Our entire team recently went through the process of understanding our unique ability. Yes, this is actually a process. Our friends at The Strategic Coach have built a process to help you understand the things that you’re good at, should do more of, what you should really not be doing, and what you need to offload from your plate. I’m sharing this with you because it has truly helped us understand what we are good at and our purpose within the organization. Whether it’s our team, me and Sunster, or even in my friend’s circle, understanding what we do well — and doing more of that and less of what we don’t — has made a happier me.

Every team needs to understand the individual contribution of its members. Everyone is good at different things. But we can’t just arbitrarily decide that. We first need to understand our personalities. When we began the practice of understanding our team’s unique ability, we did it for every single leader in our organization. That’s more than 30 people. We took an entire day and went through the exercise. Before we entered the meeting, we all had to complete a Kolbe index, which is a set of questions we answer to help identify different characteristics of our personality. It’s grouped into four different sections:

  1. Fact Finder
  2. Follow Through
  3. Quick Start
  4. Implementer

This index helps us understand our natural way of solving problems and achieving results. We all have strengths, and different roles require different strengths. For example, I’m a high fact Finder and follow through. I like to understand any topic that I’m going to be dealing with before I implement it, but I’ll make sure it gets implemented and done well. It was a great tool for us to understand what motivates us into doing the things that we do. It’s why I do really well in implementing processes and follow through to completion. I do the research and Get Shit Done 😊

Then we started to do an activity list and we looked at:

  1. What is the work that we do well and brings us the most joy. If we could do more of it, we would be in a happy place.
  2. What is the work that we do well but wish we could give to others.
  3. What is the work we do that we really don’t do well. Let’s be honest, we’d rather be at the Dentist (no offence to all the dentists out there, but really, there’s a reason it’s become a popular saying).

It first requires a daily inventory of what we do. Surprisingly, you don’t sometimes realize how many things you do on a daily basis as leaders that are actually quite administrative in nature. For example, I hate doing HR work, but I love being creative. Planning Build IT LIVE makes me happy. The logistics behind putting the event together, all the creativity, getting the courses together, it’s where I’m in my element. Day-to-day management of people, I can do it and I do it well, but it doesn’t bring me joy. It’s not that I don’t love my people, it’s that I just love doing other things that I feel are more useful with my time.

It’s funny how we don’t often realize that the work we’re doing is not suited to us. When we conducted this exercise, it helped me better understand the things that I should be looking at versus what are the things that Sunny, Javid, or Rita should be looking at. We were each doing pieces of work that may not have been our best use. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to understand what our team’s unique abilities are and then provide them with the opportunities to thrive in those roles.

As a leader, we have to constantly grow ourselves, and being able to understand our unique abilities is a key component of effective leadership. We need to stop doing what we don’t do well or what we don’t like doing, and we need to focus on doing the things that we love. Our teams and our organization will be better for it. So, what’s your unique ability? Take the steps to find out.

I loved this exercise so much that we invited The Strategic Coach to join us at BUILD IT LIVE this year. Their work has helped us immensely to better understand our people and ourselves. They are the quiet disruptor in the coaching community; you won’t find big ads with splashy titles. What you will find is impactful work that makes a change and impacts lives in organizations. They are making a difference, and so we wanted to share what they do with all of our peers.

Look them up, The Strategic Coach, and they will be helping our community understand YOUR WHO NOT HOW, or HOW 10X IS GREATER THAN 2X. Join us at Build IT Live to find out how. www.itbd.net/live.

For more content like this, be sure to follow Build IT by ITBD on LinkedIn and YouTube, check out our on-demand learning platform, Build IT University, and be sure to Register for Build IT LIVE, our 3-day education focused conference, September 9-11 in Orlando, FL!