Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Fifth Strength of President Conn

Just in time for the Christmas season, here's an insight into the top five strengths of Lee's president, Dr. Paul Conn.

Incoming freshman take the StrengthsQuest test upon starting Gateway classes and faculty place cards on their own desks detailing their signature strengths, but little is known about the strengths of Dr. Conn.

So, in a five-part series (why not?), we'll be revealing the president's strengths, from number five to number one. Without any further ado...

President Conn's #5 top strength is: Strategic.

According to StrengthsFinder:

To begin affirming Strategic as one of your dominant areas of talent, first take another look at the description of that theme: The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity.

Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path — your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

Now, consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Strategic among their Signature Themes. It represents what Strategic could “sound like.”

“I chose this college to prepare for medical school. I’d like to do it as quickly as possible, so I considered trying to finish in three years. But I want to get into a top school, so I’m going to limit the credit hours I take each semester and really get good grades.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these five insights and select those that describe you best.
• You create multiple ways to do things.
• You can quickly pick out the relevant issues and patterns when confronted by problems and complexities.
• You have a “What if this happens?” mentality toward work and life. This type of questioning helps you see, plan, and prepare for future situations.
• Some may criticize you for not moving on issues as quickly as they may like, but you know that there is great wisdom in reviewing all of the potential problems and searching for the alternative that will work best.
• Strategic talents are valuable because they enable you to quickly reach goals by seeing the pros and cons of various alternatives. You carefully consider the whole picture and then generate the most effective set of actions or routes to take.

Your Strategic talents hold potential for strength, which is the key to excellence. These statements provide interesting insights and tips that can help you develop your talents into strengths.
• Make full use of your Strategic talents by scheduling time to carefully think about a goal you want to achieve and the paths you might take to reach it. Remember that time to contemplate is essential to strategic thinking.
• You can see potential repercussions more clearly than others. Use your Strategic talents to not only point out possible problems, but to provide helpful alternatives.
• Talk with others about the alternative directions you see. Detailed conversations like this can help you become even better at anticipating.
• Even though you might not be able to rationally explain your intuitions, you are naturally talented at anticipating outcomes.
• Trust your insights. When the time comes, seize the moment and state your strategy with confidence.
• Find a group that you think does important work and contribute your strategic thinking. You can be a leader with your ideas.
• Use your talents to understand and to work beyond barriers. You see many alternatives. Choose one.
• Brainstorm for solutions when approaching a problem. Ask, “What if?” Write down all possible ways of approaching the problem, then think about the consequences of each, and decide which would be the most effective and efficient solution.

Keep watching over the next five days to find out all five of Dr. Conn's top strengths.

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