Business: Maximizing on Your Strengths, by Rishi Deva
I wanted to build a strengths based company and knew that if talented people did what they were naturally strong at then the company would be more effective. In fact, studies by the Gallup Strengths Center show that people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job. According to Gallup, teams that focus on their strengths are 12.5% more productive. Since my goal was to reach $1,000,000 in sales I knew that we had to be effective and focus on our strengths.
The Gallup Organization created a program called “The Strengths Finder” which took a close look at the talents of highly successful people, focusing on the positive instead of the negative. Millions of in-depth interviews were conducted to determine the most natural thoughts, feelings and behaviours of “the best of the best”. The study records peoples instantaneous responses to various questions, which are clues to tapping into our talents. The test breaks down the information into 34 talent areas and the result of the test is a listing of your own top five themes. I found out my top five talents and was then able to build upon my core strengths both personally and more importantly I was able to put these identified strengths into action at work.
I found myself more productive and efficient with my time and I was curious to see if I could bring this increased efficacy into my organization. With 60% of my staff in sales positions and a clear goal of wishing to achieve $1,000,000 within 5 years I started the strengths finder study here. With myself accounting for the highest sales I wondered: is it because as the owner I care more or because I am better at it?
The results of the strengths finder test were fascinating. With 60% of my staff employed in sales and customer service I was the only one who showed a core strength in the WOO (winning others over) theme.
Winning others over is a natural strength for managers, sales personnel, politicians, coaches and other so called influencers. People who are naturally strong at winning others over love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person. The theme to connect with others on a personal level clearly helped me with sales. It is not the only theme that is important to winning sales.
Not all effective sales people need to be WOO, but it is a strength that helps. I did some reorganizing in the organization, moving people over to after sales support or production. For instance, some of my staff showed strength in the themes positivity, empathy or connectedness. I moved another person laterally into production that scored high on the thinking theme. The shift did indeed make our company more profitable and we reached the $1,000,000 in sales within our first four years of business. We did so by focusing on our strengths and finding roles that suit our strengths. Everyone has strengths and if you score high on winning others over you may wish to consider being in a role where you are connecting with others.
Since 1994, Rishi Gerald, founder and CEO of RishiVision and entrepreneurial coach, has empowered thousands of businesses. Rishi has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies and a BBA in accounting. He has spent nearly twenty years coaching, consulting, managing and supporting thousands of businesses from new startups to active global leaders.