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Jackie Cameron

It is so obvious isn't it? But I have worked with clients who recognise their skills ( gifts, talents) but resist using them. If you don't value them yourself though then a future employer/ client is unlikely to either!
Thanks Steve - this is a great way to start the week. It has made me think about my own career and how I am working right now.

Karin H.

Steve, you know what or better whom I'm going to point to:

"Finding your strengths" and all related books/trainings from the Gallop Organisation.
For me that was a real eye opener and I've been working with/towards my strengths ever since, creating not just better results but a more relaxed and focused work-life too.

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Michelle Malay Carter

Hi Steve,

Agree. Agree. Agree. What can be amazing is how many people have not thought this through. They can't tell you what they are gifted to do.

One way to tell is to look at your to do list. What things always fall to the bottom? Which things do you have to make yourself do. These are not your "knack".

Which things do you always find time to do? If you "create/initiate" work at work what type of work is it? This is your knack.



peter vajda

H, Steve

I never enrolled in the "strengths alone" school of thought. Focusing on one's strengths alone supports one to move from good, to better to best where they "are." Focusing on one's weaknesses, potential, ares for development, etc., supports one to move the action of their life forward, beyond where "I am"....towards a deepening self-actualization, and wholistic sense of growth.

It's also well to remember that one's virtues often become one's vices...as when one becomes an "expert" at some ability, skill, or talent and often becomes overbearing in the way they feel they need to manifest that talent, etc. "When all you have is a hammer..."

For me, perhaps the graphic could include many arrows ppointing in diverse directions....as, IMHO, that is where growth and self-actualization lead us.

Meg Bear

I love this, probably because it fits well with my current world view. I find it so much more rewarding to recognize what comes easily and leverage that. How am I unique and why is that good.

Steve Roesler


The fact of the matter is, even though we do this for a living we fall into the same trap periodically (I know I do!).

There is some perverse but widely-held viewpoint that seems to insist that anything worthwhile should come from a "no pain, no gain" lifestyle. Some things do include pain, but adopting it as a lifestyle and a career mode doesn't quite match with the way people are uniquely gifted.

Glad the weeks started off well with this one...

Steve Roesler


It would have surprised me if you hadn't shown up with the Gallup testimonial. Although not the first to talk about the importance of strengths, they did it in a way that finally grabbed people's attention.

Your growing businesses offer a good example of how this works in real life.

Steve Roesler


You know, I hadn't thought of the "falling to the bottom of the to-do list" as a simple diagnostic that people can use. I confess, that's probably how I originally followed my path in life but didn't make the simple-yet-profound connection. (Duh).

My experience with strengths: Even when it becomes obvious during coaching sessions what a client's strengths are, it is often denied. Although there are lots of presenting reasons, the real reason is that the person will need to make some changes and is scared and/or unwilling to do so.

I've often thought of writing a book of real-life stories titled "In Search of Mediocrity."

Steve Roesler

Hello, Peter,

Indeed, the "strengths alone" approach isn't going to allow one a complete and accurate picture of the self. And, as with exercise, you may have terrific upper body strength and lift weights to magnify it; however, by ignoring the rest of the body, one can end up with legs too weak to support the torso.

I continue to emphasize the strengths thing periodically because of what I see as the norm in corporations. That is, "developmental feedback" frequently focuses only on "gaps," many of which will never be closed and many of which aren't even important to the job (but the boss thinks one *should* have a particular skill/trait). So my crusade is to get people talking about what they are really good at, what they really contribute, and then what they need to do to get some of the related skills upgraded. Like vitamins, unless we at least meet a minimum daily requirement in certain areas, our effectiveness will suffer.

Steve Roesler


I'm beginning to wonder how much of this really starts early on in life when youngsters are encouraged to be what someone else wants them to be vs. who they really are. The intentions are usually good and designed to help them become "somebody." But the "somebody" turns out to be somebody else.

Ellen Weber

Great post, Steve, and interesting questions posed. I like the formations of each group size you named here -- as long as we create tone together to discuss and learn from opposing views. When arrogance or cynicism enters and fixates on domineering - I like a smaller group to re-create the tone skills needed to move a group forward:-) Does that make sense?

Tom Magness

Nice post, Steve. I've always thought that if you can work in the "sweet spot" where what you are good at interstects with what you are passionate about, then work no longer becomes work! You will never have any problem getting out of bed and won't be able to wait to start your day. Thanks!

Steve Roesler


Interestingly, research shows that the size of the group in which one initiates and relates most effectively is the key determining factor in long-term satisfaction and productivity. As a result of being in one's "element", the tone factor is enhanced.

Life and work aren't perfect, so everyone needs to get more comfortable outside of the inherent comfort zone in order to live fully.

Steve Roesler

Hi, Tom,

I'm with you on the "sweet spot" thing, which is what this is all about.

At the same time, there are related activities that we might not be thrilled about but really need to do in order to live at that intersection. I think that's the part that falls into the category "Are you willing to pay the price?"


Steve, once you pointed out to your class member, that they were a natural at project mangement, did they have to courage to go for it!!! Often times people are held back by a fear of failure and miss out on doing what comes natural. What do you think of overcoming fear?

Paco Bailac

I am a Coach from Barcelona, Congratulations for you blogg


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