Play to Your Strengths

Play to Your Strengths

I find a lot of books, podcasts, CDs and programs geared towards improving your weakness. I never really understood why. I believe you have strengths for a reason. It is your God given talent and all of your strengths should be used to their full extent. Why fight your gift?

For the entrepreneur, strengths are what make you great. Find other people that have strengths that are your weaknesses and bring them on your team as a partner, employee or mentor. It is the complement of strengths that build great organizations and great companies.  You can bet Steve Jobs who was a great visionary never spent all of his time learning to be better at accounting, why should you? No one has every aspect of a business to their strengths. Only the successful few understand how to use their strengths and partner with those people who make them better.

If you are not really sure exactly what your top 5 strengths are I recommend reading Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Be sure to purchase a new one, because there is an interactive code in the book that allows you will take an online test before you even start reading the book to lay out your strengths in an easy understood way. The book then helps you fully understand how to use your strengths to succeed. Once these strengths are understood and acknowledged, then you can stop wasting your time with tasks that are your weakness and find those individuals to help on your team to become better. No one can do it all.

The book lays out the top 5 of 34 different strengths that people possess.  Then each individual strength once indentified is spelled out in greater detail. So, the book is an easy read and if you are not certain of your strengths it is highly recommended. Once you know your strengths then play to your strengths. Use them in your profession, organizations and teams you belong to in order to become a stronger person and member. Stop wasting your time at tasks that are not your strength.  Accept the weakness and find those who could help you in your weak areas. Focus all of your energy at what you do great and become even better. In my young career I was mentored by a great man in the beer distribution business and he taught me a quote that I use to this day. “If you strive for perfection you will ultimately achieve excellence”. I use that quote to my strengths everyday in my business. No one is perfect and certainly no business is perfect but you will find striving for perfection, does create excellence.

My challenge to you is this. Find what makes you strong and use those strengths to make your business and life the best that it can possibly be and search for those who can make you better. Life is a journey not a destination.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.Helen Keller

Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 27 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

24 Responses to Play to Your Strengths

  • Hey !! Tim.
    your right accent-u-ate the positive side of your strengths.
    However for those who think you DON’T have any weakness, check again.
    we are human. we do make goof ups. It’s when we catch our mistakes or weakness is how we become better individuals.

  • Mario, no doubt, we all have weakness. Find the right people to make up for those weaknesses and keep improving your strengths. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks Tim – I once worked within a group where we did an exercise of evaluating our own and discussing others strengths and weaknesses. The idea was to generate self evaluation and to gain from others how we could nurture our strengths.

    The results were interesting! The group dd not gravitate to negativity. In many cases. including mine, group members pointed out strengths – and some weaknesses – we did not recognize within ourselves.

    We also learned more about group members and their strengths enabling members to better balance talents!

  • Phil, what an awesome experience. I am sure everyone learned a lot about each other but most importantly themselves. I really appreciate you sharing your experience. Thank you!

  • Funny time for you to bring this idea to the fore, I have been working on my weaknesses for a week and getting no where, I think I’ll try your idea starting today, I’ll get back to you in a week, thanks Tim.

  • You’re welcome Phil, I’ll be anxious to hear.

  • I agree for this conversation thanks.

  • Great advice Tim, when you are trying to be all things to everyone something is going to break. Do what you are best at, hire others for what you can’t do.

  • Thanks for the article. Ir is important to focus on our strenghts and do not lose time in developing skills that we don’t really need.

  • A great book to read is “Go Put Your Strengths To Work” by Marcus Buckingham. He identifies 6 steps to achieve outstanding performance.

  • Judy, thank you for sharing, I will check that book out.

  • Hello, Tim

    I seek your advise, how to stop working on weakness and spend time working on
    our strengths.

  • Dattaram, Then I would highly recommend the book from my article Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. take the test before you read it. It gave me great insight to my strengths and how to refine them. Good luck!

  • Yes, but my weakness is that, I always afraid from client. In first meeting I m completed the presentation but in that second meet, whenever in closing time going to client than I will so afraid ” why” I don’t know . I have no idea for about this big problems. And I can’t complete my deal. So I lost it.I can’t complete solve this weakness.

  • Yogini, the hardest part is asking for the money. hands down. If you have not closed the loop, have not covered the objections and not left the client with a clear path to take, then you are not ready to close and you should be afraid. I would highly recommend some good counselor selling training and books, but the bottom line, you have to set the timeline and keep checking to see if things are taking in the minds of the client. It is an art, but you can make it more scientific by doing the whole job with no shortcuts or you will regret it later. Get some hands on training and practice practice practice. Knowing what you are going to ask and say in a meeting and asking the bold questions will give you the confidence to move forward.

  • Yogini, Rob has a point. Be a problem solver not just a salesman. People object when your solution is more painful than their problem. If you clearly solve their problem, then asking for money is easy.

  • Thanks sir, yes, it’s a point. But Not every time. I m always this done.my problem is that I can’t close my deal in first meeting. Than after I can’t soure for that. So I will be afraid for second meeting for closing. Clients are always positive but ” I m afraid.” Than because of this some time I was lost my deal this is the reason for MDRT. I can’t complete it every year. At the last time I can’t . But at this year I want to complete. but how? I want so high premium for this but I afraid for it. And I have it. Only in one month! Its possible? I don’t know.! In this all lead have some problems some boby are no free,some are want few time ,some has family disscusion. In that case how I can complete. This is the reasn for losting my confudience every year.or I always cancelled my goal.

  • Thanks for the inspirational quote, this will be my NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION”

  • Hey!!! Tim,
    just chiming in. sounds like there’s very good conversation on the
    subject of play to your strengths.
    Have a wonderful week, and a GREAT DAY!!!
    Love, the conversations we have.

  • Have you ever been asked this in an interview? Tell me your greatest strength and weakness. I came up with an unexpected answer. My greatest weakness is my short term memory so to overcome that liability I use my greatest strength which is organization. Use one to off set the other. Another scenario of turning a weakness into a strength is I used to take it personally when a customer complained. Especially when they would say, “You people don’t do or didn’t do…..”. I really took the You people to heart and felt responsible for any and all errors. Then, after praying for a solution to being a better account manager I began to use my strengths of listening and problem solving. Most irate clients want two things; to be heard and their problem corrected. Instead of taking complaints personally (which can lead to being defensive) which is a weakness; I patiently listen, tell them I’m here to help and then resolve the issue which is a strength. I have found this approach to be very successful and the result is a more satisfied client and a more confident account manager.

  • Tim, that philosophy is very idealistic. The truth of the matter is that the reason we have strengths in certain areas is that we spend more time or enjoy that task better. However, in order to be a well rounded financial professional we do need to address our weaknesses and strengthen them. Another strategy is to delegate out the aspects of our activities that we may not be as competent in. My philosophy is that anything that is weak and be made strong with attention, time and commitment. Thanks for the exchange of ideas.

  • Judy, what a great idea, make your weakness your strength. That is a total new way of looking at this. James, we agree, delegate the weakness tasks and strive harder on perfecting your strengths. I find I am much happier working on the things I am good at versus working on things I am weak and do not like. Thank you both for sharing.

  • Really sir we get successfully with strength. Thanks for all guides

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