Owning Your Strength

Owning Your Strenth

Recently I had the privilege of spending the morning with a group amazing young leaders at WAM House. These young people spend a year intentionally honing their leadership skills as they step into the marketplace. It’s the brainchild of John Scroggins, a pretty impressive young man himself.

Over the course of the morning, we debriefed several assessments the leaders took to gain broad and deep self-awareness. They start with StrengthsFinder and DISC, along with several other assessments that help them get a full picture of who they are – and how they can leverage their strengths and the strengths of the others on their team this year to attain their personal and group goals. It is a joy to pour into these young people. Thanks, John, for the opportunity.

In the process of this download, I was not only asked to give feedback, but to share my results for the assessments I had done. That was an interesting exercise. I wasn’t just an advisor, but a part of the team, sharing my identity and personal brand with them.

That led to a personal insight as the morning progressed. One assessment identifies your motivation needs; Achievement, Affiliation or Influence. I fit very strongly into the Influence category. This makes sense for me; it’s clearly a big part of who I am and how I make the most important contribution to a team and the world.

Every assessment I take supports this in some way. However, as a child I got a message of “Don’t speak.”  While one can influence by their behaviors, there comes a time when one must speak to influence others. It’s a constant growth process to remember I am called to speak truth into others – for their benefit, always to build up, not tear down.

In the past, when I heard people covet the gifts, skills and abilities of others, rather than embrace, hone and utilize the gifts they had, I would call them on it. Yet, when I reported my results on this assessment, I apologized for having a motivation need of influencing. Really?  Seriously? In this instance, I did something I strongly warn others against as they explore their strengths and personal brand. So, to the young leaders at WAM House, I apologize for not owning my motivation of Influence. Influence is important, it can be used for good, and I need to own and acknowledge it for that good purpose.

My question for you today is this: Are you using the gifts you have or are you sitting on the sidelines, not fully engaged because you think your gifts aren’t worthy? Is there some old message in the back of your mind holding you back from fully engaging in the work, the cause, the ministry that you need to be about for yourself and the world? If so, what one thing can you do today to replace the old message with the truth?

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