Everyone has a special gift, but we tend to undervalue our natural talents and strengths because we didn’t have to work for them like all of our learned skills. Using our gifts to solve hard problems is one of the ways we get “in flow” and feel deeper satisfaction overall. Leaders need to challenge their teams with hard problems that keep them at the sweet spot between boredom and being overwhelmed.
For many people, our greatest gifts come from painful or dark periods in our lives. Embracing those gifts and putting them to good use helps us make meaning of and heal from difficult experiences. Leaders’ gifts and strengths can be overdone, often to the detriment of their teams. When morale is lagging or performance is off, it is smart for leaders to get curious and have conversations about the role they are playing in creating that dynamic.