Steve Jobs. He was an amazing man, legendary for his vision. How did he get so successful? Think of all the great leaders in the world – they all have something in common. Talent. Yes, every leader has their own unique talents. What makes them great is focusing on those talents and building them into strengths, which they use in different ways to bring out the best in themselves and others.
You have access to the same thing. Discover your own strongest qualities and put them to work in business and in life.
1. Learn from those who inspire you.
Are there people in your life who wow you? Maybe they even seem bigger than life to you. Instead of comparing yourself to them and letting their abilities intimidate you, learn from them. What are they doing that you wish you could do? Consider talking with them about how they developed their skills to learn more about how you can develop them in you. What qualities do they have that you most admire? Give yourself permission to explore and develop those sides of your self. Consider aligning yourself with people you feel competitive toward–it’s a big world and we have much to learn from each other.
2. Concentrate on strengths.
First, find out what your strengths are. Maximize Your Leadership has several unique assessments that help determine your strengths. Or, go online and take the Strengths Finders assessment, a Meyers Briggs test, or an Enneagram test. There are even more robust ways to discover your unique talents, abilities, and ways of thinking by talking with a career coach or leadership coach. Self-understanding and self-support is key. Then, focus on building your strengths. Not only is it much more rewarding, it will be easier, much more efficient, and you will be more successful.
Yes, we all have to be able to work in our weaknesses at one time or another. But focusing on working within your weaknesses only brings misery and self-doubt. Concentrating on your strengths brings a better sense of fulfillment and forward progress.
3. Minimize your weaknesses by partnering with others.
Did you know that Albert Einstein was initially considered a “failure”? What we now know is that he was actually working almost completely in his strengths all the time. He leaned heavily on his wife who was gifted in other areas. Because he could lean on her strengths where he had weaknesses, together they accomplished greatness. That is the value of having a partner and team. Bouncing ideas off of others, tapping into their perspectives, talents and skills to get the job done better together.
How does your team operate? Are there complimentary skill sets involved? If you surround yourself with others who have different strengths, and make use of each person’s strengths, you can go far together. Whether it’s a mentor, employee, or co-worker, make sure you recognize, support, and capitalize on the strengths in each other.
4. Use failure as motivation.
Things aren’t always going to go your way, no matter how well you and your teams prepare and practice. Sometimes, we need a good kick to get us going. Sometimes we need the pain of “failure” to reassess, reset, and revise. Are you taking risks? Are you failing? If so, good job!
Winston Churchill failed grandly more than once, and was famously cast to the political “wilderness” and then came roaring back to lead the British resistance. Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded, but through persistence, ultimately came back to save it from extinction. Both of them, in their own way, failed, learned from their mistakes, and most importantly, persisted in the face of failure.
5. Now is a time of pop-up engagement, leadership, and success.
Innovation demands the work of flexible teams who cooperate, co-lead, and co-create. Mr. Jobs was an effective leader in a time of radical shift from singular creative to co-creative. Over time, he learned what he was best at and how to use his skills, talents, teams, and life lessons to contribute in the best way he knew how. As a leader, he succeeded in providing the tools we now use in co-creative environments. Who would have thought it would be possible? He did, and he did not do it alone.
You, too, can use you talents and skills to contribute to and lead your team in the best way you know how. Are you struggling to find your strengths or discovering how they benefit your professional goals? Contact Joy today!