Are your strengths more important than our strengths?
Trigger Question #148 — reading time: about 1.4 minutes
Once upon a time, your friends wanted you on their team because you were bigger and faster/(your mother baked better cookies).
Then your school coach selected you because you had specific talents/(your parents donated). Later you landed a job because you had the right qualification/(you had family connections). Soon they promoted you because you had unique skills/(a better mentor). One day you became a boss because you had the right experience/(an influential network).
Is it now your fault for believing that your strengths are stronger than their strengths? Even as you conveniently ignore the “/(whatever)” bits?
But they will blame you if you are you so in love with your own strengths that you can’t capitalize on the strengths of others on your team or in your organization.
Yes, they pay you to deliver on your strengths at work. But they expect you, as a leader, manager and boss, to help other people deliver on their strengths.
Teams, be they sport or business, thrive when individual unique strengths are aligned to achieve shared, collective goals.
You should never attack someone’s shallow contribution or poor performance… unless you have first tried to empower them to use their strengths as part of the team effort.
Remember, if you focus on your strengths, you might achieve your goals. But if you focus on our strengths, you help us achieve our goals. Yours included.
Take a moment to listen to Bruce Cockburn’s The Strong One:
Isn’t it hard
To be the one who has to give advice?
Isn’t it hard
To be the strong one?
Now, go, and spread the strength.
Welcome to my side of the trigger divide.