Image Courtesy – Pinterest

Last week I got an opportunity for a deep dive to identify my top 5 strengths (Gallup’s Strength Finder Survey). I was a bit sceptical at first of allocating 3 hours for a workshop whilst already being over committed to meetings. There just isn’t enough hours in the day, my work day regularly extends beyond the 8.30am to 5pm commitment. I chose to participate, because it is important to take time out and invoke food for thought, there is always something to learn, which then creates a reason to write 🙂

The workshop was about leading with your strengths. By leading, it not does necessary mean leading professionally, use that as a universal application into our lives, not limited to our careers.

I wasn’t really surprised to discover my top 5 strengths. What can I say, I’m a pretty in tune with myself and have utilised my strengths several times over the course of my life. In saying that, a refresher is always a good idea as we tend to compartmentalise and archive things at the back of our minds. This was a good time as any for me to retrieve that archived box, review my strengths, especially as I’ve just stepped into a new role.

The workshop instructor advised that we should create ourselves two virtual buckets, one called ‘Strengths’ and the other called ‘Weakness’. We should then proceed to place the Weakness bucket in a locker and lose the key! Because all we really need to succeed is an element of fear plus the themes comprised within the ‘Strengths’ bucket. Why fear, you ask? Well, because fear, my friends, is a great motivator for success, let it not paralyse you.

So what are my strengths and what makes them stand out? Here they are:

Achiever – People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

No joke – I’m definitely the accomplishing type, be it a certification, degree or any locked in commitment. I have this strong desire to achieve visible progress by ensuring I’m in the driver seat of my own destiny. Cruising along life is certainly not for me (yet)..

Discipline – People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.

Not a fan of chaos & clutter. I need a place for everything and everything in its place, although I have relaxed my OCD behaviour somewhat after having kids. Those who know me understand that incessant need for organisation & order.

Harmony – People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas agreement.

Yup, I don’t beat around the bush, my words come straight out of my brain and through the mouth, there is no filter, my friends will vouch for that. Do not yammer on with me, get straight to the point. Not a fan of conflict, but that does not mean I’m incapable of it, the Scorpio in me sorts that out..

Input – People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

I love books. Need I say more?

Focus – People who are talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritise, then act.

You can’t argue on this point – someone who can organise 8 mummies on a 3 day girls trip to Melbourne definitely requires focus, direction and follow through! Being in the project management profession helped a little too 😉

There you have it – my strengths. Can you identify yours?

I recommend that you acknowledge your strengths and make concious effort to use them appropriately as situations call for it. Sometimes you may have to underplay a certain strength and overplay the other, choose wisely. Take personal responsibility for your own strengths, own it, enhance it, control it.

© as|fa 2015




The opportunity to be involved with ‘Future Female Leaders’ community within my organisation presented itself and I grabbed it with open arms. I was thrilled to be nominated and pleased that my leaders considered me a candidate for future senior leadership roles. It presented a gateway to networking, meeting like-minded, driven & ambitious women with whom I can share experiences and grow the repertoire of knowledge. Being part of this community gives me access to various networking events, seminars, panel discussions etc. This morning I was invited to a pleasant panel discussion over breakfast – I thought many times before accepting – had to skip 3 meetings to make this – but I’m glad I did, because it got me thinking about my career trajectory and all three panellist in their own subtle way made me realise that career goals are achievable, even with a young family 🙂

I’ve been self motivated in matters relating to my career and always thrived at the idea of being professionally successful – I was mostly day dreaming at school about success – but hey what’s the harm in that? While most girls my age were dreaming up their wedding dress and honeymoon destination – I was investigating under graduate courses in UK, USA and Australia. I was hell bent to go overseas and study – back in 1996/97 it was unheard of and bold step for a Pakistani girl to travel overseas for education – that too, alone. I think back about that time now and realise what a big sacrifice my parents made – they trusted me, my confidence and my capabilities to succeed. I can safely say that I did not disappoint them or myself. It was naive on my part to underplay the significant challenges and struggles that lay in front of me – but that journey has made me who I am today – strong willed & capable.

The career journey will continue at the pace I’ve intended for now – from time to time the thought does cross my mind – on whether I should continue working – the idea of pedicures, breakfast catchups, long walks is enticing – but after each thought analysis I always conclude that I’m passionate about my job and will most likely continue to work in some capacity for the rest of my life. The pace of trajectory will change at my will – but I intend to continue with realising my dreams 🙂

Leaving you with a quote by Maya Angelou:

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

© as|fa