Let’s Face It, You Suck

…at something. We all do.  While we could quite possibly spend hours and blood, sweat, and tears trying to improve our weaknesses, all of that effort may move the needle, a little bit.

Despite being a fierce competitor on the football field, my father had a smaller build than many of the collegiate atheletes. He always wanted to beef up his “chicken legs.” He did squats, calf raises, and lifts but his legs never seemed to get much bigger. His true, natural-born, strength was in leadership, and within a few years into his college scholarship, he became the captain of the football team–chicken legs and all.

Weight Lifting by @dukeyearlook

I have taken a number of personality profiles over the years, Profile XT, Craft Profile, Meyers Briggs, DiSC, and Strengths Finder to name a few. I tend to “learn” about deficiencies in my character and “type” of worker that I am, but StrengthsFinder is different. The resulting report provides insight into the strengths and competencies in which I am predisposed.

Tom Rath’s basic premise of Strengths Finder, is captured in the second paragraph of the book:

We were tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses. Society’s relentless focus on people’s shortcomings had turned into a global obsession. What’s more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.

As a result of the test, my “top 5” strengths are as follows:

Ideation – People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

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

Activator – People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Communication – People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

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

The Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide detail  includes full descriptions of these strengths and Applicaiton items includes a number of exercises to enhance each of the strengths. For example, one of the suggestions under Ideation is: “Finish your thoughts and ideas before communicating them. Lacking your Ideation talents, others might not be able to “join the dots” of an interesting but incomplete idea and thus might dismiss it.”

Here are links to the hardback and Kindle version of StrengthsFinder. If you haven’t taken it, it is well worth the 30 minutes.

Are you a natural born leader with chicken legs? What are your natural strengths that you are ignoring?


Thumbnail photo and post photo are used under creative commons license. The links to the hardback and kindle versions of the book are affiliate links through amazon.com.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at jeremyfloyd.com and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • Dorry Floyd

    I think Tom Roth is on to something. Flaws or “areas where you suck” are all part of human nature. Improving upon your natural strenghts and accepting areas of imperfcetion is a mature personal viewpoint. By implementing this redirection of thinking in your business, family, and friendships you recognise the need for others. Allowing others in your life to stand in the gap of your areas of weakness creates balance.
    In my own life I have gravitated to people who balance out my weaknesses and in turn I learn from them and they learn from me.

  • Dorry Floyd

    proofreading, one of my weaknesses.

  • I have a visual that we each fit part of a circle and no single person is capable of rounding out the whole circle. Together, a community, is capable of filling gaps and blind spots–like you do me… 🙂