#3.4 Preparing to be a High Performer – Capitalize on Your Gifts and Talents

Do you know what your natural gifts and talents are? Do you know your strengths? Do you know your personality type?


Knowing the answers to these questions unlocks a world of increased productivity. It is in roles that require heavy doses of your natural gifts and talents that you will find yourself the most productive and able to out-produce others (and probably the happiest, to boot).

Let me give high-level examples: If you are a people person, then you will excel in a role that requires interaction with others (e.g., sales and marketing, human resources specialist). If you are an introvert, you may be better off in a role that doesn’t require a lot of social interaction to be productive (e.g., data analyst, financial analyst).

Here are a few common methods to help identify your natural gifts and talents. Get a pen and paper (or Evernote, Notes, or Word) and write down your answers to the following questions:

1) What activities and types of projects are you drawn to?

2) What do you find others complimenting you on? What do they compliment you on most often?

3) What comes easily to you that others often struggle with?


4) Take online personality and talent assessments.
5 minute test – http://www.sagestrategies.biz/documents/FiveMinutePersonalityTestforclass.pdf
12 minute test – http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

5) Ask others what they view to be your strengths and gifts. Don’t be shy—ask your family, your friends, co-workers, your boss. If you’re close to any former teachers or professors, ask them. You might be surprised to hear the answers. Do you see any commonalities in their responses? Do they line up with the results of questions 1 through 4?

Now, take all of your results and see if you can match them up with. The 16 personalities site mentioned above makes career suggestions based on your results.


Each person has been given a unique set of gifts. It is a journey—sometimes fun, sometimes challenging—to discover those gifts and talents. It can take a lifetime to work out not only what you’re good at but what you enjoy, but the sooner you figure it out, the sooner you will find yourself more fulfilled and productive.


A high performer knows their gifts and talents and works in roles that capitalize on them.

True Story: A personal story that comes to mind on this subject takes me back to my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. I had reached that point in my schooling where I had to declare a major.

I knew engineering was going to be a good fit for me, but I wasn’t sure which discipline would be best. I started off as a Civil engineer because I liked to be outside and thought bridge and road construction would be fun. Then I thought Chemical would be better because I enjoyed my early chemistry courses.

Of my prerequisite courses, one stood out because the course material came easier for me than for my peers. My exam scores were near or at the top in classes of hundreds of students. The course was called Statics, and it was part of the core curriculum for Mechanical engineering. I did well in the other classes, but in that one I exceled. That showed me that I had a natural ability in the discipline of Mechanical engineering, so I decided to capitalize on that and applied to the Mechanical Engineering school.

Have you figured out your gifts and talents yet? What were the results of your personality tests – learn something new? Please comment with it below.

On the 16 Personality test I was an ENTJ.  I look forward to hearing your input and engaging with you in a discussion about it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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