Your Strengths / Weaknesses Inventory

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What are the things that you or your company are extremely good at right now? Can you name the top twenty-five of these?

Would your customers agree?

Also, what things are you or your company amazingly bad at doing? Could you name the top twenty-five of these?

Would your customers agree?

This is a list of polar opposite ideas. It will completely differ from person to person and company to company. I think it is important to take stock of this stuff from time to time and reflect.

Why It’s Needed

Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day struggle that we forget what makes us special. A week ago, I spoke with a business owner, and she lamented that they “used to do an amazing job” of reaching out to customers ahead of time to secure sales and reactivate past customers. But she said, “We somehow let that slip by the wayside, and now we are in a vicious feast or famine sales cycle.”

Then I asked, “What happened?”

“I don’t know; we took our eyes off the ball. We ran out of time. One day we were overloaded with work, and some people got reassigned. They never went back to what they were doing.”

This is a great example. They were once stellar at customer communication and proactively contacting customers to drive sales. That idea was on their top twenty-five best list. Instead, now they have a problem, and let’s call it “being consistent with our processes,” and that makes it to the top twenty-five worst list.

Some Homework

Do yourself a favor. Have your team write down their top twenty-five best and worst strengths and weaknesses on a list privately. Then, schedule a meeting where you have a whiteboard or paper flipchart.

Take the temperature of your company by pulling these ideas in and constructing a massive list of your top best and worst attributes. There will be a good number of repeats, but you’ll have a few novel ideas too.

These points are golden and extremely valuable.

Warning: there may be some disagreement on some of the points, especially if these are pointed at an individual’s work performance by another person. This may be a valid concern, or it may be petty sniping. Don’t let the meeting get out of hand.

During the second half of the meeting, you are going to want to build on these ideas. You want to maximize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and from this, build out a better customer experience.

Below are three takeaway objectives and action steps for each that you can use.

Objective 1: Maximize Strengths

  • Evaluate the top 5 strengths and identify how they can be leveraged to improve the company’s position in the market.
  • Develop a plan to maximize the impact of these strengths within the next ninety days.
  • Assign team members to lead the execution of each plan and track progress weekly. Use a SMART goal format.

Objective 2: Minimize Weaknesses

  • Analyze the top 5 weaknesses and identify the root cause of each.
  • Develop action plans to mitigate these weaknesses and track progress weekly. Use a SMART goal format.
  • Conduct a follow-up assessment at the end of a ninety-day period to measure improvement and adjust plans accordingly.

Objective 3: Enhance Customer Experience

  • Conduct a survey regarding your top five strengths and weaknesses that you identified and get your customer’s feedback on them. Analyze feedback from customers to identify areas of improvement.
  • Develop a plan to address the top 3 areas identified within the next ninety days. Use a SMART goal format. Appoint a team member to lead the execution of the plan and track your progress weekly.
  • Conduct a follow-up assessment at the end of a ninety-day period to measure improvement and adjust plans accordingly.

The Results Are Up To You

This project will be easy to set up but difficult to carry out. It requires strong leadership, and not every company has that.

Why do I say it will be difficult? Mainly because it requires completion. Lots of companies start projects. Getting them to the finish line is another story.

If the backend of the project with the changes is too much…on the list, identify the top idea and work on that one to completion. Be realistic, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

You can do it!

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Spending too much time focusing on other people’s strengths leaves us feeling weak. Focusing on our own strengths is what, in fact, makes us strong.” – Simon Sinek

“Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.” – Peter Drucker

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