A Key Factor to Sharpening your Strengths

Re-post from December 2011

The most successful leaders are ones who have found, developed and are using their strengths. If we want to reach our potential in life then sharpening our strengths is a key factor. We must develop our strengths while having other people around us who can complement our weaknesses, thus allowing us to avoid our weaknesses. There are a variety of ways to develop our strengths like reading, attending conferences, getting around successful people, and practicing.

We need to remember the best way to sharpen your strengths involves other people. If we want to maximize our strengths we need other people in our life. People who will come beside us and help us become better. It is true that, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” ~Proverbs 27:17 This should remind us of the types of relationships we should have in our life. Each person in the relationship should be getting stronger and becoming better because of each other. This is also why it is important to have the right people around you, people who trust each other and have each other’s best interest in mind.

The relationships we have should be where each person is becoming better, being sharpened, and it is a win-win situation. We also need people who are coaching and mentoring us in our area of our personal strengths. It’s important to remember that no one individual has the ability to fully sharpen or develop their own strengths. If we want to reach our strengths potential it requires doing things like reading books and attending conferences. But I have found one of the most essential factors is having people around you who will help sharpen your strengths. These should be people who are strong and experienced in the areas we want to become better in. So if you want to reach your strength potential then make sure you have people who are coaching and mentoring you.

Question: Do you have people who are coaching or mentoring you and how have you seen the benefits from it?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • You are so right Dan, we cannot be our very best when we are operating on our own. It took me a while to get this, especially being an introverted perfectionist.
    I meet with a group of three other like-minded guys on Thursdays each week from 6:30am-7:30am. Thursdays are by far my favorite workday for this reason.
    I cannot recomment doing something like this enough.

    • Introverted perfectionist… yep, that’s me! Getting outside of myself is SO difficult, and I am struggling to find face-to-face connections that do what Dan describes in this post. Love to hear about people like you who have done that. My husband has a couple of men’s groups like that too. Helps him so much!

      • It can be hard for introverts to connect and spend face-to-face time with people but it’s so essential. I hope you can step outside your comfort zone and consider joining a group of women that will help each other grow and become better.

        • Oh, I definitely want to. Finding a grouo is the challenge. I am persistent though! I know it’s crucial to my growth.

          • I’m sure God will open a door for you to find a group/women to be around.

    • It’s great you have a group like that! I’m sure your benefiting from it. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • At a recent awards banquet for my oldest son who is going from junior high to high school, we noticed that his entire group of friends were the core of the kids receiving awards. That’s when I really realized the power of what you wrote about at work. My son has chosen friends who make him better and encourage him to be his best. They are all so different and yet so good for each other. Our youngest struggles with choosing good friends… he wants to please everyone. I struggle with finding people to help make me better, partly because of my personality, partly because I work from home, and partly because it’s tough finding ambitious people in a small town. Not excuses, challenges. God will make a way, I know. I am so thankful for people who challenge me in my online community, but I know I need more of this face-to-face too. Am working on that, and this post was a great reminder of why that is important.

    • Hello Kari,

      Oh, the amazing struggles that a parent goes through when raising children. Hopefully your son(The one moving into High School) influences your other son about friend choice. Your doing a good job about raising your children so that will greatly impact them. YES, “God will make a way!” It’s amazing how people come into our life at just the right time, I know God will send those type of people into your life. Thank you for reading and joining the discussion.

      • God’s ways & timing are truly amazing. I am exciting to watch my boys grow as they allow Him to work in their lives.

        • That’s great! It’s amazing how fast they grow up, my son is already 19 months. Have a great Sunday!

  • Great post, Dan! I highly recommend the Strengthsfinder 2.0 survey and development method!

    • Same here. It’s a great system that we’ve successfully implemented.

    • YA, that’s a great book. Thank you for mentioning it.

  • DS

    I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the journey, that there will always be tasks and needs, but there won’t always be moments and people.

    Here is a perspective from The High Calling on mentors – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpOZ1XQcZ2A

    • Thank you for sharing your wisdom and video:)

  • I spent decades seeking guidance and advise of successful people and now I have people for specific parts of life and business that I consult with. It’s amazing how a discussion about facts versus emotions can bring things into to proper perspective. Iron indeed sharpens iron… Thanks, Dan.

    • That’s great you have people who give you advice and counsel. Your a smart man:) Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I have three friends I talk to weekly. They have greatly strengthened my life. I can share with them intimate details of my life and I can trust it to stay with them. It is a tremendous blessing to have them walk along with me through the good, bad and ugly things of life. They have been there not just to push to get to go forward, but they listen and encourage me where I am at the moment. I thank God for them and others.

    • That’s great Bernard! I have a few close friends like that but just need to become better at talking to them more frequently. Which we try but with busy lives it can be difficult. Thank you for reading and adding to the topic. Keep having those phone calls!

  • So glad you re-posted this, Dan. As I’ve mentioned before, I try to be a lone ranger leader. Not so much a long ranger Christian–I have plenty of Christian friends for support. But I think I can handle the big tasks on my own. Not good.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Melanie:) Ya, having a “lone ranger” mindset is dangers, trust me I have first hand experience:) I hope your able to lean more into your support group in the future. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Nuxeo

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    • Thank you for the encouragement. I’m glad your enjoyed my blog. Hope to hear your thoughts more in the future.

  • I’m working with someone to be healthier…. And if you count books then I have mentors on a ton of leadership topics. Great re-post, Dan!

    • That’s great, living a healthy life is so important. This post was focusing on the human aspect/ importance but I agree with you about having several authors as mentors. I see things the same way:)

  • Hi Dan,

    Very interesting topic!

    I’ve almost found that the friends around me are inspiring me and helps me to grow :) Mind you, they are experts in different subjects and has different backgrounds, but we learn and share from each others.

    They are like-minded people and almost givers too. That’s what I love most ’cause I’ve had people who stick around for benefits, and made me unproductive and left me no motivation for days. I’ve experienced it. I truly believe having right people around is an essential ingredient rather than exposing to other useful resources Dan :) They just thrive you.

    You have a successful week there Dan :)

    Cheers…

    • Hello Mayura,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Having the right people (Like minded and people who have a good attitude) always allows us to do and become better. It’s can move us toward success or failure. Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion. Keep being around great people!

  • Two buddies of mine have been using this method of sharpening. It’s the best thing we’ve done this year. It’s placed a demand for growth. We love it.

    • That’s great! It’s amazing how being around true friends can positively impact our life. Thank you for reading and sharing.

      • A friend is worth more than a brother. Then again, hard to find. But great minds attract eventually. Putting them together and having some type demand for growth is the key.

        • SO true, I’ve been fortunate enough to find some great friend online. We talk with each other about life and platform building.

  • I think having people around you who can bring out your best is important. It can be hard to see what you’re especially good at. You might have the self-awareness to see it, but if you don’t, you could be wasting your strengths. It’s good to surround yourself with people who have your strengths too. They can push you to become even better and you can share ideas and thoughts with them to build each other up.

    • Hello Steve,

      Great points, it’s important to have people who are strong in areas of weakness. Also in the areas that will help you or your organization move forward. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.