“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.” —Elbert Hubbard
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
How can you differentiate yourself? Is it more constructive to focus on your areas of weakness, or should you focus on your strengths? Your strengths are what allow you to perform well. I am not talking about technical strengths because talent will only get you so far. I’m talking about the strengths that span across tasks, situations, and settings. These strengths are more motivating than your weaknesses and they give you the confidence that differentiates you from the crowd. So, how do you know where to focus?
What provides satisfaction?
Zig Ziglar explained, “Being productive gives people a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that loafing never can.” Think about what you find fulfilling. What activities provide you with satisfaction and happiness? This is where you will find your strengths.
Is it consistent?
Arsene Wenger said, “When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.” Your strengths can be seen across different situations and are consistent over time. You may find your strength lies in your resilience, integrity, honesty, agility, or perseverance. Look for the traits that you exhibit consistently regardless of circumstance, task, or setting.
How can you use it?
Denis Waitley tells us, “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” Knowing your strengths can help you to understand how you fit into the big picture. In turn, when you can see the big picture you can better determine how to leverage strength. Recognizing and focusing on your strengths will impact the relationships you build, the way you work with your team, and the self-development you pursue. Your strengths will keep you motivated and help you think strategically and creatively.
Eleanor Roosevelt believed, “We gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.” The most effective tool you have for differentiating yourself is a focus on your strengths. These strengths are your assets. Does your strength lie in your ability to be a visionary? Do find satisfaction in being able to ask the right questions and solve problems? Does your strength consistently lie in planning or in rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done? Your strengths differentiate you by influencing your effectiveness at being a leader, solving problems, and working with your team. Use your strengths to overcome your fears and keep moving yourself forward. Focus on building your strengths rather than overcoming your weaknesses; it is your strengths that will set you apart from the crowd.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.