Saturday, March 24, 2007

Go... Put Your Strengths to Work... Miraculously!

by Dale Shumaker

Go Put Your Strengths to Work!
Who knows your strengths better than anyone else--
you do!
Who can see that they are put to work better than anyone else-- you can!

Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham asserts that you know better than anyone else, can find them better than anyone else, and persuade others to use them better than anyone else. Here's your do-it-yourself blueprint for finding, honing and maximizing "your strengths" in life.

Buckingham says to be aware of how you feel in what you do. Do you feel strengthened or weakened when you do things? He uses more of a right-brained approach as compared to his previously work, Now, Discover Your Strengths, which is more left-brained in process. He combines the two to create a path of wholeness to gift employment. Follow his 6 steps and over 6 weeks you will be putting to work the gifts of strength, fulfillment and success.

Step 1. Bust the Myths.... these may be stopping you.
Myth: As you grow, your personality changes.
Truth: As you grow, you become more of who you already are.
The core of who you really are never changes… only grows, if you help it along.

Myth: You will grow in your areas of greatest weakness.
Truth: You will grow most in your areas of greatest strength.
Peers provide the earliest indicators of your strengths. Build on these. You will grow more here, than improve weaknesses with the same effort.

Myth: A good team member does whatever it takes to help a team.
Truth: A good team member deliberately volunteers his strength to the team most of the time. People will step forward and volunteer their strengths when given the chance.

Step 2. Get clear. "Do you know what your strengths are?"
In Now Discover Your Strengths", the strengthsfinder helped you find natural talents--empathy, assertiveness, competitiveness-- then with skills developed, with knowledge,
they can become strengths... an objective approach.
Whereas in Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Buckingham recommends monitoring feelings toward activities as you do them... observing the four signs of strengths (SIGN).

S is Success.
What makes you feel successful when you do it?
I is Instinct. What are you almost intuitively drawn to want to do. You look forward to doing it.
G is for Growth. When you are doing it, you may lose track of time and do it almost effortlessly. You are challenged, focused, totally immersed, lost in the activity for a long time.
N is for Needs. Whereas Instinct is how you feel before you do the activity; Growth is how you feel in the activity; Needs is how you feel right after the activity. This activity fulfills an innate need of yours.

Your strengths then are the activities that make you feel strong.

So the best judge of strength is You!
Others all along life tell you what you should be, do, are... but in You is who you are and you know that the best. He then shows you how to capture, clarify, and confirm your strengths. Buckingham suggests using "strength statement cards" he has in his book to record strengths, thoughts/feelings in activities throughout the day answering "I feel strong when...."

Then after you captured it,
clarified it
and confirmed it,
take the 12 point Strengths Test of SIGN.... Success, Instinct, Growth, Needs.

Step 3. Free Your Strength. "How can you make the most of what strengthens you?"

Make a Strong Week Plan.
(1) Include what % of last week did you spend doing things that you really like to do?
(2) What % of this week will you spend doing things that you really like to do?
(3) What actions will you take this week to FREE up your strengths?

Focus, Release, Educate, Expand.

Focus: Identify how and where this specific strength helps you in your current role.
Release: Find the missed opportunities in your current role.
Educate: Learn new skills and techniques to build this strength.
Expand: Build your job around this strength.

Step 4. Stop your Weaknesses. "How can you cut out what weakens you?"
Take a week and capture, clarify, and confirm.
Then go through the SIGN Process to stop weaknesses.
S is what lacks success…"I never do this very well" feeling.
I is lack of instinct..."no matter how hard I try, I can't get into this" feeling.
G is lacking growth... "I just can't wait until it’s done" feeling.
N is lack of needs... "why do I put myself through this" no fulfillment feeling. Take the Weakness Test.

Do the Strong Week Plan to STOP weakness.
S is to stop doing the activity.
T is to team up with others who are strengthened by this (your weak) activity.
O is offer up a strength, you can use, and steer your job toward it.
P is perceive your weakness from a different perspective. Can you connect this activity to something that interests you?

Step 5. Speak up. "How to create strong teams?"
Buckingham shows you how to show off your strengths to your supervisor to notice, get the team to notice so you are able to use them.

Step 6. Build Strong Habits. "How can you make this last forever?"
The Five Strong Habits Plan.
Every day: Look over your 3 Strength statements and three weakness statements.
Every week: Complete a Strong Week Plan.
Every Quarter: Close the books on this strength mission... have that talk about your discoveries with your manager, partner, or associate.
Every 6 Months: Pick a week to capture, clarify and confirm your strengths.
Every Year: Take the strengths Engagement Track Survey. Don't stop this process and you'll see your strengths expand forever.

In 6 weeks you can get the process down, maybe 7.
Read the book through one week and do the 6 steps over the next six weeks. Within the book, Buckingham provides a code to download all the forms, worksheets, tests that assist you in the process.

As an educator, this is a great do-it-yourself life growth experience. Do it and it will work wonders for all of us... who really want to know our true strengths.

Let’s take another look at the "forever" part.
In Spirit, that is eternal... now, and forever. The Apostle Paul and Jesus announced these gifts to be part of those who live in Spirit.The Apostle Paul announced...
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom,
to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
to another faith by the same Spirit,
to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
to another miraculous powers,
to another prophecy,
to another distinguishing between spirits,
to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,
and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."
(1 Corinthians 12: 4-11, NLT)

The key thought is that Spirit gives gifts… as He determines.
When God calls you to a Mission purpose, in the natural you may not seem to have the gifts, talents or abilities necessary for the calling. As the Spirit calls you, The Spirit will Give to you the abilities you need…“as He determines.”

These abilities are from Spirit and are provided, supernaturally, as a gift. Through Spirit in us, some will have great wisdom beyond their years or abilities of their education to make preternatural decisions. Others will know things that only the pure insight of Spirit Intelligence could remotely reveal this information. A knowing without knowing. Still others will have the ability to tell you what will happen in the future to advise you on things only God would know. Then some will have faith and belief so pure that they will touch people and they will be healed. Many will be given gifts of prayer, and all things they pray for will come into existence, miraculously.
This is a powerhouse package that will come into the places of business that believe, nurture and develop these Spirit Gifts to their best potential
which in Spirit is Unlimited Power beyond our abilities to fathom it.

Jesus said these signs will follow them:
They will have authority over all forces of evil in the world.
They will have advanced Supernatural communication abilities.
They will not be affected by attempts by evil people to destroy them or hurt them.
They will be spared harm from things that could permanently impair them.
They will speak to people and emotions will be healed.
They will have powers to speak to people as gifts of great power will be given to those spoken to.
They will touch people and they will be physically healed
and even healed of medically incurable diseases.
(Mark 16: 17, 18)

Spirit through us, those who live connected in a pure stream in Spirit, will see the Spirit work marvelously, miraculously, magnificently through them.

The greatest powers imaginable in the universe will accompany those in The Spirit of God that was in Jesus and now in Us… through this transfer of Power from Jesus to Us, His creation who live In His Spirit.

Walk in faith of this Spirit power
to bring Gifts of His Greatness to you.
Live in His Spirit of an eternal, "forever" majestic dimension...
That is available, potentially operative, NOW !

Thursday, March 22, 2007

StrengthsFinder 2.0 to Unlimited Power

by Dale Shumaker

StrengthsFinder 2.0 (by Tom Rath) is Gallup's first major upgrade since Now, Discover Your Strengths, a blazing best-seller since publication. The blaze of this trail now burns brighter and broader. They included in their scope of application--everyone. They expanded application to include all personal applications... beyond just business.

Plus they added more insight to your personality (a birth set) and its affect on using your talents. Now, everyone can put their strengths to work and help others better sculpture theirs, while expanding who they are and can be exceptional at... husband and wife, parent to children, teacher to student, manager to associates, and friend to friend.

To bring you up to speed,
according to their research out of 10 million surveyed, 7 million still fall short at "what they do best". So most of us are still trying to figure out what we should be when we grow up. Even if you're older, be of good cheer, research also shows that you are wiser, more introspective, and have a better handle on your true DNA formed with an exceptionally gifted nuclei.

We have spent too much time in our culture trying to tone up weaknesses. When in fact we grow more by putting energy into developing strengths. "It's just not true you can do anything if you want to be if you try hard enough. You cannot be anything you want to be... but you can be a lot more of who you already are. "You are simply making yourself a very unhappy critter if you keep trying to do what's not you.

The StrengthsFinder has 34 talent themes. These themes can become strengths when you add knowledge, hone skills, and practice a lot... you create strengths. Simple formula, but the hardest part is the first and last parts.... knowing what natural core talents you have and diligently practicing. But when you do, it's the multiplier for your raw talent. Learn to manage weaknesses by partnering with those with strengths where you are weak.

Some times talents can blind side us by being so focused in them, we over look other areas we do need to give attention that could harm us. So StrengthsFinder, after millions of interviews, decided more help was needed to cultivate your exceptional potential.

When completing the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment you do on-line, you get:
--your top 5 talent themes
--plus each has 10 ideas for action
--a Strength Discovery Interview to help you build from experience, enhance skill, grow in knowledge to a strength
--and a Strength-Based action plan.
(In the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book is a sealed envelop with a personal code to assess this on-line.)

Part 2 of the book has descriptions of the 34 themes in
short, easy to follow, paragraphs (the definition of terms),
a "sounds like this" scenario (hypothetical example),
and then ideas for action.

They discovered two people with the same top 5 talents may have personality qualities that differ. These personality styles employee strengths differently. So StrengthsFinder takes this into consideration to make the applications about you more "precisely you" while being able to differ them from others. You get a more insightful, indepth, exacting look into who you really are. It's very thorough, comprehensive and "customized" just for you. They also included how to work with others and their talent themes.

Part 2 has 130 pages dedicated just to these areas... definition of terms, example of how it may be played out in real life, and action step suggestions. Their on-line system is the best strategy to make the most of StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Consider sharing these findings with your team, or those you value your interactions with, and help others fine-tune what makes them exceptional as a person. Just for fun, you may want to consider this. Go down the list of the 34 talent themes, rate yourself intuitively, and pick what you think are your top five natural talents themes.

Get together with friends and have a strengths finder's party. Share why you feel strong on these areas, tell others where you see natural talents in them, and in each give a story that impressed you that you have this talent.

The 34 talent themes are:
(Of course, have the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book with you so you can provide clarity for definition of the themes.)
Achiever, Activator, Adaptability,
Analytical, Arranger, Belief,
Command, Communication, Competition,
Connectedness, Consistency, Context,
Deliberate, Developer, Discipline,
Empathy, Focus, Futuristic,
Harmony, Ideation, Includer,
Individualization, Input, Intellection,
Learner, Maximizer, Positivity,
Relater, Responsibility, Restorative,
Self-assurance, Significance, Strategic,

To followup with each other, consider having another StrengthsFinder party. But before you get back together do the on-line StrengthsFinder assessment. Come together and share these results. See what it says with what you thought of yourself and others thought of you. Now set action goals with each other on your plans to develop skills, acquire additional knowledge, and what you plan to do to make it happen... blaze your trail to your Power Strength!

In Spirit, we are given gifts, through Spirit.
They are gifts of an extraordinary nature. But like natural talents they can become strengths. They must be nurtured as well. It takes knowledge, skill growth and use.

Jesus said of our talents... those who use what they have will be given more. So they will grow as we use them.
"Those who use well what they are given, even more will be given."
(Luke 19:26, NLT)

Andrew Murray in Abide in Christ points out that our Strength is the Power of Spirit in Christ that dwells in us. Part of our labor is not to labor. That we must become "nothing" to receive "everything" of Spirit Power. Be Still and Know His power is there... "Abide in Spirit."

"He must therefore cease entirely from his own doing, and wait for the working of God in him. As he ceases from self-effort, faith assures him that God does what He has undertaken, and works in him."

"He will reveal to you His Secrets, deeper insight into the truth, that as you sink low before Him in nothingness and helplessness, in silence and a stillness that seeks to catch the faintest whisper of His Love, teachings will come to you which you had never heard before for the rush and noise of your own thoughts and efforts."

"The heart occupied with its own plans and efforts for doing God's will, and securing the blessing of abiding in Jesus, must fail continually. God's work is hindered by our interference. He can do His work perfectly only when the soul ceases from its work."
(Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray)

The early disciples of Jesus waited in this state of non-activity. They waited for ten days. Jesus said wait, and I will send you my Power from on High... of Heaven, Universe shaking proportions.
They waited and the Power came.

During this time they obviously spent time reminiscing Jesus' ideas, prayed and worshiped God. In the Spirit of Prayer, reflection, reviewing the Words of God, they ceased from their labor. Then all Heaven broke lose. Power fell, immersed them, they then came out shaking up the world.

This time of labor in Prayer,
resting in Prayer,
and other times of reflections in Prayer,
produced a Life force that changed everything.

It began there.
It can grow from there.
That was just a beginning of much greater things to come,
of using Spirit talent, Gift of Spirit Strength.

When talents are cultivated, knowledge expanded and put to work In A Spirit Way, Great Power is released through all of us.

This is how the Power of Spirit, Gifts of Spirit are expanded. Expand what God has Given you in Spirit. Acquire the Power. Walk in the Power and go out walking and demonstrating the Power in the actions He, when you are in Spirit, directs you to Do.

Go... freely share what you have been given.
It will grow and Your Power will continue to increase to an unlimited Power!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Duct Tape Marketing... Power as One

by Dale Shumaker

A lot of small business owners don't feel they are good at marketing.
"Why is it so hard to market?" They ask...the author John Jantsch wrote in Duct Tape Marketing.

He exhorts the small business owner to make all your business marketing (vs. a separate thing) and the whole thing will be so much easier.

" 'Marketing is getting people to know, like and trust you.' It's that simple." Don't copy others business advertising that may not be getting results either. Create your system, that's you, right for you, and will work for you. Duct Tape Marketing is like duct tape ...everyone trusts it and it sticks... works when used in many places.The book deals with the know, trust, likes you, refers you issues. Then how to make contacts that will stick with you. Finally, discover what's working and do more of it. Each of these areas are explored for you and you get a micro-get-the-job-done lesson that can make your business begin to ooze with more business.

Chapter by chapter Jantsch leads you into a marketing learning process including advertising, direct mail, referrals, public relations, strategic partnering, targeting, positioning, Internet marketing, copy writing, blogging, word of mouth, public speaking, writing, articles, coupons, promotions, lead generation, customer service, sales, and e-marketing.

It's all there... easy to follow and put to work. Jantsch gets right to the point and shares crisp succinct steps. This is an excellent small business book to put on your ready-reference business book shelf.

One chapter of interest... although there are many... is "get your entire team involved in marketing." Since marketing is a part of all your business, all your business should be involved in it as part of their jobs.

Create a marketing round table...
to focus, emphasize, gain broader perspectives, and educate.

Routinely educate on
Your ideal client description
Your marketing purpose
Your talking logo (that includes everyone)
Your core message (including all areas)
Your marketing kit (all your people need to know why everyone loves you so much and wants to buy from you)

The hiring process
Everyone interviewed needs to be marketed to. Think of how many people will tell others about you when intrigued by what you do, how, and why you do it.

Put it on business cards
And equip everyone with a personal business card (that’s “every” person who works for you)... everyone needs marketing identity ammunition.

Employee Manual
Include your core message and tell your story--plus your marketing materials.

Talking logo practice
Train everyone on how to talk about what they do, what the company does, and why the way everyone does it is so great.

Telephone training
Anyone who answers the phone for any reason in your business should be ready to talk shop in an impressing way.

External marketing training
All vendors, subcontractors need to know... "this is how we do it" that's makes us so cool. Talk to sales reps and inspire them. They love to tell stories of fascinating businesses they stumble into.

Your new marketing business kickoff
Hold off-site all day staff meeting. Create material packets, make t-shirts, bring the pizza, and paint new pictures of a bright future, new expectations, and educate your total company sales force.

A marketing board of directors
Pull together cheerleader clients, vendors, partners, community to get ideas, share strategies, ways you to get things done. Meet quarterly.

Another chapter stars education as integrated into marketing.
Today's marketing must educate. This economic society is educated. They require enough information to decide for themselves. Duct Tape Marketing's theme is "Educate, don't sell." Create marketing kits with interchangeable sleeves of information. Taylor each kit to the interests of the one you give it to.

One important document is the one that makes your case... the case statement. This statement challenges, gives an image of life with a problem solved, shows the path to get there, and calls to action. Tell your story and use intrigues of your history. Include case studies, client stories, testimonials. It's a good idea to complement it with a web site with more in depth information.

Keep a marketing snap shot before you.
Your marketing snapshot has 6 steps:
Step 0: State your primary marketing goals for the year.
Step 1: Describe your ideal client
Step 2: Write your core message points
Step 3: Develop educational marketing materials.
Step 4: Outline your lead generation strategy
Step 5: Describe your sales/education process.

Use your team, clients, vendors, friends to begin. Then go through Duct Tape Marketing in detail to pull out information that fits or relates. Test critical areas. Go back and recreate your marketing snapshot.

Duct Tape Marketing web site has bunches of additional guides and practical applications:

In The Spirit, Building the team is the most important part of seeing exceptional Spiritual Power at work.

When the team is involved,
recognized for their gifts and used accordingly,
you will get results at a much higher level.

Paul the Apostle expressed the importance of the unity of believers and what comes of it when he refers to Jesus as the body of Christ....

"The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it." (1 Corinthians 12: 12, 22-27, NLT)

In all you do, use those around you. Cultivate bonds of unity as much as possible and as a group all you do will have much impact. The key is the love, respect and willingness to work together as a team.

You all share in success and everyone feels an intricate part of it, and you all can limit the impact of personal failure by everyone helping to hold everyone up when needed. This spirit of becoming One In Spirit, propels the Spirit in all you do. It ignites a combustion of power in effort that will astound you when you do it this way. Love, harmony, respect for differences and using all, kicks the universe in high gear for the scope of your efforts.

Geffry Fields, wrote in his blog about the Magnitude of One.
When we share in Spirit, tremendous power is released... both practically and supernaturally.

"Being One applies:
1. One with God... Jesus Spirit. This is first and foremost that each person cultivates this.
2. One in themselves. Our central command post is our Spirit...Jesus Spirit... which guides the mind and distinctively contours our thoughts, which then the mind directs the body what to do.
3. One with each other. When each is allowing Jesus Spirit to control and direct each of us, we can create strong alignment here.
4. One with all who believe. If those who follow and believe in Jesus Spirit, that within itself can start a power-train encroaching into changing the dynamics of the world around them.
5. One in communication. This will increase our abilities in understanding each other.
6. One in ownership. Everything we have is part of all of Us, and we don't see things as our own."

"Jesus transferred His seat of power and dominion over the earth, as was originally intended, to all those in this group of Spirit directed people…WE have the seat of authentic power, dominion over everything on earth." Jesus presence is now internalized within us. (Both individually and as a unit.)

Believers in unity make possible the manifest presence of Jesus Spirit. He shows up as if in person. This is incredibly awesome, a faith producing self assurance that all things are truly possible, when each person is in proper relationship to Jesus Spirit and also to each other who are also in the Spirit of Jesus. The all Powerful World-Making Spirit of the Universe works through this cell.

Note two factors.
First, the individual must maintain this pure relation in himself finely aligned with Jesus Spirit, The Spirit of God.
Second, then those who are aligned within themselves must be matched up in the same alignment with each other.

It takes two... given to the same Spirit of Jesus for power to be manifested. "There is great unimaginable power when more than one are... One in Spirit."

With this in place, teams create Supernatural results.