Imagine you are at a dinner party or a networking event. Through the course of the evening, you ask several people, “What do you do?”
If you observe carefully, you will notice that many define themselves as, “I work for so and so or such and such a company.” Or they may say, “I am a CEO.”
In any of these cases, they are defining themselves positionally – not by their strengths, but by their relationship to someone or something else, or by their title within a company.
If you ask an entrepreneur or someone who is in a position that allows them to use their strengths in a very satisfying way, you will get a different answer.
They may say, “I help people determine their best options for investments,” or, “I designed a software program that helps people overcome certain learning disabilities,” or “I helped generate a million dollars’ worth of business for my company by brokering a deal with a former competitor.”
And if you notice the expression on each face, you will see a smile.
These are what Seth Godin would call “linchpins” in business. They are not there to fill a position or put in time. They are there to serve in their strengths. And because they do, amazing things happen.
What would YOU say if someone asked you that question? Would you define yourself positionally, or would you define yourself by your strengths and your contribution to the greater good?
Can you say, “I serve _________ (your ideal client) by _________ (your best strengths) and get _________ (defined results)?”
These three parts go together. If you know your strengths and who you serve best, you will get results.
As a business leader, being able to define yourself in this way will ensure you are on the path to success – and even more, to a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
What about your team?
- Observe as others ask your team members what they do. How do they answer?
- Do your team members know who your company serves? Is there a connection between what they do and the people they serve?
- Are you developing the kind of team where each individual knows their strengths and is able to work in their strengths zone 70-80% of the time? One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to, as Jim Colllins says, “Get the right people on the bus and in the right seat.”
- Is each individual producing results? Very often, we blame the individual for lack of results, when in fact, we as leaders may be to blame. It is our responsibility to position by strengths and help our people build on those strengths, connect our people to the people we serve, and define the desired outcome. If we do these things well, the results will happen as a welcome side effect.
Deb Ingino, CEO of Strength Leader, LLC, is a proven expert in the area of building strengths-based teams that get results. For information on Strengths Mapping for your team, click here.