Two years ago a friend of mine invited me to take the StrengthsFinder assessment. I was in some kind of transition, though I wasn’t sure exactly what I was transitioning into. There was a nagging feeling inside me to get my voice out into the world in a more profound way, but I felt stuck. Every little idea, experience, feeling and bit of knowledge seemed like little dots in my head, all interconnected.
I drew this little image to help others understand my frustration. If I wanted to talk about one single dot (idea), it was like pulling out one dot and all the other dots are pulled out too. I didn’t expect anyone to join me in that tangled web of thoughts and feelings.
The interconnectedness of everything in my internal world was fun for me when I was alone. I loved following the flow of my own thoughts from one point to the next and attempting to piece together one idea with another. But I could only stay in my head for so long. I am an extravert (believe it or not). I desperately needed to connect with others on a deep level and I recognized that other people help keep me from getting sucked up into my own brain. I loved the idea of writing and speaking, but I was about to give up on the notion that it would ever be possible. My thoughts and feelings were just too much.
Then late one night I took the StrengthsFinder assessment. I came to the end of the test to see my results and there in front of me were 5 words. I really had no idea what they meant, but one thing I knew: they were all from one of the 4 categories. They were all strategic thinking themes. They were all in my head.
I immediately considered taking the assessment again the next day because…
Maybe I’m just too tired.
I would have changed some of the answers on those questions.
This test is dumb.
I can’t believe this says I’m all in my head! I’m never going to get anything done.
Who do they think they are to say I’m not good in relationships!
I came to my meeting with my coach with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. She explained that the assessment only gave me my top 5 themes, but the top 10-12 are all themes I could be using on a daily basis. They are not exclusive, as though they are the only areas I’m strong in. They were simply the themes that rose to the top. At that point I decided that maybe…just maybe…these results could teach me something I didn’t already know about myself. Maybe they were a gift.
My top talent is Strategic and as I got to know that theme better, I realized that Strategic is good at taking a lot of information and then intuitively knowing the path forward. And through studying this strength I realized that I don’t have to get lost in the crazy web of dots in my head. I have it in me to choose the path forward! Soon after that I wrote the blog post I’d been trying to get out for months and then I immediately began working on writing a book. My number 1 talent has grown to become my #1 strength because I realized that I just need time to sort through everything in my head to decide on the path forward.
Well, since then I’ve learned a lot about the StrengthsFinder and eventually I opened up the full list of my 34 talent themes. Do you know what was #6? Activator. This one might be my favorite because it’s about influencing others to get started.
It’s the activator in me that gets on this blog once a week to encourage you to be who you are and offer yourself to the world. It’s the activator in me that had to write a book instead of keeping my thoughts to myself in my journal. It’s the activator in me that wants to use my head and heart to help other people figure out what’s keeping them from stepping into the fullness of their own power and message. It’s the activator in me that turns strategic planning into actionable steps.
Last month I went with the coach who encouraged me to take the assessment to the inaugural Clifton Strengths Summit in Omaha. Laurie Hock is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and I am a Strengths enthusiast. It was incredible to witness the unveiling of Gallup’s vision for how focusing on Strengths and managing weaknesses could truly change the world.
Now, I get it. This is ME. There are a lot of things I am not, but there are a few things I am. I am a strategic activator, offering to see entrepreneurs, educational and ministerial teams, individuals and families and their situations for what they truly are and advising them on the path forward. I am here to help you connect deeply with others and have a positive impact the world. And you know what? I’m good at it.
These are my strengths.
What are yours?
And what do you want to do with them?
What Kind of Breakthrough Do You Need?
This week I’m announcing my strategic advising services and I have a special offer for you. I have 5 1-hour slots and
1 Intensive Package* available for a special Breakthrough introductory offer. This offer is only available through the end of August and it is first-come first-serve, so act NOW.
If you feel stuck and you need a breakthrough in your relationships, your identity/purpose, your writing/speaking or your purp0se-driven business this offer is for YOU.
Don’t waste any more time and money trying to figure out what to do. Book your call now.
*My Intensive Program is now full until the end of October.*