Two Questions You Must Answer Today

How you answer two simple questions will lead you down two very different paths in your career.

The first path is filled with growth, clarity and fulfillment.
The second path is a thorn-filled trail of misused time and energy.

1) Is there someone (at work or school) who encourages your development? 

2) Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

If you can’t answer yes to either question, that’s ok—for now.

You’re not alone. Millions of people can’t answer yes to both questions.

As Gallup Executive Director Brandon Busteed demonstrates in his commencement speech at Augustana College, getting these questions right is crucial to your success.

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A Good Coach Is Your Secret Weapon [3 of 3 Part Series]

We know from our previous two posts that a good coach helps you discover, grow and focus your natural talents (H/t Obi Wan). A good coach is also a powerful sounding board for helping you assess where you are and how you will achieve your goals (H/t Angelo Dundee).

Put another way, a coach brings out the best in you in different ways–partly internal and partly external.

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Is Your Definition of Entrepreneurship the Same as Gallup’s?

According to “Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder,” Gallup defines entrepreneurship as “the art of turning an idea into a customer.”

I think Bezos, Ford and Drucker would probably agree.

With technology changing how we work and live more rapidly than ever before, our need to harness entrepreneurial talent is urgent. Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman, concisely presents the high stakes of getting our country’s entrepreneurial act in order.

Simply put, we need to start and grow more successful businesses.

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What do the double front somersault, Switch 720 and freestyle backflip have in common?

If you’re like me, any of these stunts would earn you a one-way ticket to six months in a full body cast, compliments of “questionable extreme sports decisions”.

Instead, you watch in amazement as skilled platform divers, skiers and motocross champs perform incredible athletic feats of balance and precision.

As Steven Kotler investigates in his book, “The Rise of the Superhuman,” most people viewed these feats as unattainable.

Impossible. Unachievable. Each trick was its own mythical Four-minute Mile.

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Is Your Life a Tinder Fire, a Campfire or a Bonfire?

It’s been said that someone who doesn’t read might as well be illiterate—he’s no better off than the man who can’t.

In the same way, neglecting your natural talents denies your friends, family, colleagues and, most importantly, yourself, from achieving your full potential.

Let’s break this down.

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How Much Time Do You Have Left?

Does this infographic startle you?

An entire year in traffic? Six years of cooking, cleaning, and chores? And, the real mind-crusher: nine years watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Web. Ouch…

Our limited time on earth is certainly filled with many “must do’s” like eating, sleeping, work.

In education parlance these are our “core curriculum” courses. Gotta eat, gotta sleep and do something to keep the electric bill paid in July.

Fair enough, but what are you doing with your “life electives?” 

In school, I loved sorting through all of the available elective classes each semester. I found a subject I enjoyed, vetted the professor and signed up. So much to learn, so little time.

I specifically remember saving my final six hours of college credits for two electives—both subjects I am passionate about. My time, my choice, my electives.

Guess what? I earned two “A’s”.

As you consider how you spend your time and energy on your life’s electives, please do yourself a game-changing favor. Use your unique, innate talents to guide your choices. The rewards you receive for your efforts will be exponential.

This isn’t wishful thinking or “feelgoodism.” We know through over 50 years of human behavioral research that focusing on our natural talents provides the greatest return on our labor. If you enjoy learning about the “story behind the story”, click here: ROI for Strengths-based Development.

Start channeling your life towards your specific talents today.

Make sure nine years of Facebook, TV or time-stealing video games don’t swallow up your electives. You owe it to your work, your relationships and, ultimately, to yourself.

To discover your unique, innate talents, click here: StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Please sign up for more talent insights at StrengthsLauncher or drop us a line and let us know how you’re growing and focusing your natural talents at!


Lionel Messi Exemplifies Strengths-based Teamwork for Argentina

Today’s WSJ: Messi “Idle” 90% of the Time. What Gives?

You might assume that Argentina’s Lionel Messi, one of the best football scorers in the world, has one of the highest “activity” rates of any player on the field–chasing down every pass and stray ball. However, there is more than meets the eye to Messi’s success.

A study by The Journal of Human Kinetics classified how much each player ran at certain speeds in the 2010 World Cup: low, medium and high. For comparison, goalkeepers averaged between 96% and 99% in “low” activity. Messi is currently tied with two other players for top scorer in this year’s World Cup, yet he spends 90% of his time on the field in “low activity” mode!

At first, this seems totally confounding. How is this possible? What does Messi know about performance that we don’t?

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