Millennials Need ‘Strength in Numbers’
You have innate talents. How can you turn these into strengths? How can a coach put you in position to maximize your strengths?
We just work extremely well together. Coach puts us in position to maximize our strengths.
— Kevin Durant, 2017 NBA Finals MVP
The Golden State Warriors used to suck. Big time. Countless years of losing seasons. Countless years of missing the playoffs. Countless years in the lottery. Countless bad draft picks (until Steph Curry came along).
They were bad. Very, very bad.
Today, however, everyone is obsessing about how they’ve ‘stacked the deck’. The NBA is now ‘boring’ because one of its teams is too good.
So, what are the Warriors doing now that is so different than from before? They focused on maximizing strengths.
‘Strength in Numbers' Are Not Just Words
— NBC Sports
The Warriors’ slogan, “Strength in Numbers”, became a rallying cry that turned into a tried and true philosophy, encapsulating a culture focused on unselfishness and collaboration. Indeed, the team’s secret sauce has been its ability to move the ball effectively and smoothly — akin to revolving through all of its collective talents — and make the shot that is most effective, not just most opportune.
This did not come from magic, or even just great coaching. It came from practice, practice, practice. The team needed to work together to maximize their strengths, as Durant noted. The coach must find the best avenues to maximize these strengths, and the players must make the investment on the floor, working together to make the best use of these talents together, that provide the greatest opportunity for success.
What can we learn from ‘Strength in Numbers’? It starts with StrengthsFinder.
Your Talents Can Become Strengths
You also have a ‘starting lineup’ of talents — a ‘Top 5’. Each ‘starter’ significantly influences your approach to everything you do in life.
What if we worked intentionally on each talent to make them stronger?
Then, what if we worked intentionally to manage these talents all together to make them even powerful together?
This is when your talents can become strengths.
What can you do right now to intentionally invest in your talents?
- Name your top five talents and understand what they each mean
- Claim each of their abilities and how they manifest as a strength
- Aim to invest in each talent, and intentionally use them together to make them even more powerful
And your ‘Top 5’ work together and in tandem, and once you can ‘move the ball’ more effectively, you are able to unlock even more of their potential!
Clifton StrengthsFinder is a ‘language’ that focuses on identifying your innate talents. With coaching, you can better invest in those talents to maximize their potential, turning those talents into strengths.
This is what the Warriors did to turn from Crap to Champ!
My Strengths Journey
I engaged with a coach for the first time last Spring to help me in my transition back to the professional world. My one quest back then:
How can I better bring my true self to the workplace?
A faculty advisor suggested that I explore Clifton StrengthsFinder, and I was stunned to find how well my ‘Top 5’ described me.
Ideation | Woo | Communication | Strategic | Activator
I began my career as a management consultant and worked with Fortune 100 companies and other well-known institutions. My ‘Top 5’ were on full display, especially when I was fully engaged with my work.
- I employed my Ideation to imagine a wealth of possible solutions and approaches.
- I employed my Strategic to turn these ideas into tangible technology and business strategies, deliver our recommended, and implement these solutions to realize observable success metrics (e.g. improved productivity, reduced costs, greater employee satisfaction).
- I employed my Woo (Winning Others Over) to engage with dozens of important stakeholders, including C-suite executives.
- I employed my Communication to understand the issues at hand and articulate my understanding and position.
- I employed my Activator to get things done and done on time!
Notice how I described these talent themes as nouns — as members of your ‘talent team’ — not as adjectives. They are not just descriptions — they are traits you own.
This is why StrengthsFinder is a new language that you must learn how to use.
What if, years ago when I was a consultant, I were able use this language to make the most of my innate abilities?
Would I have been more capable?
Would I have been more engaged?
Would I have been more satisfied?
Would I have been more successful?
Just like a basketball team plays with a team of players who have unique talents, you play with a ‘team of talent themes’ that interact uniquely to you. A coach can help put you in the position to maximize those strengths.
- Know what these talents are and what they mean to you
- Invest in these talents to turn them into strengths
- Practice your strengths, in tandem and intentionally, in everything you do
The Warriors did this — it took them many years, many of the right moves, and some luck — but they got there. They earned the last two of three championships and are the overwhelming favorites to win the next one.
One can argue that it was because they focused on maximizing strengths.
What will you do to maximize your strengths? Let’s work together to make the most of what you’re naturally good at, and go somewhere you did not even expect was possible.
Click here to learn more about Your Quest Coach and my coaching practice for Millennials, by a Millennial.
I’m Bryant Ramirez, a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. As Your Quest Coach, I am applying my expertise as a business strategist and my pursuit as a direction builder to create the modern, millennial approach to life and personal coaching.
Follow me on Medium @yourquestcoach. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Listen to my new podcast: Quarter Life Quests. And send me a message. I am excited to hear about your quests and the directions you want to go.