Do you love YOU enough?
How often do you take time to reflect on your strengths?
I would quite confidently suggest very little. In my work with leaders and employees in Fortune 500 Companies the most under leveraged part of their personal brands are their core strengths.
Your core strengths are the things that you do so naturally and so well that you perform them almost sub-consciously. When I point out to someone that others have identified a particular strength in them they say
“Oh really, but I do that all the time!” – EXACTLY!
Many people are very poor at spending enough time on their own personal development. It might only be in their annual reviews that they do this. Those experiences are not always very positive ones. 5 minutes spent reviewing what you did well. Then 55 minutes spent on strategies to bring weaknesses up to, at best, an average level of performance.
Some may view this as either a little simplistic or harsh. Truth is that only 42% of North Americans believe that working mostly on their strengths will mean they are more successful. That drops to an alarming 24% of Japanese and Chinese.
Very often it is difficult for you to articulate your top strengths and how they might be reflected in your career to date. If you can identify those strengths, you are ahead of the game. And you will love yourself more!
You can also take this information and create your examples, or stories, around how you have used that strength in business situations. People love stories. They will be more likely to want to work with you and for you based on these emotional connections.
There are many other assessments and tests that can be taken to understand more about yourself. It is probably best to find one or two that resonate and make sense to you.
Another good personal brand exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. In each area ask yourself these questions:
Strengths – what are my strengths, what do I have that is positive, that can help me achieve my goals?
Weaknesses – what are my weaknesses, where am I challenged the most?
Opportunities – if I was able to overcome those weaknesses and utlilise my strengths what will result for me? What is the upside?
Threats – what is the down side if I do not address those challenges?
It’s not just enough to be aware of your strengths. Take the time to discover if you have other hidden talents either through your own analysis or from the feedback of others – ideally both. The foundation of ALL strong brands are built in part on maximising strengths.