A Journey To Self Discovery — YALI2017 Week One
One thing that confused me before last week is how to identify my top strengths. There is no doubt that i am a hard worker, i have always known that i have a desire to learn more, i am strategic, but I did not know how to identify my killer strengths and focus on developing them. This changed the past week after taking the Clifton Strength Finder.
The strength finding test was part of my first week at the University of Nebraska — Lincoln (UNL) which is hosting 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from 20 countries in Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, South Sudan and Madagascar. These are emerging leaders who are doing amazing work in their communities. For six weeks, we will explore how individuals and organizations have shaped their communities by identifying, analyzing, collaborating, and solving societal needs and issues. This is part of the Civic Leadership track.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder is the culmination of more than 50 years of Dr. Donald O. Clifton’s lifelong work: leading millions of people around the world to discover their strengths. Over 16 million people across the globe have taken the Clifton Strength Finder despite criticisms from psychologists like Debora Tom and Tomas Chamorro-Premusic.
According to the Strength Finder, my top five strengths are:
You can find a full explanation of each of these strengths on this page.
Knowing my top strengths has helped me to focus and play to my strengths. Instead of focusing on improving the weaknesses, improving my strengths will help me contribute more to the work that i am doing.
The Clifton Strength finder was one part of a fully packaged self discovery program which we went through last week at the university.
The week started with a challenge from Prof Lydiah Kiramba, a Kenyan Assistant Professor at UNL who challenged us on the need to play our part in transforming Africa. We also started a journey of developing a strategic mindset, servant leadership, the social change model and identifying business opportunities following interactive discussions with Dr Chris Tuggle, Dr Samuel Nelson and Professor Kris Baak.
The journey to self discovery has set the tone for the remaining weeks of the program as we continue to dive deeper into learning more about civic leadership through lectures, visits, interactions and observations. One thing i am sure of is that by the end of this six weeks, we will all come out better leaders fully equipped and prepared to take up the civic leadership challenges that await us in Africa.