Leadership Series | Build on Your Strengths

It took me over six years to go from an entry-level sales position to my first official leadership role at the company I worked for. And while I was thrilled to be in that position, I had a suspicion that my sweet spot was in fact in the next role – one more promotion forward. Two years later, I was there! And those two years seemed to be less time than it took the average person in the company to get promoted in leadership.

It wasn’t until some time later that I started to realize why I was probably promoted quicker.

Now if you’ve been following me on this series of leadership videos, you know I was recently struck by a Forbes article where their counsel is sharing their top tips for women in leadership. Each week I’m going to share with you one of those tips, along with my personal experiences and my take, in hopes of helping you shorten your leadership learning curve. Today’s tip: build on your strengths.

That’s exactly why I believe I was promoted that much quicker – because I was hyper-focused on what made me happy. As I was thinking about what made me happy, my strengths surfaced. Even though some of my strengths weren’t necessarily written into the job description at that current role, I capitalized on that as often as possible. And I believe that management saw that; they saw me shining in other areas, and that’s what allowed me to move to the next position that much quicker.

How do you know what your strengths are? Well you can follow what I did, which was a simple meditation. Now if you’re like me you’re thinking, “That is so woo woo.” I thought the same thing! Each morning I simply set my phone timer for about five to ten minutes and ask myself, what makes me happy? And through that, I was able to uncover all the areas where I was really happy and shiny, and see what my strengths were that got me there.

Another way you could do this is to simply survey a variety of people that know you really well. Ask personal friends, family members, current co-workers, colleagues, peers, managers, past managers, past colleagues, or clients. Ask each of them what they see as your strength. When you get that back, you can trace a common theme across.

Even if those strengths aren’t necessarily part of your current role, I want you to use them. Really make yourself shine in those areas!

It’ll make you a stronger leader, and provide you a greater opportunity to get noticed and potentially move into the next level. Stay tuned with me, as I’ll have more tips on the upcoming series of videos. If you have something that you want to share to help shorten somebody else’s leadership learning curve, post it in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

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