Many leadership experts advocate "playing to your strengths" and creating a team with complementary ones. What makes knowing your strengths really helpful for your personal branding journey, though, is gaining a rich vocabulary for all the things you do well but take for granted. Like anything else we do without much thought, it can be hard to articulate. Whether you take the Cliffton Strengths Assessment (CSA) or use another tool, you're sure to have more info about yourself than you did before. I'm best versed in the CSA so I'll focus on that here, but really, anything that highlights your strengths will be great.
Here is what you'll gain:
Your Strengths DNA:
The CSA report breaks your strengths into 4 main buckets: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking. Between those 4 buckets there are 34 possible strengths you could have, of which 5 are your most prominent. If I did the math right, that’s 278,256 possible combinations (though you could argue certain strengths cluster together…). Whatever the combination, it’s uniquely yours. If you have strengths within strategic thinking, instead of saying “I’m good at strategy”, you can now define exactly how.
Your Blind Spots:
As with anything that exists on a continuum, strengths also come with potential blind spots. Fortunately, you will now know those too. If communication is a strength of yours, for example, you will need to be mindful not to over-communicate.
Your Special Spice:
Many of today’s buzzwords can be explained using the CSA as well. I laughed out loud when I was watching “F1: Drive to Survive” and a poorly performing driver was chastised by a precocious kid who asked, “Don’t you have a growth mindset?”.
Like any buzzword, 'growth mindset' has value, especially in our ever-changing workplaces & world. All the same, it’s meaningless if there’s no supporting evidence. According to this definition, “people with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” Working from this definition, the learner, discipline, developer, competition, and maximizer strengths all have elements that could be leveraged for a colourful example of your growth mindset.
(Un)fortunately, we all have them, and it’s prudent to know what they are. The beauty of the CSA approach, though, is that these need to be navigated – they are not the focus. If building a team, find people that enrich the strengths of the overall team and complement your weaknesses. If sharing with a future employer, client or your network why you're the right person for the job, focus on your strengths.
Once you have the lay of the land of your strengths it can be a powerful tool to develop your personal brand.
Would you like to further develop and hone your unique personal brand?
Reach out if I can help with your personal branding journey in any way!