While doing the research for my last post ‘What is Talent’ I came along this quote:
“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong … And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” (Peter Drucker, 1909-2005).
This quote made me pretty curious, as I believe that most people aren’t aware of their strengths. Most people probably know what their weaknesses are but not really where they are good. I found a book called ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath (Webpage Strenghts Finder), which supports my hypothesis that most people rather than playing to their strengths try to improve their weaknesses. This coping mechanism can be very time-consuming and intense. Strengths Finder shall help people to get to know their talents and develop strengths out of this awareness. To focus on things you like and enjoy doing rather than to work even harder on the aspects you simple don’t like and aren’t good at seems like a nice and simplified alternative to me.
The book claims an easy structure where Talent multiplied with Investment leads to Strength.
Talent is hereby defined as ‘the natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving’.
Investment is defined as ‘time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base’
Strengths is ‘the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance’
Many companies wondering how to engage their employees but how many of these companies really DO a talent or strengths assessment and place their employees into positions where they actually fit in? Especially in sales roles this might simplify everybody’s job so much! Not every top seller is by definition a good leader. So why are still companies promoting people into manager positions who did a great sales job?
- These people will probably no longer bring the return they did when they were in an operating sales role
- These people ‘waste’ their time by trying to show their employees how to do it right – but have probably not even received a training and maybe absolutely no talent in leading and inspiring people
I don’t want to say that weaknesses are not important or should be ignored – the opposite is the truth. I believe it is truly important to know what are you good at and what not. For entrepreneurs apply the principle to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses to successfully buy-in people who accomplish your weaknesses with their strengths.
By the way I used the Strengths Finder 2.0 myself and it’s a really nice way to get to know yourself a little bit better and the derived action plan for developing your talents into strengths is a good toolkit.