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Apply your 3 greatest strengths

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

You know what revs you up and makes you strong. So what’s stopping you from discovering and exploiting those strengths? Identify these three main components:
  1. Talents. Americans are intent on discovering and putting to use this component. Seemingly innate, talents such as empathy or competitiveness appear early in life and stick with you. They can be developed but, arguably, they won’t change much. They’re there for the taking.

  2. Skills. We can perfect these specific processes or procedures with training and practice.

    They’re not innate but must be learned, such as running a search-and-rescue mission, planning a marketing campaign or performing open-heart surgery. They require dedication and hard work.

  3. Knowledge. If you believe that learning never ends, you’re well on your way to fully exploiting knowledge as a strength.

    As you gain knowledge, you hone your ability to create a needed product or predict changes in the marketplace.
Combining these three ingredients —say, bringing your competitive streak to bear on learning all you can about cardiac function so that your team can practice nearly flawless heart surgery—creates a strength: the nation’s top-ranked clinic for heart patients.

For more on identifying your strengths and building on them, visit

— Adapted from Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham, Free Press.

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