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Often, people who listen to the show, or have attended one of my events will ask me things like how do you remember so much? How do you get so much accomplished? I don't work that hard. I've just figured out how to work smarter. It all started with one book and a personality assessment. I used to struggle with trying to do too much and trying to be good at everything. It left me frustrated, and I gave up on many projects because I couldn't keep things organized. I always believed that to be successful in business, you needed to be organized and structured and keep lists and check everything off the list. I would buy another organizing system, read more books on how to be organized. I've even attended multiple seminars and spent thousands of dollars. It never worked, and it just left me frustrated. So much so that I started to believe that I would never be successful.
Then I read one book that changed everything. The book is:
About the Author: Marcus Buckingham is a British-American New York Times best-selling author, researcher, motivational speaker, and business consultant best known for promoting what he calls "Strengths." Basing most of his writing on extensive survey data from interviews with workers in countries around the world, he supports the idea that people will get the best results by making the most of their strengths rather than putting too much emphasis on weaknesses or perceived deficiencies.
The book is based on a "Strengths Test" or"Personality Profile". I have taken several tests like this over the years, and they are all interesting, but I have never found one to be as useful as the "Standout" assessment.
When you buy the book, you will get a code to take the assessment online. It's relatively simple, the questions put you in different situations and ask you how you would react, it's multiple-choice, and there are no wrong answers. Based on your responses, the program highlights your top two strengths out of nine possibilities.
The idea then is to spend as much time working in your strengths as possible and finding ways to work around or even ignore your weaknesses. This one simple idea changed everything for me.
Here is the summary of my two strengths and how to make them work. See if you recognize any of this in the way that I work now.
Kevin Rutherford - Greatest Value to the team:
You are the one who brings energy to novelty. You are the serial entrepreneur. You will thrive anywhere that we are launching a new product, or putting a new concept to the test, and we need someone to push us to take action in the face of this uncertainty. You are the one who tells us, "You have to go with me on this!" and we do. You raise the funding. You launch the new product. You champion the experiments that no one else believes in. You have to convince everyone to embrace the new and bring it to life, make it real and useful -- you won't be doing that yourself, because you've already moved on to the next challenge. Your blessing and your curse are that you are quickly and easily bored. You make sure that we never stagnate or rest on our laurels.
Advisor- You are a practical, concrete thinker who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people's problems
Connector- You are a catalyst. Your power lies in your craving to bring two people or ideas together to make something bigger and better than it is now
Creator- You make sense of the world “pulling it apart,” seeing a better configuration, and creating it.
Equalizer- You are a levelheaded person whose power comes from keeping the world in balance, ethically, and practically.
Influencer- You engage people directly and persuade them to act. Your power is your persuasion.
Pioneer- You see the world as a friendly place where around every corner, good things will happen. Your power comes from your optimism in the face of uncertainty.
Provider- You sense other people's feelings, and you feel compelled to recognize those feelings, give them a voice, and act on them.
Stimulator- You are the host of other people's emotions. You feel responsible for them, for turning them around, for elevating them.
One thing to keep in mind is that this assessment is designed to show your "potential" strengths based on your personality. I have administered this test to over 100 people since it came out and one of the most common things I hear is, "that's not me," "I'm not like that," "those aren't my strengths." Keep an open mind, the idea is that you work to build these strengths. Another thing to consider is that people sometimes don't like their results and wish that they had different strengths. There are no "good" or "bad" strengths. It's how you use them that matters. We have built our entire team at Let's Truck around this concept of encouraging people and letting them work in their strengths. It's not easy, but it has enormous payoffs when done correctly.
Give it a try, it's an easy read, and you may find a way to be much happier and more effective in your job or business. What have you got to lose? If you take the assessment, call me and discuss it on the air. I love helping people understand this concept and put it to use!
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