To be successful in life and in business the most important thing to know is to know yourself.  You will always be the one common denominator in your life and your business.  The more you know yourself the easier it is for you to begin to define what success looks like for you.

“When you embrace your strengths and add value by doing the things that you are innately talented to provide, your experience will be much more positive and rewarding.”

Positive Pyshcology is a growing trend in the business and coaching worlds.  The human component is by far the most important element of building a sustainable business, because you can’t do it all on your own.  In addition, there is no way you can be proficient in all the different strategic areas.  When you embrace your strengths and add value by doing the things that you are innately talented to provide, your experience will be much more positive and rewarding.

The more you can understand what you do best (what is “right” about you) and how you can add the highest value and combine that with an understanding all the different roles that need to be filled in any business – you will make better business building decisions.  In his influential book, “Good to Great”,Jim Collins created a classic metaphor that is used by many leaders and teachers around the world, by comparing a business to a bus and the leader as a bus driver. He emphasizes that it is most important to ask “First Who, Then What?” From there you can ensure that youput “the right people, in the right seat” on the bus, which means.

Lesson #1

Create your own definition of success. A big part of your happiness and achievements will come from optimizing your own gifts to the world.  There is no one exactly like you!

What makes you happy?

What are you good at?

Personality Tests – As a life-long learner and someone who is committed to both personal and professional growth, I have become a bit of a personality geek, as I am always interested in getting to know myself better.

In an effort to “get the right people in the right seats on the bus”, businesses who want to better understand people and their gifts and strengths, have used personality assessments for years.  I imagine that most of you have done a Myers-Briggs assessment.  This work started in 1923 based on the work of Carl Jung’s book Psychological Types where he who thought that people understood the world through sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking. Jung suggested that only one of these psychological functions is powerful most of the time. This work was expanded by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers and became a great way to help people choose suitable work and integrate their type into their daily lives.  Myers-Briggs came into prominence in businesses in the 80s. Many people are also familiar with DISC, whichis based on the ideas of psychologists William Marston and Walter Clarke, it evaluates behaviour styles. It focuses on the traits of dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance (DISC). Some companies rely on it to hire staff, while others use it to gauge an employee’s suitability for a job.

There are literally dozens of personality tests and I have found that many of them break types down into 4 quadrants and these could be mapped on top of each other and will give similar information, but it is really about where you fit and does not provide as much information as opposed to what make you uniquely you.  After working extensively in the Tech industry, I discovered StrengthFinders, which is part of the Gallup organization. Several experts in the Positive psychology movement have found this work to be the most transformational and stickiest test.   StrenghtsFinder isan online assessment tool that promises to help you uncover your natural talents, which can be difficult to identify. Once you complete the tests, you get the results that tell you which are your top five talents from a list of 34. These insights can then be used to examines the three key aspects of becoming an effective leader: a) getting to know your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of people who look to you for leadership.

What I love about StrengthFinder is that it starts by helping you identify your top 5 strengths so you are starting from a perspective of what is “Right” with you instead of what need to be fixed.  When you embrace and lead with your talents you will definitely be more productive, happy and make a greater contribution.

There is a growing movement (bigger in the US right now and expanding around the world) to build a “Strengths based” world.  This is happening at a State level (Rhode Island), at a City level (San Antonio), at a University level and a business level.  Each situation has seen remarkable results and transformation especially in areas engagement and profitability.

“As a leader, once you know what makes someone great then you empower him or her and make them the hero.”

As a leader, once you know what makes someone great then you empower him or her and make them the hero.  This type of mentality is a big part of the growth of the mega companies in the Tech industry like Google and Facebook.  In his groundbreaking book Management 3.0, Jürgen Appelo talks about building your business like a community.  Management 1.0 was when businesses were built like a machine (one department does one thing, the next department) and there are still many older companies that have these types of silos.  Management 2.0 happened more in the 80s and 90s when businesses were through of as a Sports team where everyone is going after the same goal. Management 3.0 is building your business like a community – it is not just what your people can do for you but what can you do for them.

Harvard review has been running a study for 80 years on what is the key attributes to a happy, healthy and long life – the answer is community.

Lesson #2

Understand and embrace what makes you uniquely you.  How can you use these strengths and attributes to maximize your results? Learn about your team members, their strengths and find out what is important to them and create a community.

Personal Branding – As a business leader it is very important to understand that YOU are the brand.  It is not always about the logo, colors, messaging but what you stand for both as a company and a person.

There is another interesting assessment that I also like called the “How to Fascinate” personality test by Sally Hogshead that helps you discover how the world sees you.  Sometimes the most difficult part of doing self-assessments is that they are more based on where you fit and your intrinsic strengths versus how others see us. Once we understand the 2 highest attributes that others see in us, we can use this to market ourselves better. This is very important because people are going to buy YOU.

“Remember you are not bragging about yourself by talking about yourself, you are giving them validation as to why you are the right candidate for that opportunity.”

You may want to look at all these various attributes and then tie them back to how these can benefit your client.  The more you can start collecting stories of how this strength or that attribute created a positive result for a client, the more you can integrate them into all your conversations.  Remember you are not bragging about yourself by talking about yourself, you are giving them validation as to why you are the right candidate for that opportunity.

Lesson #3

Learn to use your strengths, success and unique characteristics to generate more leads and convert them to long-term customers.

Getting to really know yourself, your team members, your clients will result in higher productivity and revenues when combines will increase profits!

1 COMMENT

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