7 questions to build your strengths muscle

7 questions to build your strengths muscle

The practice of positive questioning, or Appreciative Inquiry, brings out the best in people and organizations. To deliberately notice and focus on achievements and capabilities magnifies strengths and amplifies future possibilities. Deliberately asking questions to uncover strengths and discover what gives you energy  is a transformative process that will help to build your strengths muscle. Here are 7 questions that will transform how you think about your strengths, your capabilities, unleashing your potential and passion to create breakthrough individual and organizational results. Where did you make your greatest contribution on a recent project? What gave you the most pride in making a positive difference? When were you at your absolute best? What surprised you the most about yourself? What was the most fun for you and energized you the most? What strengths did you call upon the most to overcome your biggest challenge? What do you love learning about that you can’t wait to apply in your...
What leaders can learn from bicycling cross country

What leaders can learn from bicycling cross country

When my youngest daughter graduated from Yale University, she informed me she would be returning to the West Coast via bicycle. She was joining a group that was raising money for Habit for Humanity by bicycling across country from New Haven, Connecticut to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. More than 4200 miles, 2 ½ months, and over the Rocky Mountains. Now you have to understand—this is a girl who hadn’t ridden a bike in many years and when she did, it was never for more than 1 hour—2 hours tops. She was always physically strong, with great stamina, and excelled in gymnastics in middle school; But 80-120 miles of bicycling a day with no training? Really? So the first thing this smart, determined girl did was to seek out advice. She asked a friend who had been on the same bike trip the previous year what advice she would give her to survive this cross-country bike ride. Her friend smiled and answered thoughtfully: “JUST KEEP PEDALING.” Karen pressed: “That’s it? That’s your only advice?” “Yep. That’s it. When you think you can’t go any further, tell yourself to pedal one foot after the other, after the other, after the other, and somehow, miraculously, you’ll make it!” At the end of this 2-½ month journey, I, along with other family and friends, witnessed Karen and her Habitat teammates bicycle triumphantly across the Golden Gate Bridge. She looked strong, exhilarated—and, well, relieved. Her well-deserved pride in her enormous accomplishment was obvious. We celebrated her success and that of her remarkable friends who had supported one another in this arduous,...
6 strategies to manage your “energy suckers”

6 strategies to manage your “energy suckers”

In the ideal world, we would all love to be working from our strengths all the time. Yet, realistically we all have parts of our job that our energy suckers—those things we know we have to do but just suck the life out of us. We know we need to get it done so we can get on with doing what we love and do well. After we’ve tackled these energy suckers, we feel depleted, go home at the end of the day and just want to be left alone to veg out. Here are 6 strategies to manage your Energy Suckers: STOP IT. Yes, just stop doing it. Decide if this is something that really needs to be done or if this task was simply something that came with your job that no longer serves a purpose. Is it critical to your success or the goals of the organization? If you answered yes, then figure out who you would need to talk to make it happen. Make a good case! OUTSOURCE IT. If you can’t simply stop doing it, think about who has natural talent for this this onerous (at least for you!) task. Believe it or not, someone else might be more suitable to doing it. Do a cost/benefit analysis to determine if you were to pay someone else to do this task, would it free you up to achieve your goals faster and more successfully? If the answer is yes, then go for it! BARTER IT. If you don’t have the ability to outsource the task outright, internally or externally, then maybe you can barter it....