July 21, 2014
Tapping Into Your Team’s Strengths by Roger Garber
Just over two years ago, I left the family business that I’d been involved in for 30 years. It was a privilege to partner with my father, brother and nephew in business. As a large, closely-knit family, we worked together and played together.
However, I began to feel called to make an occupational transition. While I loved my job and co-workers, my wife and I believed it was time to take a step of faith, to experience some risk as we separated from a company that had provided us with much security, and to travel a path to something more. I knew I’d miss the working relationships.
I also knew there would be opportunities where I could more fully use my gifts.
The use of gifts is a key to workplace success and general fulfillment in life. As I looked at the many opportunities presented to me….starting, buying or joining a business…I began to focus on my passion, competency, and aptitude. In a word, strengths. I began to think about what I had in my hands.
Organizations need to do the same. Growth or diversification may not be healthy if it’s in an area where the business has limited knowledge, skill or passion. When team members work in positions that best use their strengths, they benefit and the organization benefits.
Developing awareness of those strengths requires intentionality on the part of the leader and the employee. It may take reflection; it may require personal assessment. It requires the leader to know the gifts of the employee and to encourage the employee to notice and build on their personal strengths. Often this is a new task. Peter Drucker says, “Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer.”
What’s in the hands of your organization and team members? When you figure this out and tap into it every day, your team will be more loyal, your business more productive, and your customers will notice the difference.