a light on our strengths is a good first step…