Personal and Professional Growth
A core element of LFW is unveiling your CliftonStrengths, a report that highlights which of the 34 “strengths” you are naturally best at, in the themes of executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking.
- Executing themes help you make things happen.
- Influencing themes help you take charge, speak up and make sure others are heard.
- Relationship building themes help you build strong relationships that hold a team together.
- Strategic thinking themes help you absorb and analyze information that informs better decisions.
Each of the strengths falls in one of these categories, so many people lead with certain “themes” and have to work harder to “navigate” the others.
My top five CliftonStrengths are (in order): Strategic, Intellection, Individualization, Connectedness and Learner.
What was interesting about this discovery was that all my top five are in the strategic thinking theme (Strategic, Intellection and Learner) and the relationship building theme (Individualization and Connectedness). So basically—I’m good at creating, identifying and supporting connections amongst people and ideas.
This information helped me understand why I do some of the things I do—and even why I’m in the kind of role I’m in. It also made me aware of some of the blind spots that my strengths may cause. For example, because of my Strategic strength, when working with others, sometimes they may misinterpret my contributions as criticism. But I can make the conscious effort to be mindful of what is already working well and what others have accomplished and acknowledge those.
It also highlighted why certain tasks or situations are harder for me than others. I’m wired a certain way. For example, in my top five strengths, I don’t have any strengths in the executing or influencing themes. That doesn’t mean I’m bad at them, or that I can’t do those things; it means it comes less naturally to me and requires more discipline and intentionality.
My two favorite quotes from this year are:
- “Leadership is not about me. It is about what people need from me.”
- “Under pressure, we do not ‘rise to the occasion.’ We default to our training.”
They are a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of me as a person, and every person I will work with, now and into the future. *I* am something I have to work on consistently—it doesn’t end just because the program is over. I have grown tremendously over this year through this knowledge, and I’m excited to continue to grow as I use these tools in my everyday work and interactions. This is just the beginning!