Top 5 Tips to Always Lead with Strengths

By Liz Bapasola, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Founder and CEO of Liz Bapasola & Associates

One of the three parts of The Equation, or formula to live your best life and reach your full potential, is to Lead with Strengths. With an understanding that Leadership = Conviction x Action and Strengths = Investment x Talent, Leading with Strengths can sometimes be easier said than done. Often times challenges (whether project-based or people-based) prevent us from utilizing our strengths or put our passions into motion. This can leave us frustrated and deflated. To prevent these feelings and put you in a positive direction on a straight and narrow path to reach your full potential, here are my top 5 tips for leading with strengths.

1. See Obstacles as Opportunities. What you focus on always expands, and if you understand every situation to be an opportunity for growth and a chance to leverage your talents and put your convictions into action, you'll always be in a better place to lead with strengths. Look at life as a series of opportunities to learn and grow, knowing that any challenge can be viewed as a way to get a little better every day.

2. Love and Leverage Your Talents. Knowing your talents, or your natural way of thinking, behaving, and feeling, is just the start in Leading with Strengths. The next steps are to love and embrace how you naturally see and operate in the world. You want to love them so much that you seek out opportunities to leverage and invest in your talents so they always serve you well and are productively applied. 

3. Stay Focused on Your Goals. To put your convictions into action you must stay the course and keep a relentless focus on your goals. Often times naysayers, critics, or even well-intention loved ones will try to give you a reality check and tell you that your goals are unrealistic and unattainable. Don't be dismayed. Have a healthy disregard for the impossible, recognizing that while your goals may take shape and reshape over time, you should always strive to be your best and Lead with Strengths.

4. Surround Yourself with Other Strengths-based Leaders. I have always said that one of the best reflections of who you are is seen in the 5 most important people in your life. Surrounding yourself with like-minded, strengths-based, passionate, and action-oriented people will inspire you to do the same. Like attracts like, so intentionally put yourself in situations with other strengths-based leaders and team members.

5. Reflect, Recharge, Renew. I cannot stress enough the importance of self-reflection and self-care. Reflection allows you the opportunity to cultivate your Emotional Intelligence and reconsider your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order for you to improve every day. Recharging allows you to refuel your inner and outer self in order to feel ready to start a new day and a new set of challenges. Renewing your spirit by enjoying relaxing and/or fun activities with those you love will only help set you up for greater success.

Leading with Strengths isn't easy, but armed with these top 5 tips it just got a little easier.