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I have recently set
up a Facebook Group for people who are interested in exploring their strengths
in a deeper way. I decided that we would
look at a Spotlight Strength each week, focusing in on each of the 60 strengths
In the first week,
we looked at Action. People with an
energising strength in Action feel an overriding compulsion to act immediately
and decisively, being much more comfortable with forward momentum than with
careful strategy and reflection. As soon
as they get an idea, they don’t want to wait.
I have this as an
energising strength and it really resonates. It’s how I decided to move out of London (we can move back if we don’t
like it), buy a campervan (let’s just extend the mortgage) and started my
business (yeah, no business plan at the beginning)!
The benefits of
There are many
benefits of simply taking action. You
get stuff done! In my last corporate
role, I remember overhearing someone saying, “Just give it to Ali – she gets
stuff done.”. It’s a nice reputation to
As a strength, it
feels useful, positive, optimistic and with momentum. It’s kept my business going during the
pandemic where I’ve had to pivot into different delivery methods with new
services and new clients. Over the last
14 months, my modus operandi on many occasions has been to grab my
trusty triumvirate of energising strengths: Adventure, Courage and Action. Let’s get on with it! And, honestly, that has kept me sane.
So, this is an
energising strength that I’m truly grateful for. However, as with most strengths, there can be
The downsides of
The thing with
action taking is that it often happens without much forethought. I have mentioned before how I’m not great at
planning. I set my destination and I get
into action. Often, I do not have a
clear path to follow but trust that I’ll end up in the right place.
There are two
potential problems with this approach.
Firstly, I could possibly
steam off down a path that’s not heading in the right direction. Whilst I’m very happy (and almost relish) having
to recalibrate midway through, I wonder how much time and energy can be wasted
in this way.
what it would feel like to work with me if I were given free rein! I could lead you careering down the wrong
path with no explanation or forethought at all. Exciting for some, very frustrating for others I imagine (it’s OK, you
can tell me).
Reflecting on all
this has been beneficial – every day’s a school day, right?
I believe that I
have learned to control my impulses when I need to.
I have also learned the
benefit of having a plan before getting into action. Oh, and if someone else can write the plan,
I’ve also learned
that Action can be a stress response for me and I need to be aware of
this. If I start action-taking without a
plan … I need to stop and think. Where
am I heading and why?
Are you an action
taker or do you like to plan, organise and strategise first? Here are some reflection points for you:
I used this phrase
as the subject line to this email with flippancy. I can now see that it’s a good pause for
thought for me. Before getting into
Action, remember to organise the Lights and the Camera!
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