This is the second article about the Strength’s Finder. If you didn’t get a chance to read my first post you can find it here.
Tom Rath, Strengths Finder author write’s “From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to our shortcomings than our strengths.” Gallup, the organization behind Strengths Finder, has spent thousands of hours interviewing people. They have found that everyone has more potential for success if they focus on their strengths.
I don’t know exactly how this works in ministry but I do know that the greatest leaders often find themselves bogged down in things that wear them out. For instance, think about Moses. When Moses father-in-law Jethro visited he found Moses doing everything. Literally. Moses was everyone’s only leader. And it wasn’t healthy for Moses or the people. Interestingly, Jethro blamed Moses. “What are you doing to these people?” and, “What you are doing is not good?” (Exodus 18:13-24) Jethro then gave Moses some advice which Moses implemented it immediately to great success. He didn’t have to be everything to everyone.
I don’t know what your situation is but Jethro’s words still speak today. In fact, I would encourage you take a moment right now to make a list of the things you are doing. How many of those things can you equip and hand off to others?
A leader doing everything hurts everyone. Ministry leaders need to think about this. What are the 2 or 3 things that God has for you to do and how can you clear away the clutter that destroys your focus?
Strengths Finder may help you clarify areas of strength and focus. It helped me immensely!
How it helped Me
The Strengths Finder is targeted enough to identify specific areas of strength but general enough to be of use to you in your role as a ministry leader. It groups your strengths or talents into themes without emphasizing knowledge or skills. Knowledge and skills amplify strengths and while important aren’t the emphasis.
The online assessment is a series of questions. You only get 20 seconds to respond. It’s quick for a reason. Instinctual responses are an important part of accuracy.
Here’s what the assessment did for me.
- It helped me identify my top 5 Themes or areas of strength.
- It broke down each theme and identified personalized strengths insights based on the question, “What makes you stand out?”
The most effective part of the assessment was the ideas for action. There were some very specific recommendations. Here are some.
- Set aside time for thinking. This might include things like prayer, reading, listening to a podcast, etc, but thinking energizes me. An important part of honoring my makeup is finding a coffee shop where I can read, reflect, pray and think.
- Take time to write. Writing helps me to crystallize and integrate my thoughts and is an important part of honoring my strengths.
- A third recommendation was to find opportunities to teach, coach and consult others. I love to learn so it all makes sense.
The whole reason I started Ministry Logistics (the name of this blog) was a result of the Strengths Finder. I followed through on ever suggestion but I continue to go back to it for more application.
- Order Strengths Finder.
- Block out a couple of hours to take the assessment and reflect on the results.
- Spend an hour each day for 5 Days rereading 1 Strengths Theme each day.
- Make some very specific decisions on how you will apply recommendations.
Let me know what you think!