Finding a career with the Lead Strength

One of the keys to flourishing in life is to find work that makes you feel alive and engaged. That will be unique for each person and is largely dependent on whether you are using your strengths or not.

In this article, we’ll unpack some of the ways that a person with the Lead Strength can find a career that will make them feel alive and engaged.

The Lead Strength

People with the Lead Strength find themselves taking charge of a situation and can get others moving.

They dislike being controlled, whether by others or by circumstances. They are often decisive and strong willed, sure of themselves and energetic. They see what needs to be done and do it. They generally throw themselves into a task, and can motivate others to join in. They don’t mind confrontation and tend to say it how it is.

They are… Assertive

They will… take charge

They like… influencing others

They hate… waiting for others to make a decision

Others love them for… direction

They do well when they… are leading

Avoiding frustration

One of the keys to an exciting career is to avoid feeling frustrated or bored. Sure, there will be moments in every job that are just hard work and don’t feel exciting or fun. But the goal is to figure out what makes you feel alive and how to do that more often.

For those with the Lead Strength, they will enjoy roles where they can lead and take charge. It’s part of their natural instinct to want to have a say, to direct something and feel responsible for their decisions. They will feel frustrated if they do not get to use this strength.

Avoid… Checklist:
  • Avoid working for a long time under a highly controlling boss. If you are unable to have a voice or a choice, then this will feel incredibly frustrating.
  • Avoid doing it alone. People with the Lead strength generally want to accomplish tasks with others. Sure, you may start your own business and do part of it on your own. But at some point you’ll want others with you.
  • If there is no chance to move into management or to run your own area, then you will feel stuck. Avoid organisations where there is no opportunity to progress and move up.

Flourishing

For a person with the Lead strength to flourish, they will want to be using this strength regularly. If a central part of the role is to lead and give direction, then they will feel engaged, productive and fulfilled.

Look for… Checklist:
  • There is not just one single industry or career path that is suitable to you. In fact, all industries need people who can lead, take charge, organise others and speak up. So you could do well in a lot of fields. The key is to keep looking for opportunities.
  • Those with the Lead Strength often do well as business owners. You have a lot of energy and drive, like to make decisions and can take people with you.
  • You will see things that can be done better and you’ll want to act on it. Look for roles where your insights can be heard and make a difference.
  • Those with the Lead Strength often flourish in team environments. This can be varied, from a team leader at a law firm, to a shift manager at Maccas. Every team needs a team leader, so perhaps your greatest challenge will be to find the type of work you enjoy, and then look for the management opportunities there.

Examples of the Lead Strength

“I was never really passionate about freight, to be honest. It’s not like I loved trucks or transport or getting parcels moving. But I really love my job because it challenges me to find the best system, to keep the team motivated and to make it fun. When we win, we all win together.”

Tony, Operations Manager Freight Company

“I’m one of the first female station officers in the NSW Fire & Rescue teams. But it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone as it just comes naturally to me. I’m the most motivated and driven, am not afraid to make the call, and I pride myself on being the best on duty. I guess the Lead strength has been in me all my life, and now I get to use it in my career!”

Sam, Station Officer NSW Fire & Rescue

“When I was a teenager, I thought my dream job was working for a fashion magazine. I worked hard and got the job. But soon I realised that a junior fashion editor simply meant that I was to be seen and not heard. Get this. Do that. Don’t speak. More coffee please. I couldn’t use my creativity or natural leadership trait. Moving into a role where I’m able to take charge, make decisions, build teams and have a voice is so much more rewarding for me. I get to use my Lead strength and am contributing in much more meaningful ways.”

Sheree, Business Manager, MyStrengths

Keeping it real

In every job, in every part of life, there will be some things you hate. We need to be realistic that even in jobs that are a good fit for you, there will be some struggles. It’s worth thinking of our work like traffic lights… You want:

Red 20% – There might be up to 20% of our work that we hate and just have to get through. Any more than 20% and it may be a wrong fit.

Amber 20% – Another 20% of our work might be tasks and functions that are OK, but not our most engaging.

Green 60% – In a job that is a good fit for us, we’ll want there to be at least 60% green. We enjoy it and are engaged. It stretches us and pushes us to grow.

If the traffic lights are the wrong way around, we’ll feel parked and sidelined for too long. But looking for 100% green is unrealistic and may set us up for disappointment.

Let us know where you see the Charismatic strength in action.

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Dan Hardie

Dan Hardie

Dan is a counsellor and the founder of MyStrengths

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