I teach an online class at Fresno Pacific University on "Teach With Your Strengths!" (http://tinyurl.com/twysfresno) One of the assignments I give my students is the choice to represent their Top 5 in an art form. Here are two pieces I got in this week.
This one was done by an art teacher in Ohio. Her top 5 are Arranger, Maximizer, Adaptability, Positivity and Empathy. She used her talents in this way to create this art:
* Arranger- organizing her design and color scheme.
* Maximizer- creating art that inspires people to be creative instead of saying, "I could never do that." She also worked on creating art that was completely in straight lines, never repeating the exact same color.
* Adaptability- She created this art in many stages, constantly having to tape off and retape pieces to add more colors. These short term goals helped her to stay focused on the task.
* Positivity- the colors! They are vidid and the subject matter is abstract.
* Empathy- reflected when the viewer observes her painting. It gives voice to the creativity and does not overwhelm the viewer with techniques that they cannot emulate.
Here is another:
This was done by a science teacher in New Mexico. She weaved all of her themes through the image- each touching each other, becoming the fabric of her life!
How would YOU draw YOUR Top 5?
My new book, "Draw On Your Strengths" will be available in just a few weeks! I have chosen to self-publish with a company called BookBaby. They have been fantastic!
I can't wait for you to see it! This has been a a project that has captured my Focus and Achiever strengths! Over a year ago I started sketching the 34 themes. I had the goal to finish all 34 and write a book. But this book is even more special because of all the people that helped me accomplish this goal.
Big thanks to my family, who supported me through the process of reinventing myself.
Dionne Hamilton Smith worked through all of the sketches from England and sent them back to me with edits!
And Jim Collison, who was the best cheerleader a person could ever have! He helped me with the idea of selling the individual prints -which was the very thing that allowed me to self-publish this book!
Curt Liesveld. Curt went to be with the Lord just before this book came out. He was my mentor and Strengths educator. He would go through each of the sketches with me, helping me better understand each one. I miss him greatly.
And of course, Jannita Demian, who helped me Maximize the book by encouraging me to make it interactive!
It takes a village...and I love mine!
I hope that as you read through your Top 5 strengths, you will better understand who you are. But don't stop there! Share StrengthsFinder with your family and friends! Being able to understand why people think they do is powerful and inspirational!
Rock Your Strengths!
I have to admit... I have Maximizer envy!
People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something suburb! Good to GREAT is their philosophy!
Some words that would describe a Maximizer might be: quality, excellence, editor, perfectionist, best, return on investment. Jim Collins wrote: "Greatness is not a function of circumstance, greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline."
Maximizers don't settle for "good enough" or "ok". They want to be the best, and get the best out of their teams. And to do that, they naturally look to identify and utilize the strengths of the people around them.
They never stop polishing. Because of this, it may be hard to finish projects because they are just not "perfect" enough yet!
Their desire to be the best, may also make them somewhat of a snob in areas. For example: they also may want the "best" shoes, the "best" computer, drink only the "best" coffee, etc. They may also have little tolerance for accepted mediocrity.
This is an influencing strength. It is often turned outward to influence those around them to be the best they can be.
Vince Lombardi has given many quotes that would describe Maximizer: "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there." and "Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence."
As only Nelson Mandela could say, "When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat."
To all my Maximizer friends and family out there: Thank you for raising the bar and stretching me to be the best I can be!