By Craig Hysell
What are your strengths? Do you know them? Do you know how to USE them to your advantage?
Forever I lived by the maxim, “You are only as strong as your weakest link,” and forever I ran my business under the philosophy of “What do we need to improve?”
I focused on weakness and failure first. I was miserable and everyone around me suffered miserably as well.
See, you and I, we’re all GOOD at something and, to see the need to be GOOD at everything is ridiculous. It sets us up for nothing but the continuation of coming up short.
If you know your strengths, you know where to direct the focus of your engagement and the strategy for making the engagement effective and successful.
If all you know is where you are weak, well all you know is what NOT to do.
History is full of battles where opponents, outnumbered, were not outmatched because they focused on HOW TO WIN ON THEIR TERMS: i.e. they understood their strengths, they understood how to avoid their shortcomings, they understood where the enemy was weak… and quite often they understood how to use the enemy’s perceived strength and turn it into a weakness.
In my job as a firefighter, the strategy is ALWAYS situational on scene (our weakness is we never know exactly what we are arriving into, the incident is highly dynamic); knowing our tools, our tactics, our communications, our size ups, and knowing each other are our strengths. When we adhere to our strengths we can solve problems instead of becoming part of them. That is the job. It is logical and reasonable, there is nothing heroic about it. It is TRAINED and there are no lone wolves or cowboys on the crew.
Again, the point being, play to your strengths. You can only do so if you know what your strengths ARE. You can only train your strengths to be even stronger if, again, you know what they ARE. This is universal to any endeavor; battle, business, sports teams, personal relationships, physicality, happiness, etc.
Knowing your strengths takes thought, honesty and vulnerability. Self-awareness is key to the discovery and the growth. It’s also fun.
The Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder is a good place to start if you’re curious.
Once you know your strengths, recruit others who are similar AND who can fill in those “weakness” gaps. You are never alone and you’re never out of the fight when your mindset is clear and focused on how to win. Memento mori. Hugs.