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Play To Your Strengths - Leverage the Brain Belt!

Des Moines Business DistrictImage by cwwycoff1 via Flickr

I am a firm believer that everyone in business needs to go through the Strength Finder 2.0 process.  For those who are not familiar with this book and assessment, simply put it is a way of understanding your strengths and leveraging them.  Older persons who were in management in the 1980s will remember that the dogma of the time was to assess your strengths and weaknesses then improve on those areas where you were weak.  Looking back, I now see how foolish that really was.  First, if you are weak in an area, it may be for a real reason.  Second, if you are really good at something, shouldn't you focus on being at least great or even the best at that strength? 

When I work with clients, I recommend the Strength Finder 2.0 process as a starting point for building a management team.  Based on the results, and by using this process with potential hires, the client can proactively build a team of people with a diverse set of strengths that are complimentary.  Along the way, the client also learns about the interaction of people with different strengths and weaknesses and why certain conflicts come about.  It is a powerful way to play to your strengths. 

For those starting out in business, there is another way to leverage our strengths here in the Midwest.  An acquaintance of mine via the blog world, Sean Murphy and I were discussing boot strapping businesses the other day when he mention a concept called the Brain Belt.  The Brain Belt is a play on the description of our area, the grain belt.  Sean told me about Joel Kotkin and a post he wrote called "Little Start-up on the Prairie".  In this, Kotkin talks about the Brain Belt to describe the highly educated youth here in the more rural areas. The post is rather long but very interesting.   If you want to skip right to the Brain Belt discussion you can check it out on this blog called Bootstrappers Breakfast which Sean participates in. 

If you are starting a business or looking to grow a business, you need to leverage your strengths and the strengths of the resources around you.  We have an amazing number of very intelligent young people here in Des Moines and in Iowa. How can you craft your business model in a way that leverages the strengths of your environment? How can you take advantage of the Brain Belt and perhaps even make it a key strategic advantage?

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