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  1. #1
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Default Developing Your Natural Strengths/Talents...

    I have come to the realization that much of my career over the past 15 years has caused me to develop my skill set in areas that I do not naturally gravitate to.

    For instance, I worked as techie for 10 years, and one of my first jobs was as an applications developer/programmer. The level of detail I had to operate at really drove me batshit at first. But once I found my groove, I rode it out and then life being how it is I ended up jumping to another job a few years later and that was that. That type of event has happened a number of times though.

    Part of my remedy for being stuck doing something that I wasn't really nuts about was to leverage that knowledge to do something I was more into. Because I had programming experience and could write well, I got a job as a business analyst. As a business analyst, I got to lead work teams and run requirements meetings. Sounds like an audience to me, and a chance to do analysis on the fly, and dish out some ideas to solve problesm, cool!

    So, it appears that there is a natural instinct for me to find a way to do what I am naturally good at. I will learn new skills as I want to or need to, but when it comes down to it I like applying what I know to real world problems, working with people, and making things happen.

    Two questions:
    (1) Has anyone else noticed similar trends in their career thus far?

    (2) Have you ever thought about focusing on what your natural gifts are, your talents, and developing them to their fullest, instead of doing what you "need to" with all your effort? If you've done it, how did it work out for you?

    Cheers,

    -Halla
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  2. #2
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Two questions:
    (1) Has anyone else noticed similar trends in their career thus far?

    (2) Have you ever thought about focusing on what your natural gifts are, your talents, and developing them to their fullest, instead of doing what you "need to" with all your effort? If you've done it, how did it work out for you?
    Halla - I used to frequently wonder what my various interests, experience and skills would bring me - they were soooo eclectic and ranged from Mental Health Nursing, Electronics, Logic and Psychology, Retail, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (too much to tell on that one for here and now), Vector Graphics, Typography and the Maths of Design, Talent & Aptitude.

    It wasn't until I was asked to come and set up the fulltime Qualifications for PrePress at the college at which I am working now, that it all came to gel. Since then I have followed my passions and it has enhanced what I do.

    I am also quite direct in identifying issues and posing solutions where others are too fearful to tread and now, because of the quality of the work I have produced (again another story) I am frequently asked to be part of panels that can make a difference in the way we approach training here.

    I guess what I CAN pass on is that there is no skill or working or leisure experience wasted in your life. They can all contribute to an extremely satisfying career. Just recognise your strengths, have confidence in them and continue to accumulate knowledge and skills!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Two questions:
    (1) Has anyone else noticed similar trends in their career thus far?

    (2) Have you ever thought about focusing on what your natural gifts are, your talents, and developing them to their fullest, instead of doing what you "need to" with all your effort? If you've done it, how did it work out for you?

    Cheers,

    -Halla
    I need to think more on the first question. I am sure there is...

    I have thought about the second question. That is actually what got me interested in mbti initially. I spent a lot of time on learning how to build strengths before joining the forum, even now I enjoy learning about that kind of thing. Just this evening I was reading about mastery.

    I became interested initially through the work of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and flow. The idea of the flow state intrigued me and still does. Then I became interested in the strengths movement through strengthsfinder, the book I read was Now, Discover Your Strengths. From that book I learnt that to build your talents into strengths it takes skill and knowledge. These are the two leverage points, the way to find your talents is to look at what you are pulled to do, what you like to do.

    I have used that to try and build positions that suit me, rather than just doing what is asked of me. For example I tend to like giving advice and specific tips and tricks in the gym so I have built my gym job around that. Also I enjoy one on one more than teams and I am better at building relationships than breaking new ground. So I have tried to incorporate that too and it has helped.

    This is a really interesting subject. I'll post more when I am not so tired. Awesome subject!

  4. #4
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Halla - I used to frequently wonder what my various interests, experience and skills would bring me - they were soooo eclectic and ranged from Mental Health Nursing, Electronics, Logic and Psychology, Retail, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (too much to tell on that one for here and now), Vector Graphics, Typography and the Maths of Design, Talent & Aptitude.
    Yay! I'm not the only one whose talents and interests are scattered!

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    It wasn't until I was asked to come and set up the fulltime Qualifications for PrePress at the college at which I am working now, that it all came to gel. Since then I have followed my passions and it has enhanced what I do.
    Nice!
    I'm glad you got a chance to apply your universal skill set!

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I am also quite direct in identifying issues and posing solutions where others are too fearful to tread and now, because of the quality of the work I have produced (again another story) I am frequently asked to be part of panels that can make a difference in the way we approach training here.
    I love problem solving too, especially if it is unconventional as hell. If it's a problem that is complicated, risky, important, needs to be implemented in very little time, and there are limited staff/other resources to utilize, I am all over it. It's more of a challenge to do things that way. Besides, in the real world, every employer/client I have worked for seems to want something for nothing, wishes for massive leaps in productivity with little investment or organizational change. I accomodate their needs to the best of my ability, but at some point the rubber hits the road and you have to pitch your plan:

    "If you want X, Y, and Z by Month/Date/Year then you must stop doing "A", start doing "B", and re-train the people from this department to do things in the other department."

    I have found that the amount of support you will be given is directly commensurate with (a) your relationship with the project sponsor (trust, credibility, good history, or new random person?), and (b) the importance of the endeavor at hand.

    Recently I designed an information system to support a new health care program that must implement in October of this year. I did my research and came up with a strategy, documented it, and pitched it to the "project stakeholder group." Well, none of these folks wanted to do anything new. None of them understood the new program, or the totality of the Agency's IT infrastructure. I did because I worked as a software developer for 10 years, and for a similar health care agency for 4 years prior to taking my job here. No one could shoot a hole through my plan, but no one had the balls to bless it. Only when the clock began ticking and the totality of the situatuion became more apparent to management did they give me the go ahead to build the system.

    That is one thing I do not like about public sector work, is that the strict organizational roles and responsibilities do not support agile projects that require cross-functional skill sets.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I guess what I CAN pass on is that there is no skill or working or leisure experience wasted in your life. They can all contribute to an extremely satisfying career.
    I really like what you wrote above, and I believe in it whole heartedly myself, I truly do. Once you recognize that truth, it makes learning to do things outside of your comfort zone much more bearable, as you have accepted that the experience will ultimately benefit you in the totality of your career endeavors.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Just recognise your strengths, have confidence in them and continue to accumulate knowledge and skills!
    DAMN GOOD ADVICE.

    Where am I deficient? Hmmm... Recognizing my skills. Yep. I know generically what I am good at, but I have never tried to systematically identify my strengths and weaknesses, and focus on developing my strengths. The reason I am interested in doing this is based on something I read in an e-mail about "Leadership" from the MAPP folks:

    Quote Originally Posted by MAPP
    Talent is what we do well naturally. It is our bent. Talents are inborn, and can be discovered and developed. They cannot be taught. However, skills can. Skills are simply how to do something. They are learned
    and transferable.
    When we confuse talent and skill, we set ourselves up for disappointing expectations from training.

    What does this have to do with developing leaders? Everything. For
    example, the ability to create vision and strategy is a key leadership
    trait. Some people have a talent for it. They do it naturally
    and continually. Others don’t. Both can learn some skills that will
    help them do it better. The difference is that the one with the
    corresponding talent can be excellent at it, while the other
    one can be adequate at best. Talent is required for excellence.
    Who wants more "adequate" leaders?
    I thought the above interesting...

    Regarding the continued pursuit of knowledge and skills, when I first started working my Dad told me:

    "There are three things you need to have under your belt to qualify for high paying/important jobs: (1) A master's degree, (2) At least 10 years professional work experience, and (3) a professional certification of some kind."

    This list seems to be of some validity, but he missed a critical fourth factor: (4) Networking to create new opportunities.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I need to think more on the first question. I am sure there is...
    It will be interesting to hear it when it is conjured from your mind!

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I have thought about the second question. That is actually what got me interested in mbti initially. I spent a lot of time on learning how to build strengths before joining the forum, even now I enjoy learning about that kind of thing. Just this evening I was reading about mastery.
    That's cool. Your interest in MBTI was initiated by constructive self development. I found MBTI through a different channnel, that of marriage counseling but I maintain that it has helped me understand myself and others better than I did before...and kept me out of the doghouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I became interested initially through the work of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and flow. The idea of the flow state intrigued me and still does.
    A most excellent find! Thank you for this link!

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Then I became interested in the strengths movement through strengthsfinder, the book I read was Now, Discover Your Strengths.
    Another good one, awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    From that book I learnt that to build your talents into strengths it takes skill and knowledge. These are the two leverage points, the way to find your talents is to look at what you are pulled to do, what you like to do.
    That is very cool how you put those together, I will certainly look into these in my quest to do what you have already done. Thanks for lighting the way, Bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I have used that to try and build positions that suit me, rather than just doing what is asked of me.
    Yes, I love doing this. I love getting a job that no one has ever done before. I don't want to learn the 20 years of dysfunctional shit that occurred before I got here, I want to look at things the way they are now, determine how things must eveolve into the future, and formulate a new plan of attack to do things better, faster, and easier. YES!

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    For example I tend to like giving advice and specific tips and tricks in the gym so I have built my gym job around that. Also I enjoy one on one more than teams and I am better at building relationships than breaking new ground. So I have tried to incorporate that too and it has helped.
    Two very good real life examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    This is a really interesting subject. I'll post more when I am not so tired. Awesome subject!
    I'm really looking forward to hearing your additional thoughts. Have a good one, Commander!
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  5. #5
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Yay! I'm not the only one whose talents and interests are scattered!
    Most definitely not alone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I love problem solving too, especially if it is unconventional as hell. If it's a problem that is complicated, risky, important, needs to be implemented in very little time, and there are limited staff/other resources to utilize, I am all over it. It's more of a challenge to do things that way. Besides, in the real world, every employer/client I have worked for seems to want something for nothing, wishes for massive leaps in productivity with little investment or organizational change. I accomodate their needs to the best of my ability, but at some point the rubber hits the road and you have to pitch your plan:

    "If you want X, Y, and Z by Month/Date/Year then you must stop doing "A", start doing "B", and re-train the people from this department to do things in the other department."
    Are you certain you are not an NT - or at the very least and XT???

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I have found that the amount of support you will be given is directly commensurate with (a) your relationship with the project sponsor (trust, credibility, good history, or new random person?), and (b) the importance of the endeavor at hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Recently I designed an information system to support a new health care program that must implement in October of this year. I did my research and came up with a strategy, documented it, and pitched it to the "project stakeholder group." Well, none of these folks wanted to do anything new. None of them understood the new program, or the totality of the Agency's IT infrastructure. I did because I worked as a software developer for 10 years, and for a similar health care agency for 4 years prior to taking my job here. No one could shoot a hole through my plan, but no one had the balls to bless it. Only when the clock began ticking and the totality of the situatuion became more apparent to management did they give me the go ahead to build the system.

    That is one thing I do not like about public sector work, is that the strict organizational roles and responsibilities do not support agile projects that require cross-functional skill sets.
    The problem with public sector work is that they are generally incapable of the flexibility Harvard Business Systems calls Disruptive Management - or the ability to change direction immediately if necessary or advantageous.

    You then also have those who are protecting their turf and/or have no vision.

    Incidentally, functional teams are generally those put dtogether by identifying the skills necessary for a project to succeed. Research shows however that where managers are not type aware, they frequently recruit others of their own type rather than the talents required to successfully complete a project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I really like what you wrote above, and I believe in it whole heartedly myself, I truly do. Once you recognize that truth, it makes learning to do things outside of your comfort zone much more bearable, as you have accepted that the experience will ultimately benefit you in the totality of your career endeavors.
    These days I only have to work in areas outside my interest infrequently as I have a boss who wants to fully use my skills and encourages me to explore my areas of interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Where am I deficient? Hmmm... Recognizing my skills. Yep. I know generically what I am good at, but I have never tried to systematically identify my strengths and weaknesses, and focus on developing my strengths. The reason I am interested in doing this is based on something I read in an e-mail about "Leadership" from the MAPP folks:
    I have not seen the MAPP stuff before but will Google it - it is very consistent with my own beliefs. I am a reluctant leader but do take it on when it needs to achieve something about which I am passionate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Regarding the continued pursuit of knowledge and skills, when I first started working my Dad told me:

    "There are three things you need to have under your belt to qualify for high paying/important jobs: (1) A master's degree, (2) At least 10 years professional work experience, and (3) a professional certification of some kind."

    This list seems to be of some validity, but he missed a critical fourth factor: (4) Networking to create new opportunities.
    It is perhaps ODD that I am in Education and Training because I am definitely the anti-teacher! LOL

    I disagree with some of your dad's thoughts on this. My list is as follows:


    1. Find out who you are and pursue your passions by being a self determined learner.
    2. Formal education should provide you with the tools to enable life-long passions for learning.
    3. The focus in education or training should not be the piece of paper, but the understanding you need to become adept with practise. There are too many who are competent theoretically because they learned the right things to say and reference by rote.
    4. Your best source of knowledge throughout your life should come from your own exploration, lightbulb moments, and experience from everything that you do. A great book to read (or video) on this is "the pleasure of finding things out" by Nobel Phycisist, Richard Feynman
    5. Patience and an ego that will allow you to seed ideas with a number of the right people (at the same time) and allow them to think they have thought of it themselves.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

  6. #6
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    PS

    if you have the patience:

    THE PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT, Richard Feynman Interview (1981)
    BBC Horizon/PBS Nova THE PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT, Richard Feynman Interview (1981) Fifty minutes of PURE Feynman! This is the original Horizon Nova interview - essential for any Feynman fan... and for everyone else too! "I'm an explorer, OK I like to find out!" Richard Feynman, physicist and adventurer extraordinary... THE PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT was filmed in 1981 and will delight and inspire anyone who would like to share something of the joys of scientific discovery. Feynman is a master storyteller, and his tales -- about childhood, Los Alamos, or how he won a Nobel Prize -- are a vivid and entertaining insight into the mind of a great scientist at work and play. "The 1981 Feynman Horizon is the best science program I have ever seen. This is not just my opinion - it is also the opinion of many of the best scientists that I know who have seen the program... It should be mandatory viewing for all students whether they be science or arts students." - Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Prize for Chemistry
    The book on this is one of my favourites
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

  7. #7
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Most definitely not alone!
    We extroverts don't like being by ourselves, you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Are you certain you are not an NT - or at the very least and XT???
    If you look at the stats in my footer, I am actually fairly balanced on N/S and P/J. Given the margin of error on any test, it's fair to say that I am ExTP, or even ExTx. I am super organized, and I don't see everything in shades of grey.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    The problem with public sector work is that they are generally incapable of the flexibility Harvard Business Systems calls Disruptive Management - or the ability to change direction immediately if necessary or advantageous.
    Yes! And, they have no concept of what a "sunk cost" is, and when to abandon a lost cause. They also have alot of people clinging to their fiefdoms for fear of having their workflow redefined by a single project. There are other issues, but there are alot of good parts too, all in all I am enjoying it for now. With 2 small children and me finishing my master's degree it's nice to have a job that is somewhat predictable instead of batshit bonkers like my last few jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    You then also have those who are protecting their turf and/or have no vision.
    Yes. Luckily, they expose themselves easily enough when change is imminent, as they don't see it coming, they think that special person who got them the job will save them, but that's not always possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Incidentally, functional teams are generally those put dtogether by identifying the skills necessary for a project to succeed. Research shows however that where managers are not type aware, they frequently recruit others of their own type rather than the talents required to successfully complete a project.
    I am VERY good at summing people's skills up. After one meeting where I have some dialogue with them I can gauge their capacity to contribute needed skills to a project with 80% or better accuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    These days I only have to work in areas outside my interest infrequently as I have a boss who wants to fully use my skills and encourages me to explore my areas of interest.
    Good for you!!! That's awesome!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I have not seen the MAPP stuff before but will Google it - it is very consistent with my own beliefs. I am a reluctant leader but do take it on when it needs to achieve something about which I am passionate.
    They have a free version of their test, I paid for the $30 one to get some additional info. The site is actually Assessment.com - Home to the MAPP Assessment and more

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    It is perhaps ODD that I am in Education and Training because I am definitely the anti-teacher! LOL
    That's so funny! I looove teaching! I love a crowd of any kind, but I do like helping people alot, and teaching is helping in one of its purest forms.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I disagree with some of your dad's thoughts on this.
    He was being overly utilitarian (ESTJ) I think! From what he saw as a Colonel in the U.S. Army, those criteria probably qualified people for good positions in the organizations he worked in/commanded. I don't buy int it 100%, but I don't think any of the items on his list can "hurt" you if you have them...

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    My list is as follows:

    1. Find out who you are and pursue your passions by being a self determined learner.
    1. Yes indeed!

      Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    2. Formal education should provide you with the tools to enable life-long passions for learning.
    I think alot of people wish their education gave them this...

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
  8. The focus in education or training should not be the piece of paper, but the understanding you need to become adept with practise. There are too many who are competent theoretically because they learned the right things to say and reference by rote.
This is actually where school leaves you hanging, right before you get to the good stuff!

Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
  • Your best source of knowledge throughout your life should come from your own exploration, lightbulb moments, and experience from everything that you do. A great book to read (or video) on this is "the pleasure of finding things out" by Nobel Phycisist, Richard Feynman
  • Amazon.com here I come!

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
  • Patience and an ego that will allow you to seed ideas with a number of the right people (at the same time) and allow them to think they have thought of it themselves.
  • I do this now, Muhahaaa. "A good facilitator conducts his work, and at the point in time the project is completed, he disappears into the background without a trace." FROM: "The Skilled Facilitator"

    Thank you for your reply!!!
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote Developing Your Natural Strengths/Talents... Send PM  

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    I really enjoyed the strengthsfinder test. I did the first test with Now discover your strengths. I thought it was a pretty good test and gave me pretty accurate results. Results I didn't buy into immediately but over time I found to be true.

    Another book I have is Go put your strengths to work. There is a pretty good prevew on that google books page by the looks of it. It is a plan for putting your strengths into practice. To be honest it didn't change my life, I didn't finish the plan but I got some interesting tips and tricks from it. Now that I think about it I will pull it out again and have another try.

    I am sure I have some links to mp3 that the author put up on the web. You'll need to annoy me to find them.

    One thing that has always stuck with me from strengths stuff is the ability to use your strengths to minimise weakness. A quote from one of the books has stuck with me it is a weakness only if it interferes with your ability to achieve an objective. All of us are riddled with areas that are relatively weak, so how can we define a weakness? By the objective.

    Again, this is a great topic and thanks to you my interest has been rekindled.

    One danger in this strengths stuff, the same with mbti and flow and all of that is that because it is so interesting I became immersed in that. You see what I mean? It is cool though, I love to learn.

    Here are my strengthsfinder results

    Input

    People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

    Learner

    People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

    Relator

    People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

    Futuristic

    People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

    Intellection

    People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.


    Here is a link to the rest.
    It has an annoying pop up you'll need to close, sorry for the extra finger use.

  • #9
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I have come to the realization that much of my career over the past 15 years has caused me to develop my skill set in areas that I do not naturally gravitate to.

    So, it appears that there is a natural instinct for me to find a way to do what I am naturally good at. I will learn new skills as I want to or need to, but when it comes down to it I like applying what I know to real world problems, working with people, and making things happen.

    Two questions:
    (1) Has anyone else noticed similar trends in their career thus far?
    I think earlier in my career, I did not know what I was capable of, so I did not necessarily know what to gravitate to.

    MBTI actually did help but what it really took was others who saw something in me and gave me responsibilities that I didn't know I was ready for.

    I went through some pain being thrust into it but that period was the single most important inflection point in my career. The second most significant inflection point was earlier on, jumping into a very unproven area that I thought would be important some time in the future. I was a bit early in my predictions but in retrospect, that was not all bad.

    Since then, I've found that I'm very good at a number of things that I did not realize and maybe good but not as differentiated at others that I thought I was good at. I think some of this is luck, some is circumstance, some is naturally gravitating to things, and some is intentional focus.

    Looking back, I would have probably been better off going into an entrepreneurial venture earlier but then things always happen for a reason

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    (2) Have you ever thought about focusing on what your natural gifts are, your talents, and developing them to their fullest, instead of doing what you "need to" with all your effort? If you've done it, how did it work out for you?
    Now Discover Your Strengths is a good book. One of the better concepts is that if an area is a weakness, you can 1) get a little better 2) stop doing it or 3) team with others who have that as a strength. There is one danger however. It is easy to use this as an excuse to focus energies on things you want to do vs. things you should do. There are many things we really need to be doing but may not want to do. The other thing is that this book and the follow on book(s) are not quite so effective in providing concrete direction on exactly what you should do to develop the strengths. So, it is wonderful theory but needs a more pragmatic tail.

    Speaking of being pragmatic, you had a quote on leadership above. By far, the best and most practical thing I've read on it is this.

    The leadership challenge [Book]

    It was an enormous help to me at a point when I needed it.

    Finally, one another thing that I found quite useful. It cost a little money, but the report was very good.

    About-CareerLeader

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I took the StrengthsFinder test twice two years apart. The following were the results I got:

    Traits I got Both Times:

    Achiever

    People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

    Command

    People strong in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.

    Focus

    People strong in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.

    Ideation

    People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

    Traits I got One of Two Times

    First time I took it, I got:
    Restorative

    People strong in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.

    Second time, I got this instead of Restorative
    Strategic

    People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

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