There is nothing better than an entertaining and educational keynote speaker. Ingram Micro VTN Invitational attendees enjoyed just such as speaker on Tuesday morning, April 12. Marcus Buckingham, best-selling author, kicked off the day with an inspirational presentation on strengths-based innovation. "I like who I am, but I want to get better, that is how many of us feel," says Buckingham. "I'm going to give you one concept, one idea that will help you tackle continuous growth."
That concept is fairly simple: you grow the most in those areas where you are already strong. But if it were easy, then Buckingham wouldn't be here to talk about it with this group, right? It appears, according to him, that we are a culture that focuses on fixing our weaknesses rather than pumping energy into building our strengths to the next level. In fact, Buckingham classifies us, per surveys, as living in a world fascinated by weaknesses. "We seem to believe that if we study bad and invert it, we'll find good," explains Buckingham. "What really happens is that when we study bad, we get less bad. You will only learn about excellence in any field if you study excellence, not failure."
In the workplace, that often manifests as managers who want to fix weaknesses rather than focusing on the potential of building strengths. "We tell our employees, we don't want you to struggle, so we will focus on the weaknesses. If you want someone to do more, look now at what he or she does well now."
His best advice for the audience: "You don't have strengths and ‘areas of opportunity,' you have strengths and then you have weaknesses and weaknesses are not opportunities. Your strengths are areas of opportunity." So if you want to improve, to innovate, to move to the next level, and take your company with you, focus on those areas where you are most likely to grow and innovate."