Monday, October 5, 2009

Soar With Your Strengths

Stumble Upon Toolbar
This week's Key Point: Hire the right people and let them do what they do best!

I was excited to see the positive response from my "Managing Employees in this Economy" post and for that reason, I decided to do a series of posts discussing key points.

As a young manager my mentor had me read the book "Soar With Your Strengths" by Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson. This book is AWESOME and it provided me a completely different management perspective.

"Soar With Your Strengths" was based on one simple question...What would happen if they studied what was right with people versus what's wrong with people.

New thought...

You CANNOT achieve whatever you put your mind to!

Focus on your STRENGTHS and MINIMIZE your weaknesses!

Drive, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Ability to Focus Under Intense Stress are a few examples of natural strengths that cannot be taught.

You cannot achieve whatever you put your mind to. That belief is a falsehood fed by our families, friends, etc. Every individual has an innate strength that enables them to perform a task extremely well. It is our job as a parent, teacher, manager, etc. to help an individual uncover their one true strength and allow it to flourish.

Companies are only as good as the people who work for them. The following are what companies can do to ensure peak performance...
  • Assess each role employees perform within your company
  • Identify what strength(s) leads to maximum performance in each role
  • Assess each employee to identify their strength(s) and to make sure they are aligned in the right role within your company to maximize their strength(s)
  • If you identify holes within your company that need to be filled then make sure you are looking for the strength(s) associated with that role when interviewing a potential new employee
  • DO NOT try and identify an employee's weakness as an area to work on! This is a waste of time and will not lead to better company performance!!!
Once you have the right employees, who possess the right strength(s) to perform at an optimal level in their role then get out of their way!


  1. I have not read "Soar With Your Strengths" yet. I am anxious to add it to my reading list!

  2. Very wise words Jeff! You are finding a way to do what colleagues 20 years older than you are just now feeling comfortable doing, and that is to actually admit there are weaknesses, and to truly know it is okay to have them. It's no longer a sign of failure to have areas in which we don't excel. The more people talk and write about them, the healthier all of our workplaces become because we can be honest.

  3. Deb & Nancy,

    THX so much for the comments!!! To me this is one of the most important parts to managing people towards success!