Supercharge your strengths

You can’t drive change alone.  You’ll need help.  You’ll need to find your Ando.

On the TV show Heroes, Ando is the loyal friend of hero Hiro.

Ando’s special ability is called supercharging.  Ando’s presence allows other “evolved humans” to elevate their powers, sometimes by 1,000 times.

Imagine what you could do with 1,000 times your own abilities!

In the show, Ando got his strengths multiplying ability after injecting himself with a crazy formula.  Please don’t encourage/trick a loyal friend into any injections!  There’s a better way.

Instead, take Gallup’s Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment and encourage your loyal friends/indifferent co-workers to do the same.

What’ll it cost you?

About $14 and an hour per assessment.

What’ll it get you?

Words to describe your strengths, details on your friends/co-workers strengths and a new opportunity to find your strengths match, your Ando.

What’ll it look like?

Say you’re a strategic thinker (the assessment will tell you if you are).  You know what changes need to be made to make your work group to be more effective, but you can’t get anyone to listen to your ideas.  You need to partner with an influencer, someone who can sell your ideas to the people in power.  If you’re a “get ‘er done” executor-type that happens to get ‘er done so well sometimes you lose team members along the way, you’d benefit from having a relationship-building partner that keeps the team together while you all get the job done.

When you pool your strengths finder results you’ll have all you need to find someone who matches your strengths and amplifies your potential.

I know your Ando is out there.

Why not try for 1,000 times your strengths?

Or:

Have you found your Ando already?  Tell us how.  Comment away!

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No limits

Today at Seth Godin’s blog, under the title “Accepting Limits”:

It’s absurd to look at a three year old toddler and say, “this kid can’t read or do math or even string together a coherent paragraph. He’s a dolt and he’s never going to amount to anything.” No, we don’t say that because we know we can teach and motivate and cajole the typical kid to be able to do all of these things.

Why is it okay, then, to look at a teenager and say, “this kid will never be a leader, never run a significant organization, never save a life, never inspire or create…”

Just because it’s difficult to grade doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taught.

Never mind a teenager. I think it’s wrong to say that about someone who’s fifty.

Isn’t it absurd to focus so much energy on ‘practical’ skills that prep someone for a life of following instructions but relentlessly avoid the difficult work necessary to push someone to reinvent themselves into becoming someone who makes a difference?

And isn’t it even worse to write off a person or an organization merely because of what they are instead of what they might become?

My local friends and I  have been having this conversation over and over again, while training our combination of Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Marcus Buckingham’s Trombone Player Wanted.

The question: Can you really make yourself into something special, something more than you ever expected?

Our answer: Yes!

Of the more than 100 people we’ve trained we’ve have 20-year-old and 60-year-olds and everyone in between.  The 60-year-olds wish they’d had the training when they were 20 and the 20-year-olds wish they’d had it when they were 17. Why do they wish they’d had it before?  Because our message is Godin’s message: Know your strengths. Know other’s strengths.  Stop putting people into “only as good as X” boxes and let everyone achieve their best.

Why not try at least?

There are many people, organizations, you-name-it in the world that will happily continue to tell you that you, your organization, your you-name-it won’t ever be anything more than what you are today.  Stop listening to them!

If you like that comfortable, keep-at-it, self-limiting talk, you’re in the wrong place.  You’ll get none of that talk here.

My favorite Buckingham lines from Trombone Player Wanted are (and I’ll admit to paraphrasing):

You have real and powerful strengths.  No one has the exact strengths as you.  And you’ll make your biggest impact on the world when you find those strengths and train them and offer them repeatedly to the world.

According to StrengthsFinder 2.0 I’m a maximizer.  The Gallup Management Journal says, for maximizers:

Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling.

Yep.  That’s me.  I love it!  All of you are strong in something and deserve the time and attention to develop into something superb.  I’m overjoyed to be on the journey with you.

If you’re up for no limits, welcome to Engine for Change.

Feel free to invite your friends along for the ride.  The more the merrier.

Who doesn’t like a trip to someplace special, someplace superb?

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Cheap way to find your strengths

Want to improve yourself, your work, your family?  Stop focusing your limited improvement time on your weaknesses.  Spend the bulk of that time on your strengths.

If you don’t know what your strengths are, you should find out.  And, finding out has never been cheaper.

For less than the price of a movie ticket (and popcorn), and for less than the time to watch the movie, you can learn your top five strengths.

How? The Story Continues…

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Can you find 1,000 people?

Seth Godin lays down a challenge:  Can you organize 1,000 people committed to your cause, product, or interest? If you could, imagine what you could do.

If you couldn’t name 100 let alone 1,000 people, don’t fear.  Start small.  Besides, not all change requires 1,000.

If you own a business in a competitive market, 1,000 may not be enough, but you can start with 20 and work your way from there.  Or if you want to improve your local school, a core group of 25 or 50 parents may be all you need to change the reading curriculum or gain funding for the after school arts project.

Building relationships is a strength of mine.  I’m energized by meeting new people, getting them to like me and forming a strong bond with them.   I build the relationships because I enjoy knowing more about the people around me: what their strengths are, how their family is and what they want to accomplish at work and in life.

Today I finished addressing, stuffing, licking and stamping the last of my 275 Christmas cards; 275 cards going out to co-workers, friends and family. My husband likes to joke that we send a Christmas card to anyone I’ve ever walked by in the Pentagon.  While that’s funny, if I actually did that I could probably send 750 more.   If asked I could tell you how I met each person on my Christmas card list, I could go on and on about what they mean to me and why it matters so much for me to send them a family photo and a letter each year, just to let them know I’m thinking of them over the holidays.

What if you aren’t a relationship builder? What if you’re the technology guy or the details woman?  Then find someone to partner with who is a relationship builder.  Maybe this partner know nothing about your cause but they know everyone who needs to know.  Let them offer their strength while you offer yours.

Wondering how to find this relationship building partner?  Start a Facebook account, link to your friends and look to see how many friends they have.  In all likelihood, their Facebook friends represent only a small percentage of the people they know.

If you’re a manager, look for that employee that you probably think talks too much.  If they’re always talking to different people, they may be the employee that knows who’s who in your workplace’s zoo.  They can get you at least a few steps closer to the person you need to partner with.

So whether you build your own 1,000 or borrow someone’s  if you want to make a difference, start gathering your group or tribe or army today.  And, try to have fun doing it.

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