You probably know your organization’s key strengths and core values pretty well. You may be even able to recite them. But what about your personal values and strengths- the things you hold very dear? The things you’re most associated with? The things that make you stand out? You know inherently what you value and stand for, but have you ever articulated it so that it jumps right out to people you haven’t met (as yet!)
Identifying your core strengths is crucial to your personal executive brand. It is the core of who you are and what is communicated outward to others.
Companies that stick to their key strengths and core values are more recognizable and more successful in the marketplace. The same holds true for individuals. And not only are they more recognizable, but they are also more fulfilled. When work and life are aligned with your values and play on your strengths, you are at your very best. You are positioned to succeed.
When work and life are misaligned with your values and strengths, you experience unhappiness, unrest, fatigue and develop practices or behaviors that do not align with your personal brand and principles.
Sometimes, we end up here because our values and strengths have changed over time. This is normal. When you are starting in your career, for example, you may more highly value money, success and doing whatever it takes to propel yourself forward. As you age, you may more highly prioritize balancing work with time for friends and family. Your strengths develop through experience.
How to Uncover Your Personal Executive Key Strengths
Most of us have vague notions of what we value and where we are strong, but if prompted, we may not be able to articulate what is truly important to us, or where we excel. We know the things that we know we should and do value. Things like family and friendship and a peaceful world. But what are the values that matter to us as individuals? What makes us uniquely us? And how do we start figuring it out?
The first step is to reflect. Think back at times in your life when you were happiest when you felt most confident. What were you doing at work and in life? Who were you spending time with? Who and what really inspired you? When did you really fly?
Use those moments as a tool to begin uncovering your strengths. Consider the following questions and your responses to them.
When did you feel good about who you were and what you were doing? Think about both your work and personal life.
* What did you value at that point?
* What gave you drive?
* What made you feel fulfilled?
* What made you proud?
* Why were others proud of you?
Now think about the elements that you’ve uncovered that still hold true. What has changed? What is new that wasn’t in the picture then? Now address the same questions in the present tense.
* What do you value today?
* What drives you and gives you purpose?
* What makes you feel fulfilled?
* What makes you proud?
* What makes others proud of you?
Next, think about words that describe these core values and key strengths. You should aim to start a list of about 10 strengths and then work to narrow it down to just 3 that are core to who you are at this point in your career.
Your core strengths should reflect a mixture of not only your values (what you stand for), but could also include your past contributions (what you’re known for) Once crafted, your 3 core strengths will act as the building block for your personal executive brand. It should set the tone for how you engage with the world and shape your voice and form the centrepiece of your resume.