Play to Your Strengths or Die

July 21, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

What are your strengths, not just as a leader but as a person, too?

Perhaps the most dreaded of all questions in a job interview is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” After all, listing too many positives can sound like bragging, and who wants to admit they even have areas that need improvement? The thing is, even if you’re not currently looking for a career change, a periodic self-assessment can be a great tool for self-improvement, greater success, and yes – increased happiness.

The best way to accomplish this is to use pen and paper and to take some time for an honest evaluation of yourself as a leader, and as a person. Break your self-assessment down into three columns where you can list your skills based on experience and education, portability, and personal traits. Your hand-written assessment might look something like this:

Previous Experience Portable Skills Personal Traits
Marketing knowledge Customer focus Self-starter
Communications skills Communications Independent
Vendor management Writing skills Friendly
Press and industry relations Very organized Well-organized
Web channel marketing Good at coordinating Quick learner
Product development Team leader Good judgment
Computer skills Problem solving Good attitude
Project management Creative
Excellent follow-through Analytical
Good with budgets and numbers Flexible
Time management Good sense of humor


Once you’ve developed your list, you can begin to rate each of your skills, looking for areas that need improvement that will make you a better leader – and a better person. Doing this will lead to a realistic evaluation of your skills and talents, which will surely lead to increased success – and happiness.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years as a CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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