What’s Your Signature Strength?
This weekend marks a special time on the calendar: Easter and Passover – two religious holidays that include rituals of eating chocolate and unleavened bread. As fun as that may be, both events have a much more inspiring purpose: to remind us of the valuable and inspiring process of renewal; to re-commit to something we let languish, or to start something new altogether.
As I was finishing up a coaching session the other day, I just happened to ask my client what he might consider rekindling this spring, and he said something profound: “I used to be a much better boss. Between the depressing winter we just had, and a really harsh merger, I’ve become just an OK boss – very transactional. I’d like to get back to using my strengths, and help my team re-connect.” If only every boss would choose this as their focus for renewal.
To paraphrase Jim Collins, author of the best-selling book Good to Great, we are at our best when we fully utilize our strengths:
“For in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”
Before the hustle and bustle of your week begins, consider what you could put back into the rotation. What skill, talent or passion can you make full use of that will not only make you more effective, but will also bring a deep sense of satisfaction?
For me, it’s listening. I was (and still need to be) a great listener. When I am at my best, my clients get more out of their time with me. And when that happens, I am a happier person.