Personal Kaizen 10 Rules for Life: Rule 1

Members of the Personal Kaizen team have been developing high-performing organizations for the past ten years and have coached numerous leaders and teams, attended many conferences and events, and read hundreds of books on the topics of improvement and change. This research and experience have led us to adopt some general rules for living the best life. We hope that sharing these Rules for Life will be helpful to you and encourage you to provide feedback for personal kaizen.

RULE 1: Maximize your natural strengths.

All of us are born with our own personality and a set of skills unlike anyone else in the world. Those of us who find a way to use these strengths in our work and life will have a natural advantage over those who don’t.

What are your strengths?

  • Do you have a great memory?
  • Work well with people?
  • Are you exceptionally strong or coordinated?
  • Comfortable under pressure?
  • Detail-oriented and conscientious?
  • Learn quickly?
  • Enjoy writing or math?
  • Are you a great listener?

Nobody is above average in all of these areas. The key is to learn where you are gifted and happy and maximize your time in your strength areas.

A good resource for identifying your strengths is the book StrengthsFinder 2.0, an explanation of the Clifton Strengths popularized by Gallup. The book describes common strengths and includes a link to an online “StrengthsFinder” questionnaire where you can discover your top five strengths.

Once you know your strengths, find a career that takes advantage of what you are good at and love. Those of us who do what we love will not need to plan for retirement – we will want to keep working!

Suggested Action: Take the Clifton StrengthsFinder online test (or an alternative free version) to assess your natural strengths

Please let us know what you think about this first rule for life. Click here to see Rule 2.

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2 Comments

  • Katie

    I took the “Principles You” Assessment this past weekend (linked in the above post as the free version). It seemed spot on! I really enjoyed the visual nature of the platform to help me better conceptualize my archetypes. Also, it helped me describe some traits about myself I have always had trouble putting into clear statements. Thanks for a great suggestion, Steve!

    Question: Do you suggest the book version over the online version of the CliftonStrengths finder assessment?

    • Hi Katie,
      Glad you benefitted from the free assessment!

      Great question about the book versus online version of Strengthfinders. Buying the book is actually a HACK I have discovered! Taking the Strengthfinders assessment online costs around $20, but you can usually buy the book for less than $15 and it includes a code to redeem for a free assessment! Just don’t try to borrow the book from a library…

      Enjoy!
      Steve

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