by Helen Whelan
“I’d define success as the progressive realization of worthy goals. It’s the ability to have love and compassion and the ability to get in touch with your own creativity. If you define success purely in material terms, yes, it’s an overrated value.” Deepak Chopra on Fins, a career resource site.
Chopra’s definition of success appeals to our internal motivators and how we know we’re succeeding. It isn’t about the things we buy or the assets we own. Those are by-products. Success motivators are what make each of us, as part of a team, want to work the extra hours. We feel valued and are working toward a worthy goal..and we see our progress.
To super fuel this internal motivation and progress, Gallup, the polling company, believes if we focus on what we’re good at and like, instead of trying to be better at our weaknesses, we’ll excel. Gallup’s StrengthFinder 2.0 helps us learn about our strengths. You can take a quiz that than assesses you based on 34 common talents. I learned I was great at strategy and not so motivated by competition. If I focus, for example, on helping a company come up with a smart digital strategy or strategic business development, the competition will take care of itself with my good work.
The same applies to when you are developing talent. Ever known a colleague that was uber creative but couldn’t draw up the detailed plans to make a project a reality? If the employee is told to focus on the details, you can see his energy wane and the results aren’t pretty. Meanwhile, you might have another employee who loves the details but don’t ask him or her to lead a brainstorming session.
Much of this takes self-knowledge or just noticing where we receive the compliments. If you’re in HR, giving employees the tools to discover and develop their strengths and then use them is not only compassionate, it makes good business sense.