What you need to know.

Thanks for stopping by!

I am a business advisor and strengths coach (with 25+ years of business experience), and I’m using this blog to inspire readers to make simple, powerful changes to boost their performance and joy. Guest writers and I will primarily focus on:

1. Harvesting value from Gallup® strengths knowledge and application

2. Breaking free from imposter syndrome and “faking it” to a more authentic reality

Living authentically AND intentionally aiming your strengths daily is emancipating and powerful! This blog can help you with both.

Why do I care about authenticity?

I care about authenticity because it is personal for me (Check my story out in “About Us”), and many leaders of all ages struggle with this issue. There is so much energy expended on “faking it” and “seeming perfect” that could be allocated to more productive activities. I strongly desire to see those of us with more experience say “enough is enough” and lead by example in sharing our vulnerabilities, embrace the need to constantly push outside the comfort zone, and celebrate each other’s successes (which includes learning from failing). Our next generation needs this more than ever with the constant push by social media to broadcast “the perfect image.”

Gallup® Strengths Are Powerful, but a Underutilized Tool

Millions have purchased Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 book, which is excellent. However, almost every reader or trainee that I encounter is unable to recall their top strengths, let alone use them. Almost no value is captured. What’s even worse is they usually complain about not having enough time to get all their work done.

This is akin to a guy shivering from cold because he lives in a log cabin in the middle of the woods. In the corner of the cabin, under a little dust, rests a new orange Stihl chainsaw and a red can of gas.

Following this metaphor, my blog is the oil to keep your chainsaw working smoothly. Getting coached on your strengths profile helps you learn how to use the saw safely and effectively. There are complex dynamics between your top 10 strengths you need to understand in order to turn them into superpowers. When you consider there are 470 trillion combinations of the top 10 strengths, an individual analysis of all 34 is important because your lowest strengths impact how your top ones play out.

Some Strength Terminology

Honestly, some of the Gallup terminology can be confusing – even us coaches would like to see terms renamed. I hope this helps with jargon I may use in the blog.

The building blocks of strengths are talents. A talent is simply a natural recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or action. An example of a talent could be “reading a room” or “identifying common ground” or “desiring efficiency.”

A talent theme is a group of talents that work together for a successful outcome. For example, if you have the above three talents together, they might contribute to having the talent theme called Harmony. Gallup has identified 34 talent themes.

When you can consistently produce near-perfect performance using a talent theme, then it is a strength. These are typically the talent themes we use daily, without even thinking about it – it is when we are “in flow,” achieving results almost effortlessly.

It is important to remember strengths are about how we do our work, not what we do. And, people with different strengths (like Arranger and Harmony) can share the same talent (strong desire for efficiency).

Thanks for reading this. Check out my latest blog post.

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    Loriana Sekarski is founder and president of BONSAI, a consulting company that transforms leaders (and businesses) into the best version of themselves. As a leadership coach, Loriana teaches leaders how to hone soft skills, spur workplace engagement, and achieve untapped levels of potential. Outside of BONSAI, Loriana serves as an adjunct professor at Washington University’s graduate student program. Additionally, she's fine-tuning her passion project, TakeFlight, a division of BONSAI that launches organizations, churches, and marriages to boldly live out their purpose by leveraging their strengths to achieve their God-given destiny. TakeFlight has just developed Revealing Hidden Shackles, an innovative curriculum that examines domestic violence within the Christian community.