A Secret: Dare to Take Advantage!

Written by MJ Nama

Do you have a friend who keeps asking for your opinion? Do members of your family often ask you to do something for them? Does your boss always ask you to do the same report every now and then or even present something to your team in just a short period of preparation time? If so, have you ever wondered why these people are asking you to do such things? Well, maybe not — and I’m pretty sure you oblige these requests, too. Why? You tend to do such things without asking questions because it’s your job as an employee or duty as a daughter or son — perhaps a reason you find hard to accept. But have you ever considered that you keep getting these requests because people around you have recognized your strengths?

No one is perfect; all of us have strengths, weaknesses, or even fatal flaws — but even with this premise, each person is still a competitor. In this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world we live in, where everyone seems to be unprepared and uncertain, we must equip ourselves with the ability to cope and quickly move with changing tides. There had been quite a number of articles about Millennials and their potentials, but — regardless of the generation you belong to — if you do not know how to take advantage of your strengths and the resources you have, you might end up losing to your competition.

I had been exposed to Zenger Folkman’s 360-degree assessment for quite some time now and, according to extensive research, you can become an extraordinary leader by either focusing on your strengths or fixing your fatal flaws. For now, let’s focus on taking advantage of your strengths.

Leveraging on your strengths creates a positive impact on what you do and the people you work with. For example, you have exemplary presentation skills, focus on honing that skill and further develop other attributes that make you an excellent presenter. As a result, it becomes second nature to you to engage your audience in stimulating sessions, making listening and understanding easy for them. On the other hand, if you are a good listener, people will see you as someone they can share their thoughts with and get valuable insights from.

To achieve this, it is important for you to keep learning. Know what’s going on around you, discover new skills and interests, learn about new technology, get to know your colleagues better, and most importantly, learn something new about yourself. By doing so, you develop your individuality and, as you continue to learn and take advantage of your strengths and assets, you become an extraordinary leader. In all aspects of life, it is important to focus and build on qualities that make you a better person. Start building from within and extend it to the people around you.

I firmly believe that leaders are not born — they are made. And to become an extraordinary leader, we should equip ourselves with the right tools, undergo proper training, and seek guidance from the right people. If you want to get someone’s attention, a 360-degree tool is a recommendation! If you have never heard of it, talk to me!

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About the author:

MJ Nama is a supervising business development consultant under the Leadership Development and Transformation practice in partnership with Zenger Folkman. Prior to this, she was a recruitment consultant at StaffBuilders Asia, a division of John Clements Consultants. She graduated at the University of the East with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. MJ also works as a part-time TV Host at TV5.