Poker and leadership

2 Feb

Developing competence is like playing poker.  Initially parents deal your hand, providing their DNA and your childhood environment.  Then you grow up and start to reshuffle and redeal the deck through your actions.  This explains how some people can overcome terrible childhoods and become successful, whereas others with all the starting advantages fail.

So learning how to reshuffle and redeal is essential to improving yourself.  There are two major ingredients in this developmental process:

• Understanding what is in the hand you are holding and,

• Your ability to play the hand strategically.

Having some empirical tools to help you assess what you hold can give a big boost. The Gallup Corporation has developed such a tool, Strengths-Finder 2.0. This is an online statistically based self-test that measures your top five talents, gives you an in-depth description of them and provides a number of online tools to help you use this knowledge.

This tool is innovative in two ways: First it is entirely focused on your positives and there is abundant evidence that building from strengths works much better than trying to correct weakness. Second, the talents are not personality based.  Personality doesn’t change much.  Just check out the people you have known for 20 years.

Leadership is difficult to define but leaders, without exception, have a deep understanding of who they are and deploy themselves in a manner that maximizes their effectiveness.  – Food for thought.

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