Want to follow your passion? Know your talents and gifts first
KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC
There’s a prevailing notion that if you follow your passion, you’ll succeed in business. This might be an oversimplification. Others say to be a rock star business builder you have to add perseverance to passion. No matter that you think, in order to follow your heart, you must take a step back and examine your gifts and talents first and go from there. Enter the Gallup’s StrengthsFinder and the Gallup’s Business Builder profile.
Although this tool requires a nominal fee and about a half hour in front of the computer, you don’t have to take the assessment to learn from its guiding principles. Gallup posits that there are four individual characteristics that predispose people to certain career paths or fields. More specifically, these domains describe how people and teams use their talents to work with information, make things happen, influence others and build relationships.
Strategic thinkers tend to absorb and process large amounts of information. They are able to connect the dots and help their organizations make better long-term decisions.
Execution-oriented people love keeping score and track their results. They tend to be intentional, disciplined, reliable and act adeptly and with certainty, especially when the stakes are high.
Influencers are always trying to win you over. They can translate concepts in a way that speaks to people and motivates colleagues to take action. They love to connect with people and win them over. They enjoy a challenge and relish in contests and competitions.
This is the peacemaker and cheerleader type. They tend to tend to minimize conflict and derive satisfaction from including and empowering team members. They value harmony, connectedness, and positivity. As a result, they are the go-to people for morale building.
So where do you fit in? It has been shown that people are usually gifted in one or two strengths. Knowing your gifts, you should focus on goals and actions that align with these areas, which will ultimately put you on the right path. For the areas, you don’t enjoy or are not as strong, account for these strengths with members of your advisory board, partners, and first new hires.
How might this perspective shape or influence your plans for 2019?