Find Your Strengths


“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao Tzuhs

Finding your strengths is one of the best ways to improve your energy and effectiveness.

If you know your unique combination of strengths, and you play to your strengths instead of focus on your weaknesses, you can dramatically amplify your impact.

Don’t Spend Too Much Time in Your Weaknesses

One of the key things that can hold you back is spending too much time on your weaknesses and not enough time on your strengths.  The better you know your strengths and talents, the better you can pick the right situations or job to leverage your innate abilities.

Here are my key take aways:

  • Identify your signature strengths.  Don’t just know what you’re good at.  Identify what you are great at.  This difference makes all the difference in the world.
  • Be your best. The key here is to be your personal best.  This is why modeling somebody else’s success may not come easy for you.  You may not have the same strengths.
  • Cultivate your strengths.  The key is to focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.  Reducing your weaknesses is not the path to greatness.  Improving your key strengths is your personal path to excellence.
  • Use the sum of your talents.  It’s not about having a single strength, it’s about using the synergy of your strengths.
  • Find a fit for your strengths. Leveraging your strengths turns your work into passion.   What’s work for somebody else is your play if you find the right way to leverage your unique talents.
  • Amplify your results with your network. Once you know your key strengths, you can find the people that complement you in strengths that you lack.

34 Strengths Explained

Familiarize yourself with the 34 key themes of strength.  If you can identify your top five themes, you can use the information to start cultivating your strengths for personal excellence and stop focusing on weaknesses.  Here are the 34 signature themes of strength according to Buckingham and Clifton:

Strength Description
Achiever A relentless need for achievement.
Activator “When can we start?” is a recurring question in your life.
Adaptability You live in the moment.
Analytical “Prove it. Show me why what you are claiming is true.”
Arranger You are a conductor.
Belief You have certain core values that are enduring.
Command You take charge.
Communication You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write.
Competition You have a need to outperform your peers.
Connectedness You know that we are all connected.
Context You look back to understand the present.
Deliberative You identify, assess, and reduce risk.
Developer You see the potential in others.
Discipline Your world needs to be ordered and planned.
Empathy You can sense the emotions of those around you.
Fairness Balance is important to you.
Focus Your goals are your compass.
Futuristic “Wouldn’t it be great if …” The future fascinates you.
Harmony You look for areas of agreement.
Ideation You are fascinated by ideas.
Inclusiveness “Stretch the circle wider.” You can to include people and make them feel like part of the group.
Individualization You’re intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.
Input You collection information – words, facts, books and quotations.
Intellection You like to think. You like mental activity.
Leaner You love to learn.
Maximizer Excellence, not average, is your measure.
Positivity You are generous with praise, quick with smile, and always on the look out for the positive in the situation.
Relater You derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends.
Responsibility You take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion.
Restorative You love to solve problems.
Self-assurance You have faith in your strengths.
Significance You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people.
Strategic You sort through clutter and find the best route.
Woo You win others over.