SuccessMapping® by Leading with Personal Strengths!

Doing-more-with-less has been, and threatens to remain, the mantra of our times. Already difficult for many, this mindset and resulting behaviors can have additional unexpected and far reaching consequences. From student to CEO, the evidence mounts on just how energy draining and growth limiting doing-more-with-less can have on individuals and organizations.

Continued practice of this personal or business mantra can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that results in having less. So here's a warning: When you are operating from a mindset and behaviors of scarcity and fear rather than a mindset of potential abundance and opportunities, your individual and organization success is at jeopardy!

And, this does not have to be. If having less resources, finances or support is your present reality, consider changing your mantra from doing to achieving-more-with-less. Achieving-more, in spite of with-less, can now become your individual and organizational self-fulfilling prophecy. This mindset is far more energizing and it better positions you to make best decisions and take right actions to recognize, seek, and seize viable opportunities.

So regardless of your present situation being abundant or not, now is the perfect time to flex your muscles by identifying and leveraging your individual and organization strengths to protect and expand what has value to you, and change what does not.

First, decide on what you next want to accomplish. What is your personal, career, or organization strategy for sustainability and growth? And for those who look to you for mentoring and leadership, what is there strategy for success?

Once you've decided, it's time to fast forward and transform your strategic thinking into reality. To improve your achievement rate, or when coaching others to improve theirs, analyze and then map out those decisions and actions that when implemented will leverage your personal strengths to help you overcome any potential goal obstacle.

Achievement rate: The number of important career or life goals you've either not started or started-stopped, compared to the number you've started and completed.

Not knowing, not utilizing or not leveraging your personal strengths to help you more easily achieve a goal is one of the most common causes for a low achievement rate.

The good news? You already possess critical goal-relevant strengths -- those personal strengths that if acted on would help you move forward to achieve a specific goal. You've got them; so that's not the problem. The problem is if you're like most people you don't call on and use your personal strengths the way you could.

Some of our strengths are like old shoes tucked away in boxes in the back of our closet. In fact, sometimes we even forget they're there. Then some event or reason to wear them triggers in our mind, "Didn't I have a pair of black dress shoes that would be perfect for this event?" The search begins through the maze of closet clutter until we find the box with the right shoes.

That's how we treat our personal strengths. We know we have personal strengths. But we've tucked some of them away in the closets of our mind; only to be pulled out when and if we remember they're there.

If you don't remember you've got them to use? It's the same as forgetting you have the perfect pair of shoes in your closet and running out to buy new ones. Who's got the time for that?

You can begin to identify your strengths by asking yourself these three simple questions. What personal skills, competencies or character traits:

  • have helped you to do well in the past
  • have been enjoyable when you used them
  • have made you want to use them again and again.

Looking at your list of personal strengths: Which would help you more easily and efficiently achieve your goal? Your assessment and use of those identified goal-relevant strengths will not only help you avoid wasting precious time, it will also improve your achievement rate!

As an example: Let's say you manage a team and your team is responsible for a highly visible company project. And without a doubt, meeting and hopefully exceeding the project objectives would definitely be a feather in your career cap!

Unfortunately, you've just discovered there's some conflict in your team over responsibilities. At team meetings, there are heated discussions over who's supposed to be doing what and when. Consequently, not much progress is being made.

It's true that two of your personal strengths as a leader are being able to communicate effectively and solve problems. But you're busy with other work, so you choose not to get involved to help the team quickly resolve their issues. Instead, you decide to let the team muddle through it, duke it out, and learn how to resolve issues without your stepping-in. Uh-oh.

Because you didn't realize the value of using your communication and problem-solving strengths and with your team members squaring off in debate at each meeting, your project deadline is now at risk. The likely outcome? Your project is not completed on time, your business goal is not realized, and, I suspect a feather just fell out of your career cap.

Without a doubt, ignoring your strengths has the potential to delay or prevent you from achieving an important goal. These three steps will help you eliminate this success blocker:

Consider your career, business and life options and goals, then decide what you next want to achieve.

Declare what you want to achieve by writing an intention statement for your specific goal. This will keep your thoughts, behaviors and actions laser-focused on starting and completing your important goal. As an example, here is one of my work intention statements: "To complete my second book in the SuccessMapping series by the end of second quarter 2010." Even with other business and personal activities and goals, this keeps me moving forward and focused on achieving my goal. Use your intention statement as your personal "North Star" to keep your decisions and actions focused on achieving what you want.

With your intention to achieve a specific goal, you can now objectively assess:

  • Do I know and am I prepared to minimize or eliminate any potential goal obstacle?
  • What strengths would be needed for anyone to be successful with this goal?
  • Out of those goal-relevant strengths, which of my strengths can I take action on that will get me started, keep me moving, and help me achieve my goal?

Here's the objective: Protect your time and energy, and improve your achievement rate by leveraging the strengths you have. Flex and build those muscles you have now and in the process, gain new ones.

With a mindset for abundance and growth and using your strengths to do what you already do best to achieve an important business or life goal -- there's no stopping you!


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