Every year Infinity Rehab gives an option for our employees to select a holiday gift. The item is a small token of our appreciation for all that they do. Choices range from an Infinity Rehab polo to a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association of America. We have added a new option this year. The new option aims to celebrate the individual, help each person enhance their course in the world, and is an investment in their personal and professional happiness. The gift is StrengthsFinder 2.0.

I first learned about “strengths-based leadership” a few years ago. Since then, it seems I cannot get away from the topic. A growing body of research reveals just how important it is to live a “life of strength.”  StrengthsFinder 2.0 is the culmination of 30 years of research by Gallup in what really drives success: working from your strengths.

Our time here is limited, and you can spend it in many different ways. If your goal is to create the greatest impact during your time, you want to spend your time wisely. Where is your time going to make the most impact? Working on your weaknesses (and often failing to make improvement) or going from good to great? It makes sense, right?

So why doesn’t this just happen naturally? The reason is cultural. We celebrate people who are experts at their crafts. We say, “If you work as hard as them, you can be there too.” This is only partly true. In 30 years of research, StrengthsFinder discovered 34 unique “themes” in life. These are created from a mix of nature (our genetic makeup) and nurture (our environment). We each have a little bit of each theme, but we only excel in a few of them. These create our individual strengths.

This means your life goal should not be to “be anything you want to be.”  Your goal should be to become the best version of you!

If you consider that each person has five primary strengths, the math says there are over 33 million possible combinations. With 310 million people in America, there are less than 10 others similar to you in the country. Chances are pretty good those people don’t work with you on your rehab team.

Here’s the beautiful thing that brings it all together: Diversity is what creates high-performing teams. You need balance to create results. You can’t possibly be great at everything. That also means that you do not need to be the expert of everything. It means you need to know what you are good at and you need to be able to ask for help when you need it. Knowing what strengths you contribute to your team – at work and in life – allows you to maximize your contribution while allowing others to fill in the gaps to create balance and results.

The beginning of a new year is always exciting. Opportunities abound. Resolutions are set.  A new course begins. Whether you chose StrengthsFinder as a gift or not, I encourage you to begin 2014 by choosing to make life work better for you.

When you make the choice to work for Infinity Rehab, you join a family. Once you’re in, you’ll never be out again. It doesn’t mean things will always be pretty. You might even step away, but you’ll always be part of Infinity Rehab. Make the most of your time in 2014.  Be strong this year.

Derek Fenwick, PT, MBA, GCS is a physical therapist and board-certified geriatric clinical specialist. He develops leaders in healthcare as the Director of Professional Development at Infinity Rehab. Find him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @DerekFenwickPT.

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