Maximizer: You 2.0

In my 33 years of post-college professional life, I have taken many workshops and classes aimed at developing professional talents.  Some of the most memorable include Franklin Covey, Miller Heiman, The Leadership Challenge and most recently The Outward Mindset.  
So what?
I left these classes, like most people, feeling inspired.  I was confident I would put the practices to great use.  I had my notes and in some cases, a certificate of completion.  The Achiever (#5) in me checked the box.    
After returning to the real world beyond the confines of the training environment, I'd place the books in a case, tack the certificates to the wall, and then move on with my day-to-day work responsibilities - and worse - my day-to-day work habits.  The material that so inspired me within the classroom would soon be ignored and in many cases forgotten.  Sound familiar?  
Then, all of that changed.  
A few years ago, I was introduced to StrengthsFinder and most recently have become a self-proclaimed evangelist of this talent assessment.  Knowing and demonstrating my StrengthsFinder Talent Themes has enriched my life in many ways and I am on a mission to help others discover and leverage their natural talents so that they can become the best version of themselves.  
Post StrengthsFinder Dan is gaining more value out of workplace learning.  I'm more selective in the types of courses I attend and am focused on content which will strengthen my natural talents.  For example, I attended a course based on Shawn Achor's best selling book "The Happiness Advantage".  This aligned perfectly with my Positivity (#4) Talent Theme and I have changed some habits based upon the content.  The Leadership Challenge and The Outward Mindset workshops permitted me to apply my Strategic (#1) and Futuristic (#3) Talent Themes towards the principles of leadership and effective collaboration.   
Bottom line, a greater self-awareness of your unique gifts will help you identify where to invest your time related to professional talent development.  Using your StrengthsFinder Talent Themes as a filter, you can select courses and material that will be personally relevant, naturally retained and productively optimized.  
People organically inclined to apply new learning to grow towards excellence enjoy the Signature Talent Theme of Maximizer.  They constantly seek to transform something good into something great and are committed to quality.  They tend to spend time with people who appreciate their strengths and are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths.

As leaders, Maximizers create strengths within groups by enabling every person to do what he or she does naturally best.  They love to help others become excited about their potential.  Their drive towards excellence can lead to a new standard of success.

Maximizers would not want to waste their time in a professional learning course aimed at fixing a weakness.  Instead, they opt for courses that will ignite their natural talents and place them on a pathway to excellence -  great place to be.

Here are some ways to maximize Maximizers in the workplace; 

* Maximizers prefer to improve something that is already working vs. fixing something that is broken.  Look for programs or opportunities that have greater potential and have them aim their talents in that direction.  

* They really like discussing their strengths and have a desire for their leaders to know and appreciate their strengths.  They get frustrated if leaders focus too much on their weaknesses.  Schedule time to discuss their strengths in detail and strategize on where these strengths can be used for your department's advantage. 

* Help them study success.  They should spend time with people who have discovered and demonstrate their strengths.  The more they see how claiming and aiming strengths can lead to success, the more likely the are to create success in their own life.  

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    


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