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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Finding and Using Your Strengths: What's Your Unique Ability? Part I


Work less, make more money, do what you love. Who wouldn’t buy into THAT concept? The Strategic Coach Program promises to deliver all of that and more. Several years ago I embarked on a journey to work fewer hours while making more money and signed up for Strategic Coach.

Four times a year I met with a group of 15 like-minded entrepreneurs for a day of learning skills, tools, and philosophies that Strategic Coach teaches so we can realize the ultimate dream of having more free time while our business becomes more successful then ever. At the end of that year, I had acquired some extremely valuable, compelling business tools that I still use to this day. These tools help not only my business, but those of my clients too. One of the most valuable is called Unique Ability.

What would your life be like if you could get to the essence of who you are and what you’re about? And then focus on doing what you are BEST at and love to do the most? You have inside you an incredible force called “Unique Ability.” It’s a combination of your personal talents, passions, and skills. You’ve always had this ability, but you may never have stopped to clearly identify it. Few people do.*

Think about how you feel when you are doing not only what you LOVE to do, but you are really GOOD at it. Does it feel like you are working? No! You get energy, juice, excitement. It comes naturally to you and you create results. What if you could spend 80 percent of your time doing those types of activities? Think about all the money your company would make. Then think of those activities which you aren’t that good at...or worse, are really bad at. And can’t stand doing. When doing these types of activities, you experience boredom, frustration, stress. In other words, you shouldn’t be doing those things—you should be delegating them!

To best determine your unique ability, start with these three steps:

Step 1 - Send the following note out to 10 people who know you really well:

I’m in the middle of a process called Unique Ability. This concept is based on the idea that everyone possesses a combination of talents, interests, and capabilities that are unique to that individual. Because I trust and respect your opinion, I would really appreciate it if you could consider the following question and send me back an answer: “What do you see as my Unique Ability?” My Unique Ability includes my talents and abilities, characteristics that describe me, what I’m good at, how I do things, what you can count on me for, and anything that impresses you about who I am.

Step 2 is to derive a list of your “best habits”—how you consistently get your best results. These habits are the basis for identifying a “Unique Ability Statement” which summaries the essence of what you do well and the underlying passion that motivates and drives you. You will use the information you gathered in Step 1 and then ask yourself the question “What do I do that has people say this about me?” Start with the words “I always,” and then fill in the blank, e.g. “I always stay true to my core principles.”

Step 3 is to take a test designed to identify your core strengths. Two I suggest are Strengths Finder 2.0 and The Kolbe Index.

Armed with information from these three steps, next you will identify your true Unique Ability….and decide how that discovery will drive your strategy and hiring decisions. Stay tuned for more in my next blog.

(*) Taken from While I more then recommend the Strategic Coach program, at $6000+ per year, it’s not for everyone.

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