There have been several books written on strengths-based leadership and focusing your efforts on strengths. While I agree with the core thoughts around these principles, there is an important element missing. What if your strengths are not aligned with the needs of your organization?

There are three parts to categorizing strengths:

1. What you do best—your personal branded strength
2. What you do better than other people—your competitive advantage
3. Your strengths are aligned with the organization’s needs—the key to moving up in an organization

We all have something that we do really well. This strength or strengths have helped us be successful. In order to use these strengths effectively, we must first identify them. The next step is to develop a plan on how we can use these strengths to perform our jobs at a high level. As we develop and use our strengths, we will see job and career growth.

What you do better than other people is a strength that can lead to a competitive advantage. I consider this the basis of your personal brand. When you have a competitive advantage, you can leverage it to be more effective and successful than most people. This is important because organizations will notice and value you. If your strength is unique, you can be sure that your organization will take note. In fact, a unique strength that is valued by your organization assures you that you will be needed and have a bright future.

If you are working for an organization, your strengths must be aligned with the organization’s core competencies and needs. If they are not, your growth and career will be stunted. For example if you desire to move into a leadership position and one of the core competencies is inspiring and mobilizing a team, you must develop this competency. Inspiring and mobilizing a team is critical for all leadership positions. The problem is that many individual contributors have never developed the ability to inspire or mobilize others. So while they perform well as an individual contributor, they fail as a leader without this strength.

If you are to be successful, you must identify your strengths and your competitive advantage. You must then ensure that your strengths are aligned with the organization’s needs. When you do these things you are poised for business success.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to ensure your strengths are aligned with your company core competencies, please contact me via LinkedIn or my email at