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“Don’t push your weaknesses– play with your strengths” – Jennifer Lopez
Understanding your super strengths is a great starting point when considering a squiggly career.. Your super strengths are what you excel in. Whether you’re the best driver, a remarkable mixologist, or a customer service wizard. Your super strengths are the unique combination of talents and qualities that make you great at what you do.
Your super strengths are why people hire you.
Why Super Strengths Matter
Discovering and using your super strengths helps you in three ways:
- Keeping engaged and motivated. When working a job that plays into your super strengths, you’re much more likely to be engaged and motivated. Knowing them can help you find a career that’s a good fit for you. In short, seek out opportunities where you’ll get to use your super strengths, and avoid those where you won’t.
- Finding success at work. When you’re able to use your super strengths, you can accomplish more in less time with less effort. Gallup found that workers who used their super strengths were six times more effective and engaged in their role.
- Feeling fulfilled. When you know your primary skills and talents, you can focus on building them. You can invest your time and energy in things that are more likely to bring you success and avoid wasted efforts on things that are less likely to add value for you. Developing your super strengths helps you to feel more satisfied, accomplished, and fulfilled in your career.
Strengths or Super Strengths?
We make the distinction between strengths and super strengths for this important reason; you can be really good at something that you really dislike.
For example, an office worker could be good with spreadsheets, yet at the same time find it joyless and soul crushing– nothing saps their energy more than having to spend a lot of time on one. While working with spreadsheets, they could be doing all the right things building their skill level; but ultimately they finish feeling demotivated and disengaged thus negatively impacting the remainder of their day.
Your super strengths are the things you excel in that also bring you joy. When you’re applying a super strength, you should feel engaged, passionate, and motivated to use them more.
Nature VS Nurture
Sometimes we compare ourselves to those more successful than us and worry we’ll never measure up. We might look at somebody else and assume they were born with certain gifts. Why bother trying to succeed? And elements of that might be true– some people are indeed born with innate abilities to do things much more easily than the rest of us.
However, your super strengths are a combination of the things that you’re naturally good at, combined with skills and behaviors you develop through your learned experiences. You can develop your super strengths.
Natural Talents + Learned Experiences = Super Strengths
The 80% Rule
We all have weaknesses; nobody’s perfect. The more successful among us tend to follow a simple rule:
Spend 80% of your time making your super strengths stronger and 20% mitigating weaknesses that hold you back.
Peter Drucker, the famous management theorist, said, “You can’t build performance on weaknesses. You can only build on your strengths.”
When embarking on self improvement or designing a career, many of us start with a list of negative things about ourselves or things we’d like to improve upon. Being good at everything is impossible. You’ll get more out of the time you invest if you focus on making your super strengths stronger, rather than wasting time focusing on your weaknesses.
Identifying and Developing Your Super Strengths
How much time do you spend pondering your super strengths?
If you know what your super strengths are, do you know how to strengthen them?
After reading this piece, most of us will have some idea what our super strengths might be, but we may struggle to know how to develop them or how to use them to boost our careers.
By exploring the materials below, this module will help you to discover what your super strengths are, how to use them more effectively, and how to share them with others to supercharge your career.
Recommended Read: StandOut 2.0 Assess your strengths, find your edge, win at work – Marcus Buckingham
Recommended Watch: How Our Weaknesses Can Become Our Strengths (10 mins)
Recommended Listen: Understanding Your Strengths with Marcus Buckingham (18 mins)