Strengths Balancing for SoloPreneurs
A conversation with Amy King & Polly Chandler
Our wtf collaborators Amy King, Brand Strategist & Polly Chandler, Strengths-Based Leadership Development Coach sat down for a mini coaching session with Polly on Amy’s current leadership challenges in her business. They offered to share the experience with our readers in the hopes that it empowers you to embrace your own strengths and learn how to leverage them in your work and life.
Amy’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 Top Five Strengths: Futuristic, Strategic, Connectedness, Individualization, Input
Amy’s Challenge: “I spend a lot of time on social media and often it drains my energy because I’m working by myself and want to be a resource and use my connectedness strength.”
Polly: Your two top strengths are futuristic and strategic, which means that you’re able to do tasks better if they have a clear end goal. Strategic looks at lots of pathways to get somewhere and it can get in a spin cycle if you don’t have a clear end goal. With futuristic, it’s a similar scenario. So when you think about doing this social media work, think about what the goal is for your company’s social media, ask yourself how it fits into the moving parts of your plan.
Amy: You’re right – this is a bit of a “the cobbler’s kid has no shoes”, as I was cutting corners on my own company’s strategy. But when I work for clients on social media, it feels better because we have a definitive content plan, so I’m feeling more strategic when I am doing their work. Also, I often get stuck in research mode on certain blog topics and have a tough time finishing the writing.
Polly: Putting a more solid strategy in place for your company’s social media work will definitely make you feel more balanced. Also, overuse of your input strength can be at play if you’re getting stuck in over-research. Input and strategy strengths can work together – strategy says “here’s where we want to go”, then input wants you to seek some more information, and you can just keep looking at options for pathways forward, doing more research without ever moving forward.
Amy’s Challenge: Execution! It often feels painful to be tied to my laptop in execution mode, instead of being out living the more creative elements of my strengths such as connectedness. It often feels like something is wrong with me.
Polly: I recommend that we spend some time looking at the execution elements of your strengths – you obviously get a lot done even though you aren’t in the execution quadrant – you’ve compensated for that. Let’s look at how you use your strategic strength to influence people and what elements of this strength allow you to get things done.
Chart From Gallup.com
Strengths are organized in four quadrants: Relationship Building, Execution, Strategic Thinking and Influencing. We can take a deeper dive into how you utilize your top strengths and how they show up as execution. So remember that you do have execution strengths, they just look and sound different than the more traditional ones.
Amy: Getting a different point-of-view on my execution strengths would be very empowering to me because it always feels painful and out of my comfort zone to be in execution mode instead of using my more creative strategic strength. Like most people, I am my own worst critic. And, because I’m a solopreneur, I’m always feeling like there’s something wrong with me because I don’t like being in implementation mode.
Polly: Yes, execution will look and sound different for you than it does for other people. There’s nothing wrong with you! You’ve developed skills to serve your clients; learning to translate those skills into a strategy for yourself is your challenge. Watch for moments when you can use your strategic strengths to help you influence and execute in your own way.
For more inspiration on balancing your strengths to thrive in work and life, you can check out Polly’s blog: http://pollychandlercoaching.com/blog/