The Three Step Formula to Unleashing your Strengths (Step 3 – Deliberately Implementing)

[This three part series will provide a step by step formula for you to begin to discover, develop, and deliberately implement your personal strengths. This is the third step, to unleashing your strengths.]

To live and lead to your maximum potential requires that you take deliberate action on implementing your personal strengths so you are moving toward and working in your strength zone. This allows you to be more productive, see higher levels of results, and produces feelings of fulfillment.

You might say, “Dan, in my current job position, my responsibilities are outside my areas of strengths.” or “I’m not in a place that allows me to fully maximize my areas of strength.”

Even if you are not able to use or fully use your strength in your day job, you can start deliberately using your strengths in different ways. Below are 5 practical ways you can begin to implement your strengths:

1. Volunteer- You can begin to work in areas of strengths by finding a church or non-profit where you can volunteer. Make sure the organization matches your beliefs, values, and would allow you to work (or eventually work) in your areas of strengths. You can find the answer to those questions by talking with someone who already works or volunteers at the organization. When you do decide to talk with the volunteer coordinator, make sure to mention your areas of strengths and passions so they can place you in an appropriate role, one that would match those areas.

2. Apprentice- An apprentice is, “a person who works for another in order to learn a trade.” This would allow you to learn and work in a specific skill or industry. During your training period an apprentice often works for a low wage in exchange for knowledge and experience. An apprenticeship can allow a person to sharpen and use their strengths.

3. Internship- an internship is, “any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.” An internship is perfect for a young leader and those beginning their career. When determining what internship program to enter into, make sure it will provide experience in your career field and areas of personal strengths.

4. Start something- Anyone can start using their strengths by taking the initiative to start something. Three examples are:

  • Start a non-profit that would allow you to positively impact your community or the world.
  • Start a ministry in your church that would serve and add value to others.
  • Start writing a blog where you can begin to share your ideas and thoughts.

Don’t wait for the perfect time or someone to give you permission to use your strengths. Start something that allows you to be working in them.

5. Work responsibilities- If you are not able to use or fully implement your strengths, consider having a discussion with your supervisor about reassigning you to a different role/department or giving you tasks that better match your strengths. Before having this discussion, make sure that you are already producing results in your current role and that you have a standard of excellence. A manager who knows you’re a superb worker should at least consider your request, especially if they see the benefits that would result from moving you into your strength zones.

Question: What can you start to do (This week) to begin to be working more in your strength zone?

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

  • Great idea, Dan. I also think we need to not too quickly discount current positions either even if we know they are not challenging us and our strengths. In other words, I think that even in positions that seem to not challenge our strengths, we can find ways to use our strengths to better the position. In all of my past jobs, there have been ways to do even mundane tasks based on my strengths. Sure, not all of them, but even finding one area that we can use our strength(s) in can be enough to keep us motivated while waiting (and often waiting itself is the value) for a new position that better challenges us.

    • Hello Kari,

      I totally agree with you. It’s about being proactive about finding the responsibility or tasks within the company that aline with our strengths. Then putting our self in a position that would allow us to work in those areas. Thank you for sharing about your experience and adding to the discussion.

  • I like the advice. I also think learning to do the things that we’re not passionate about help build the strength we have even stronger. Time has a way of taking care of getting us where we belong as long as we’re following that passion, but I’m with you, one has to be assertive.

    • Yes, being in our strength zones on any project or tasks allows us to become sharper. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • Great series discussion. One of the things anyone can do today is to change their perspective. Look at your job differently. It may not look as if your strengths are not being utilized but look for the connecting factors. For example one of my main operational gifting is restoration. What does this have to do with owning pizza restaurants? Well I can restore my team mates self image, make food to let family gather and spend time together ext. I use to not see this but my perspective was flipped on it’s head one day.

    • Great thoughts, Zech! Being willing to change our perspective is so important. It sounds like your making the best use of your personal strengths. Thank you for sharing from your experience. I appreciate it.

      • Thanks for the great content. Love your blog Dan!

        • Thank you for the kinds words. I’m glad the content helps you.

  • I volunteered this week to help a church put together some videos that will highlight their vision. I think this is in my area of strengths and am looking forward to see how it will help the church.

    • That’s great, Caleb. Your using your strengths to serve and add value. Something we always have to remember to do. Thank you for sharing.

  • A few years ago I had a colleague who wanted to be a radio DJ, so I told him to volunteer at the local radio station and just do whatever they wanted. He did that and eventually got the chance to audition for the graveyard shift on a Sunday night. He got the job and now he works for a national station. All because he volunteered to help out and network his way into his first proper position. Helping out others definitely has its rewards as well as doing it for true altruism.

    • Hello Jamie,

      What a great story! He took that first step and look at what happened. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Great post. It reminds me of an article I read yesterday, http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/18/the-14-things-every-successful-person-has-in-common/
    There are things we can do each day to move us ahead, to help us grow. Somethings might not seem like a big deal, but everything we do impacts who we are tomorrow.

    • Great thoughts, we have to remember it’s a daily focus. Thank you for reading and sharing the article.

      • I thought of you when I read the article. Glad to share. God bless.

        • I read and really enjoy it. Thank you:)

  • Love the post Dan. I’ve found that developing a reputation as the “go to” person when others needs help creates opportunities. we don’t have to wait to be appointed or be in any official capacity, just keep volunteering and offering helps and pretty soon our gifts will open doors.

    • Yes, it sure does. It’s how I was promoted into a leadership position at one of my old jobs. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • I thought this was a bit of an unfitting name/headline for the post, but a great post.

    I think this is even more relevant for students actually – especially the way the job market looks today. Many people my age think they’ll get hired on grades alone. They don’t realize they need to volunteer/internship/network in order to form a relationship and showcase their competence.

    They think they’ll be noticed from a stack of resumes. But they’re deeply wrong and they will suffer for it :(

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Yes, people are looking for both the experience and education. Implementing one of the above techniques can allow us to gain that needed experience. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • I have a step daughter with a new law degree and no job. These are great tips for someone like her too!

    • I know a lot of people who can’t get a job because they have no experience (But a degree). Having both is so valuable in today’s market. Maybe you can share some of the points from this post with her. I think it might help.

  • great suggestions Dan – the internship approach boosted my career launch for sure! I was a waiter in a retirement home, but I asked the VP of Human Resources if I could volunteer my time before my shift to help in HR. This experience was invaluable!

    • That’s really cool, Jon! This is something that anyone can do. Thank you for sharing.

  • I believe that we can begin to streamline where our passions are and focus soley on those areas. I really like Volunteering because it means that you are committed and dedicated to working in that strength zone. Thanks for sharing this message Dan.

    • Yes, we can defiantly focus on areas of passions and strengths when we volunteer. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion. It’s great to have you back:)

  • It’s not necessarily a today thing, but we’re looking for more people to volunteer and help with Ignite, so I can focus on the areas where I gifted and passionate and let someone else use heir strengths to handle the stuff wherein weak.

    • That’s a good reason to find more volunteers. I pray that people will come and be strong in the areas you needed them in so that you are able to better focus on your strength zones and the important tasks you need to do. Thank you for sharing.

  • Its funny Dan my boss could be saying the same thing over and over and over…..and it never gets settled in my mind til a further date—If I believe my current role has things I can still learn I can listen better!

    I think this fits under work responsibilities. The opportunities are there I just need to see them more clearly and listen to feedback more to see where I can apply those strengths….and train others to allow me to step into those opportunities more!

    • Hello David,

      Being observant and aware to those opportunities is important and then taking action on them when you do see them is key. Keep listening and getting feedback! Thanks for sharing:)

  • I’m a huge promoter Dan on purposefully and intended actions and I’m thinking that only when you are fully conscious on the situations you about to get in, you can be fully committed, focused and a “producer” of great results. this is an excellent series of posts, Dan. thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Takis,

      Yes, we have to be “purposeful” when it comes to discovering, developing, and using our strengths. It requires action on our part. Thank you for adding to he discussion.

  • I love the advice of your fourth point – starting something. I learn a lot by doing. It’s not just the things I’m doing that I’m learning too, I learn about myself and my skills more when I just up and do something. Even if I fail, I still learn. Something I’ve learned is that you often have more abilities than you give yourself credit. When you think you can’t do something, it’s almost always just your thoughts telling you what you can or can’t do and doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. Yeah, thoughts aren’t reality. You have to go out and try something before you can really see what you’re capable of doing.

    • Yes, the key is to take action because whether success or failure we can still learn from it. Great thoughts, Steve! Thank you for sharing them.