Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Knowing Your Superpowers

Earlier this week Seth Goddin blogged brilliantly on the subject of the importance of being able to introduce yourself in a memorable way if you are interested in developing your business network. Whilst this borders on shameless self promotion he does make a valuable point. Having the confidence to do this however requires a degree of self knowledge few possess. Taking the time out to explore what you are uniquely good at, and developing the proof that these skills are real, may be the start point for developing this confidence?

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Over-Playing Your Strengths?

In the February issue of Harvard Business Review, Leadership Consultants Robert Kaplan and Robert Kaiser argue that although encouraging leaders to focus on their strengths may be a ‘reasonable approach’, it can be taken too far. This issue may be particularly prevalent where leaders rely on feedback in the form of 5 point rating scales. The final report may highlight one of their strengths as consensus building, for example, which when over-done can lead to procrastination and inaction.

Such objective measurement tools, particularly in relation to understanding strengths, appear to only provide part of the picture. Better then to ensure that data on strengths is supported by evidence found in past achievements and verbal peer feedback. A ‘strength’ that doesn’t help deliver a positive outcome and that is not valued by others, may not be considered a strength at all?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

In Your Element?

In his latest book, The Element, Sir Ken Robinson says “One of the things that always struck me was that many adults were unaware of what their true talents might be – what they’re really capable of doing.” As I read this I was struck by the familiarity of the message and then by how few people choose to do anything about this. Bernard Haldane once said:

"Many individuals would rather not know what is strong about them, the strengths that point to growth and reveal potential. A greater degree of responsibility is required to take hold of success rather than to stay in the safe area of complacency and complaint".

Sir Ken suggests that this complacency develops as result of schools and organisations not providing the opportunity and conditions for people to find out, not just what they are good at, but what they love to do.

Watch Sir Ken outline his take on creating these conditions at: http://www.thersa.org/events/vision/vision-videos/sir-ken-robinson-the-element