Saturday, September 18, 2010

Signature Strengths

One of my favorite books is Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton. I agree with the authors' theme of focusing on your strengths and managing your weaknesses.  I was impressed with their online "Strengths Finder" test and found it quite accurate in identifying "Signature Themes".

My top five themes are:
1) Strategic
2) Competition
3) Individualization
4) Command
5) Focus

One of the most significant self-realizations in my life occurred to me after I began paying attention to my signature themes. I noticed when I executed my signature themes in various daily situations. After a while, I began to notice more. When I experienced a deep feeling of satisfaction about my work or in giving advice to a friend, I realized that I was exhibiting one or more of my signature themes.  To use a sports analogy, it felt like catching a long pass or throwing a hard strike; doing what you intended to do and being appreciated for it.

As my self awareness grew, I recognized that my most successful moments and my most successful roles within a company were a direct result of utilizing more than one of my signature themes on a regular basis. The combination of being in the right role, with appropriately matched responsibilities, plus being surrounded by an environment that provided challenging opportunities was ideal for me.

The purpose of this post is to encourage people to identify what they are good at and look for opportunities to execute their talents on a regular basis. If you have hit a dead end in your current job, perhaps you should talk to your manager about taking on a new role, a role that matches your strengths to the opportunity.