There’s a fantastic resource out there called “Strengthfinders 2.0″ that helps a person to discover their God-given strengths. The theory is that you and I will get far more out of our day if we are functioning from a place of strength rather than trying to shore up an area of weakness.
Several years ago now, I used this resource and came up with the five strengths below. I show them here simply to demonstrate how discovering your strengths can help you to know yourself better and to do whatever you can to put yourself in an area of strength. If you know your strengths and live into them, it will help you to get the most enjoyment and the most production out of your day.
- Strategic – The strategic gift means that I like to figure out a plan for how to accomplish a task. People like me love games like “Risk,” or “Settlers of Catan” or other general nerd-like games. We love to solve puzzles. I’ve found that I thrive in finding the best solutions to problems. I like to think long term, to establish a goal, and to figure out how to get there.
- Learner – I love to learn. I always have. A person like me asks a lot of questions. If I have an opportunity to learn a new skill or to gain some knowledge in an area that I love, I become like a crazy person who can’t get enough. I read a ton of books. I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with some friends at Next Level Church in Ft. Myers, FL just soaking up everything they are doing as a church. I was able to learn about leadership, about church and staff development, and about organizational health. It was like crack for me. I seriously can’t get enough of that stuff (leadership, not crack – that stuff’s bad).
- Belief – This strength means that I have an underlying thought that “It’s going to be ok.” There’s a sense that I carry with me that God has a plan and that He ultimately is in control and I don’t really have to worry about it. Belief is the sense that everything happens for a reason. A person with belief should do what they can to speak hope into people who feel like the world is falling down around them.
- Relator – A relator is more comfortable with small groups or even one on one relationships. A relator is pretty happy with a few deep friendships. I know in my life when I’ve had those close friendships around me, I don’t really look for more. Relators are often introverts like me. Sometimes that means I get misunderstood because I don’t open up to a lot of people. I find my friends and then I’m good. I don’t mean to do it, but one of the results is that I can appear closed off to others. The upside though is that I don’t have many surface level relationships. If I’m going to be your friend I’d like to go deep in that relationship and hang on to it for years. It makes me pretty loyal as well.
- Activator – An activator gets things started. They are constantly asking “When can we get started?” An activator needs to be able to be in a position where he or she can start things. They don’t want a lot of red tape or hurdles in place. The downside of course is that someone like me has to be careful that I don’t jump from one thing to another. I have to be willing to stick to something and see it through. But it means that I am open and ready to make changes, to fix something, and to make those changes as soon as possible.
So anyway, there it is. That’s me. If you know me, maybe that helps you understand me a bit more. But my goal here is more to get you to think about who YOU are. If you’ve never done it, I’d encourage you to get the book and take the test as soon as you can. You may find that your job is sucking the life out of you. And it may be that you can either restructure your job to function more from your strengths, or maybe you can get that résumé ready to find a place where you’ll find the most significance, enjoyment, and productivity in the days and months to come.