Why We Must Focus on Our StrengthsApr 09, 2021
As business owners we are often encouraged to work on our weaknesses to achieve even greater success. We all want to develop our skills and become more successful at what we do, but what happens if we cannot develop our weaknesses? We all have different talents, God given gifts and skills, and sometimes our weaknesses can’t be improved upon. What do we do then? Let’s talk about why I believe we must focus on our strengths first and foremost.
In high school, John joined the cross-country team. He participated in that sport year after year until he graduated. The only problem — John was painfully slow! I don’t mean that he was just an okay runner. John consistently came in last, minutes after all the other runners.
The first year he joined the team, team members and spectators alike laughed at John’s snail-like pace. Those closest to him urged him to give up running and try a different sport. But John kept running. To be fair, his running improved somewhat over the years, but John always managed to come in last.
But a funny thing happened in John’s senior year. John became the team captain. It turned out that while running was not his strength, leadership, a positive attitude, teamwork, and perseverance were his strengths. The coach and the team recognized this. From that moment on, when John would finally lumber across the finish line behind everyone else, his team and the crowd would stand to their feet cheer and clap, celebrating John’s true strengths.
Are you focusing on your strengths?
What Is a Strength?
A strength is a skill or an ability that you’re good at. A strength is something that comes naturally to you. Usually, you enjoy engaging in your strengths. Others recognize this ability in you and rely on you for it. But sometimes we can’t see our own strengths and it takes someone close to us to point them out.
Just because we have a particular strength doesn’t mean we don’t have to work at it and try to improve it. In fact, in many ways a strength is like a trust that has been handed to us. The question is, how well will we manage that trust? Will we invest in it, seek to grow it, and leverage it for the good of others?
Develop Your Strengths
A strength is like a muscle that must be continually exercised. Below are several ways we can do that. I’ve also included some dangers to avoid in this process. Like John in the story above, we must persevere. That means enduring hardship, fighting our fears, and overcoming obstacles.
- Discover your strengths. Some years ago, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton wrote the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. These two leadership gurus recognized that many of us “have little sense of our talents and strengths.” Instead, we’ve been told to spend all our time working on our weaknesses. Meanwhile, we neglect and waste our true strengths and abilities.
Danger: We burn up precious time and effort trying to master some skill we’ll never enjoy or excel at.
- Stretch! In order to develop our strengths, we need to stretch them and push them beyond their current limits. We won’t know what we’re capable of until we try.
Danger: Relying on past performance, we get lazy. We assume our past achievements will always suffice. In this way we stagnate. Our “muscles” weaken, and we suddenly find ourselves woefully inadequate to do the task, because the world has moved on without us.
- Learn from others. We need to find others with strengths like ours and learn from them. A coach can also be of tremendous help in this regard. In fact, in his book, The Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley claims, “You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be.”
Danger: Becoming prideful about our strengths and thinking we don’t need anyone else to tell us how to improve will be our downfall. If we think we’re already good enough, we’re in danger of becoming obsolete.
- Focus on strengths. We need to attend to the skills and abilities that we know are our strengths. We must leverage them, build them, and grow to our full potential in using them.
Danger: We must avoid “strength-envy” when we watch how good someone else is at something we can’t do. Instead, applaud their skills and partner with them.
- Endure/persevere. We must always combine persistence with natural talent. Natural talent only goes so far. Without practice, growth, and perseverance, we’ll never know what we’re capable of.
Danger: Assuming there’s no struggle in using one’s strengths and that employing a strength should always come easy.
What About Those Weaknesses?
If a weakness is actually a character flaw rather than an ability, then we need to set out to change it. Character flaws can really trip us up and hinder our personal and professional growth.
If a weakness is a skill that you really want to pursue, then apply yourself to see if it might be a latent ability. But beware of spending too much energy on something you have no talent for. Finally, if your weakness is a skill that you need in your business, delegate that function, or even contract it out, to someone who is skilled in that area.
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Finally, please think about this for a moment…
- Have you reached a crossroads in your business?
- Are you frustrated with your lack of growth, freedom of time and income?
- Does your business intrude on your family time?
Maybe you find yourself standing at the crossroad, needing a new direction. There are two roads before you, the one on the left is the road you’ve been traveling already… it’s rough, uphill, rocky, and full of pain and toil. It’s a familiar path that leads to more lackluster results.
On the right, there’s a new road, the road less traveled. It’s smooth, paved, and proven to be the easiest way to build a business with more freedom of time, higher-income to build your personal wealth, where you have total fulfillment doing work you love.
Will road will you choose? I know you have the courage and strength to change, to walk down the right road. Set up a call today and we can discuss your unique challenges and how we may have the solution you need to achieve even greater success. Just click below to get your call scheduled.
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