When was the last time someone asked that? You just finished an important project and did a great job then someone says, "What's right with you? Can't you do anything wrong?" "Hmmmm," you say, "probably never." On the other hand, anyone who lived through the "valley of the shadow of adolescence" commonly referred to as Junior High, has heard the opposite question. "What's wrong with you? Can't you do anything right?"
I've been thinking about those questions lately and the power they have to shape us. Specifically I've been thinking about the power of discovering and leading with our strengths.
Most people think that if we want to improve our performance we need to "fix" our weaknesses first. Evidence to the contrary though shows that we'll be more successful by focusing on our strengths. Focusing on what you're good at leads to improved performance and greater satisfaction and engagement whether with a hobby or at work.
Think about a successful baseball team. No manager would ever recommend that their star pitcher spend the off season trying to improve his skills as a third baseman. He might become a mediocre third baseman but his greatest strength is as a pitcher. No doubt the third baseman would say, "You stay on the mound and I'll take care of things here!" We all have strengths. We'll do better when we discover them and develop them to their fullest.
I recently led a workshop for a local business where we did just that - focused on their strengths. In this case the focus was on strengths of character and virtue, the strengths that reflect who we are at the deepest level. These strengths in turn strongly influence how we live and how we perform in every area of life.
So, how about you? What's right with you? How would you answer that question? A good place to start is with this short online survey that measures your character strengths in twenty-four different areas. There's no charge and it will only cost you about 15 minutes of your time. You'll immediately get a report that will show you whether you're stronger in curiosity or prudence, honesty or humor, justice or gratitude, enthusiasm or self-control, plus sixteen more. Click here to get started. Be sure to let me know what you discover.
One last thought. Focusing on your strengths doesn't mean taking the path of least resistance. It will not be easy but your potential for success will be much greater.