When I think of the word strength, I think of Mr Strong of Mr Men fame, sat at his breakfast table about to tuck into a platter of fried eggs. No high cholesterol for him. But strength isn’t just physical. Rather, strengths are the things you excel at through a combination of hard work and innate talent.
Recently, I was introduced to the CliftonStrengths, a system made to identify where you excel, and show how to lean in to your skillset. There are 34 possible strengths on offer, and the test promises to identify your top ten. Your top five are what you should concentrate on. I took the test. I got the results. They weren’t a surprise, but they also weren’t sexy. However, my strengths are what make me the writer and business owner I am. Without them, I couldn’t do the job I do and live the life I live. So, what were my top five strengths?
1 – Strategic. This means I’m good at sorting through the clutter, finding possible solutions, and ultimately choosing the best way forward. I like to identify patterns and ideal paths. I think this plays to the control freak in me!
2 – Maximiser. This means I take what I have and make it the best I possibly can. Also that I surround myself with those who appreciate my skills. My wife says the entrance exam for being my friend is if you laugh at my terrible jokes. Maybe she has a point.
3 – Focus. This one is no surprise. I’m skilled at procrastination, but on the flipside, I can also concentrate when I need to. My focus sees me set goals every month, quarter and year. Ultimately, it means I hit deadlines and consistently write and publish books, produce podcasts and run my business. Focus is my friend!
4 – Responsible. This is an interesting one. It means I want to do a good job, that I feel I need to help people with all requests, and that I have trouble saying no because I don’t want to let people down. I’m dependable and conscientious, but I need to also remember to put myself first, too. Good reminder.
5 – Developer. I’m good at helping others, seeing the potential in others, and leading on projects. I guess this also means I’m good at developing ideas. Ideation was also in my top ten strengths. I constantly see potential in people and ideas. This is all true!
Maybe they were onto something with these strengths, eh?
Want to do your own CliftonStrengths test? Go here and do it now!