do our strengths 'bubble up'?

Anna Warren

New Year Image

There has been something on my To Do list for seven months now. It kind of became a game to me-to see how long I could move this particular chore to the next, fresh list-and still have a good excuse for not accomplishing the task. Procrastination. With a capital P!

So, last night, I finally did it. I took the Strengthfinders 2.0 Assessment.

I know what you are thinking. What’s so hard about that? That sounds fun.

It’s not hard, and it was fun. But I’ve had this theory.

When we move in and out of career roles, maybe our strengths change. In a new position, given the option of sinking or swimming, we reach way down inside, figure something out, rely on new people, learn about it, and get it done. We rise to the occasion.

Come to think of it, I would like to extend my theory to include the idea that needed strengths bubble to the top of our personal pool too.

So why the Procrastination?

Way back in 2007, I completed a Strengthsfinders Assessment. And, I admit it, if those strengths of mine were posted on Facebook, I’d “like” them. I was kind of proud of them all.

My own idea that strengths might just evolve made me really uncomfortable. So, if I could keep moving the “take that assessment” task to the next day, I was still the same ‘ole empathetic, maximizing developer that Strenghsfinders said I was back in ’07.

Well, it’s 2015, almost 2016, and I’ve been in a new role as Coordinator of Leadership Development at Region 13 Education Service Center for seven months. I’ve had to reach way down inside, figure things out, meet new people, and learn new stuff, in order to get things done. At the same time, in my personal life, I’ve had to uncover some new ways of being and thinking too.

So last night, it was time to suck it up, have some courage, take the assessment and be okay with-even excited about-the results.

True, I am only one swimmer, but I am happy to say that my theory proved itself last night!

The results? Besides being elated that I can finally remove “take that assessment” from my To Do list, I am letting my new found strengths of Learner and Strategic settle in this morning. I am not surprised that Individualization and Discipline are still on the list. And I’m working on being okay with the fact that Empathy didn’t even make the top 5!

As school leaders, we Procrastinate (with a capital P!) when it comes to self-reflecting. We are so busy trying to identify and build upon the strengths of others so they can help us with this work. Or, we might just be a bit afraid of what the reflection will tell us. Whatever the reason, the end of the year is a good time to stop and do it. Dust off your self-assessment tools or try some new ones. You may be surprised and happy with what "bubbles up".

Tuesday, November 24, 2015