Linda Valdez Thompson, 4word board member and Certified Strengths Coach from Gallup, wraps up her time on the 4word blog by sharing how you can deploy your personal strengths as a leader and shares a tool that will help anyone begin their journey of strengths discovery!
You can listen to this conversation with Linda on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.
After honing your strengths, how do you deploy them in a way that actually benefits you and those you’re leading?
This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s great to have talents and develop them, but at some point, you have to use those talents to benefit you. I think it’s important to use your talents to enhance your wellbeing as a whole. One of the first parts of your wellbeing is your career because in many ways, it defines us. When you meet people, one of the first things they ask you is, ‘What do you do?’ So when you’re mapping out your career, think about how you will use your strengths to enhance your career.
A second huge part of your wellbeing is finances. If you grew up like I did in humble beginnings, you know the impact that not having finances can have on your wellbeing and the things that you have access to. When you think about managing your finances, how can you use your strengths to help you do that? A third major component of your wellbeing is your physical wellbeing. Once again, figure out how to use your strengths to optimize your health and wellness. For example, if you are a relator, like I am, ask a friend to come walk with you a couple of times a week.
You can also use your strengths to benefit your community, by volunteering or giving your talents in a way that will improve the lives of others. Your strengths might also be able to help build community and relationships with those around you. As a leader, being in tune with your strengths makes you empathetic to the strengths and talents of those around you. When you really understand your talents and strengths, you understand that you are not competing with your staff. As their leader, you want to help your staff be able to understand their strengths so that they can be productive and live more fulfilling lives. Your role as a leader is to create an environment where everyone can develop their strengths and enhance their performance and contribution to the organization.
What is one resource you would recommend to someone who wants to play to their strengths in leadership?
Start with the Clifton Strengths Assessment on the Gallup website. It takes about an hour to do the assessment because there are around 175 paired statements that you choose from. After you complete the assessment, you get a report with personalized results, as well as some tools and resources you can use to develop your strengths. Gallup recently created a CliftonStrengths for Leaders assessment that I would highly recommend for those in leadership roles. Start your journey by understanding and reflecting on your strengths and, with a commitment to working within your personal strengths, you will be amazed on what God can do with your journey.
Linda is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in leading global private and public sector organizations. After a 20+ year successful career at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport as an executive vice president and at Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, Baxter, and Hasbro, Linda consults with clients in the areas of Leadership Development & Training, Human Resources, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Linda is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Linda has a Masters in Organizational Management and a Bachelors of Business Administration and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner from Cornell University. She holds other credentials such as Board Certified Coach, Certified Strengths Coach from Gallup, Certified Career Coach, and Emotional Intelligence EQi Certification.
Linda has received several distinctionsduring her career. Most recently she was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal with the Leaders in Diversity, Lifetime Achievement award and the Diversity Leadership Award by the North Texas Commission. She also received the 2021 Latina Living Legend Award from the Dallas Hispanic 100.
Linda is active in the community having served on various boards such as the United Way Tarrant County, American Heart Association, and currently serves on the 4word Board of Directors.