Occupation: Operations supervisor in supply chain management
Strengths: Process development and refinement, customer service, project analytics, teaching others new things/ideas and project ownership
Weaknesses: My weaknesses as defined by Marcus and what I learned in the workshop (things I don't like doing) are repetitive administrative tasks and projects where I don't influence the outcome or affect a decision
Biggest lesson from workshop: The biggest lesson from the workshop is that what you are good at is not necessarily your strength and that it's never too late to find out what your strength really is and try to find a new position that uses your strength at least 75 percent of the time
Update since workshop: Since the workshop, I have a new position as an operations supervisor, and I love it. When I returned from the workshop, I had a meeting with my boss. We discussed what my strengths really were and what area(s) of the company and jobs within the company would be a good fit for me. I also helped out in an area that didn't utilize any of my strengths but did show me that just having a job wasn't the answer. I survived a corporate downsizing/restructure that developed the position that I am now in.
Goal: My goal is to build a bigger foundation and gain more experience in my new job and within one to two years be promoted to an operations manager. That promotion may be on the existing account or a new customer account.
Family Status: Divorced with two children
Occupation: Instructional designer—consultant
Strengths: Developing soft-skills training, collaborating with clients to resolve performance gaps and managing and leading development teams
Weaknesses: Developing highly technical courses and working solo over long periods of time
Biggest lesson from workshop: I can focus my career and take projects that play to my strengths; when I make work decisions based on my strengths I am more successful, productive and happy
Update since workshop: I've identified the types of projects that weaken me so I can avoid them and have begun to focus my career on taking projects that strengthen me
Goal: My goal is build my project sources so that I can focus my career exclusively on projects that strengthen me
Weaknesses: Delegating responsibilities, balancing home and work responsibilities
Biggest lesson from workshop: If I don't start delegating responsibilities at work, the stress will ruin mine and my family's lives
Update since workshop: My work load has lightened so much and my stress levels are down significantly because I have retrained my assistant to do the work she should have been doing all along, the way I want it to be done. I can focus on selling, and she is doing all the legwork to save me time I can spend with my family. My girls are a lot happier also because they have their mom back.
Goal: To slowly continue to add more responsibilities to my assistant's workload, hire more agents into my office to help grow my agency so all of the load is not on me and to leave work at noon on Fridays this summer so I can actually swim in our pool this summer
Family Status: Married with two children
Occupation: Communication specialist
Strengths: I am a great writer with a newfound strength of prioritizing and drive get the job done right and to the best of my ability
Weaknesses: I sometimes take on way more than I can handle
Biggest lesson from workshop: I need to step back and only take on things that will allow me to give 100 percent of myself at work and 100 percent of myself at home
Update since workshop: I am much better at keeping work at work and home at home. I'm much less stressed because I make lists. It's amazing to do this because I was able to see that, in the beginning, no one could take on that much (at home and at work). I needed to scale back a little bit for myself.
Goal: My goal is allow myself the ability to take on a little less, so I have the time to give a little more of myself; I feel that by doing this, my strengths would become stronger
Family Status: Married with one child
Occupation: Pharmaceutical sales
Weaknesses: I cannot say no
Biggest lesson from workshop: I can say no, and feel good about it; if I focus on myself and my strengths, I can do anything; managing my priorities, so that i can make more free time for my daughter
Update since workshop: Moving to New York City and becoming a consultant
Goal: To be happy with my career and the direction it is going; to be able to say no and mean it; to be a great mom and wife
Family Status: Married with two children
Occupation: Small-business owner, foundation coordinator (fundraising/marketing)
Strengths: Creating new ideas/events, marketing
Weaknesses: Accounting, repetitive tasks
Biggest lesson from workshop: There are two I find equally important: 1. Broad strengths are okay. I was trying to narrow down my strength of new idea/event development into something more defined, but I realize that the purpose of identifying a strength is not to pigeonhole yourself into a label. It's much more about self-awareness. For me, this workshop was about taking the time to recognize a few of my own strengths to help me grow as a person and be on the lookout for opportunities to use those strengths more. 2. Allow yourself new opportunities and experiences to put your strengths to work. (My coach focused on this.) It may not be obvious where you can use your strengths. Using your skills to volunteer, for example, may be a great way to find satisfaction—but you have to know what’s out there, and the only way to do that is to get out there. I think this is just as important as increasing the amount of time you use your strengths in your current situation.
Update since workshop: I'm saying yes! I'm really just trying to experience new things this year. For a control freak, that's a bit of a challenge. But instead of predetermining the outcome of every experience before it happens and then deciding if I want to do it, I'm living by the rule to say yes to new experiences, challenges, foods, etc. (This is not to be confused with being a doormat or a "yes woman.")
Goal: To find that one thing that is missing in my life. I've said from the beginning that I have a great family, great jobs, friends, etc., but also that nagging feeling that there is something more I am supposed to be doing. I think [A New Earth author] Eckhart Tolle said it best: "Ask life what it wants from you rather than telling life what you want from it." So now I recognize some of my strengths, and if I ask life what it wants from me and give up a little control by saying yes more often, I may just give life an opportunity to answer.
Strengths: Ability to recognize my client's needs and to help them accordingly
Weaknesses: Dealing with rejection, moving on from a deal that clearly makes sense to me but not to the client
Biggest lesson from workshop: Using my strengths to help me overcome my Weaknesses; not focusing on my weaknesses helped me to grow my business
Update since workshop: Increased my pipeline; I am enjoying my job more
Goal: Although my pipeline has increased and I am enjoying my job more, I would still like to pursue another career. Right now, I am focusing on paying off all my bills so I'm able to go back to school and pursue a career in accounting.
Family Status: Single
Occupation: Certified project manager (specializing in telecommunications)
Strengths: Ability to remain focused under pressure, detailed-oriented and can thrive in a team environment
Weaknesses: Very shy when it comes to public speaking; when trying to resolve a personal or professional issue I can become too focused.
Biggest lesson from workshop: As a result of this workshop I now view what I believed to be my strengths in a different light. One of my biggest take always was the understanding that some of my strengths are actually survival skills (weaknesses) fine-tuned over many years, especially those utilized at work.
Update since workshop: I am currently working in my field, in a position which presents daily challenges. Since I'm in my area of expertise and enjoy my current position, I greet each working day with enthusiasm.
Goal: To utilize what I learned during the workshop to hone in my personal weaknesses and make the necessary modifications to minimize stress related circumstances
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 11, 2013