In this age of strengths-finders and skills- focused thinking, leaders can spend an enormous amount of time focusing on what experience and skills they lack rather than taking stock of their existing knowledge and strengths. This can lead to seeing others as more skilled or talented than we are in our own areas of expertise. Sometimes we lack confidence in our abilities to tackle obstacles because we don’t have a clear understanding of our own resources. That is exactly what happened to me when I was hired to present a series of training programs to a group of employees at a small manufacturing company.
The project consisted of designing and facilitating workshops on effective communication and team building. These are areas I have a great deal of experience with and love to present. The president of the organization was looking forward to offering her employees the workshop, and while she and I discussed the project, she said, “We have a great group of dedicated people, but English isn’t the first language for many of them. In fact, there are often three different languages being spoken on the manufacturing floor at any given time.”
My heart sank. I am not remotely fluent or even proficient in any other language except English. How was I going to be able to do anything with a group that couldn’t understand me? What would such a communication program even look like if participants weren’t able to follow my presentation? I didn’t have the skills or knowledge to navigate such a diverse classroom.
This is an excerpt from my chapter, “Unwrap Your Gifts” in Energize Your Leadership. Energize Your Leadership springs from a collaboration of 16 leaders from around the world who came together online. They recognized a lack of energy, excitement and purpose in the leaders they interact with each day. As they explored ways to help these disengaged, overwhelmed and discouraged leaders discover a new spark, they began to share their personal stories. In Energize Your Leadership they share the stories and lessons learned of their individual leadership journeys with you to show how energy ignites leadership success.
So began my discovery of how I would find my strengths and gifts that would help me navigate through my uncertainties and fears.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and not sure how you will successfully pull off your job, volunteer or personal challenges?
Come explore with me how to recognize your unique gifts and ways to put them into play:
- We all have strengths and talents; find ways to identify yours
- Look at where your gifts have already surfaced
- Don’t dwell on the weaknesses or blind spots
- Your gifts are peaking out from your amazing leadership toolbox
How have you energized your leadership by unwrapping your gifts to get unstuck?
Please share your stories of how your gifts empowered you.
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