Episode 57: Lead Through Strengths With Lisa Cummings
On this episode, Bella spends time with Lisa Cummings, Founder of Lead Through Strengths. Lisa talks about how it is her life’s mission to help people get over their obsession of fixing weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths, the things that make them happy, give them energy and make them successful.
“Notice what works to get more of what works!” – Lisa Cummings
Pay attention to what is working. Make sure in your customer surveys you aren’t just asking what needs improvement. Ask customers what they loved most about the various parts of the service. You may find that some simple little thing you do, like giving out a little “report card” at the end of a stay, may be the thing that keeps them coming back and gets them referring you. After all, it is easier to replicate what is working for you than to try to figure out the 50 or 60 potential solutions to something one client says they don’t like.
To zero in on your strengths Lisa recommends the book Strengthsfinder 2.0 which gives you a code to take an online strengths survey. It gets away from skills and knowledge and helps you find your natural talents, the way you think, feel and act that feel good to you. It gives a filter for helping figure out the best way for you to approach issues. The book explains the definition of the 34 potential talent themes revealed by the survey.
Another way to zero in on strengths is to look for what brings you ease, energy and enjoyment. If a particular activity causes you to lose track of time, stop and exam just what about it really kept you engaged.
On her website, Lisa has a list of things you may want “more of” in your daily life. It can give you clues as to what activities you are more attracted to.
Two books that Lisa recommends are First Break All the Rules by Gallup Press and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. She says that if you read them from the standpoint of managing people and then combine that with a strengthsfinder of those people you manage it is most helpful in managing people.
When you have a business challenge imagine putting it through a funnel. You drop it in at the top and you filter it through all the top talents and strengths in your business. Try thinking how to solve it using each of those strengths. Lisa says is causes your brain to think in ways it normally doesn’t and can lead to some creative solutions.
One first step you can take is to decide what you want your company to remembered for and what you want to be remembered for. Come up with a list of words and phrases around that which will serve as an outline of what is most important to you. Another is to list out the values that are important to you. Lisa has a list of values on her website you can use as a reference.
Lisa also recommends finding out similar information from your customers. Casually ask customers what word or words come to mind when they think of you or your business.
Finally, she suggests you make a list of at least 100 responses to “I am good at _________!”. It helps you not only affirm how much you are good at but you can group them into trends and see if you are truly applying them in your business.
Lisa Cummings has delivered training & speaking events to over 9,000 participants in 14 countries. You can see her featured in places like Harvard Business Publishing, Training Magazine, and Forbes. She’s the CEO of a company called Lead Through Strengths. When she’s not out spotting strengths with teams, you’ll find her rescuing stray dogs or playing drums in her band Spiral Mischief.
Links mentioned in this episode
- Lead Through Strengths – http://leadthroughstrengths.com
- Twitter – @LisaCummings
- “More Of” Inventory – http://leadthroughstrengths.com/moreof/
- Values Inventory – http://leadthroughstrengths.com/values/
- Strengthsfinder 2.0 – http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx
- First Break All the Rules – http://www.gallup.com/press/176069/first-break-rules-world-greatest-managers-differently.aspx
- Now Discover Your Strengths – https://www.amazon.com/Now-Discover-Your-Strengths-2001/dp/B004C79CY2