Sneak Peek: Real Leadership Roadmap

Are You Growing Where You’re Planted?

I have had excellent feedback from those of y’all who have downloaded and worked in the Companion Booklet, also known as the Real Leadership Roadmap. In that spirit, for those of you who haven’t yet found the time (It’s ok. I know you’re busy), I want to offer you a sneak peek at one of my favorite parts of this workbook that will help guide you along your leadership journey.

Take your time, and enjoy this exercise. I made it just for you so that you could also see how strong you are as a servant leader.


Create a list of your strengths. Write down anything you can think of that is a personal strength, whether in business, at home, or even concerning your hobbies. You never know when your charted course will change, and you find yourself doing something you never considered doing professionally. Knowing what your strengths are will help keep you focused and growing in the places you want to be.

When making your list, it’s not the time to be modest. I’m not looking at your list; you are. This is also not the time to be self-deprecating. I’ve heard it before, “But, John, I’m not good at ANYTHING!” I’m not buying it.

Can you remember to turn the lights off when you leave a room? Do you push your chair in every time you stand up at a restaurant or leave a desk? Good. That’s a start that tells us you have a strength for details and consideration.

Even a bear in hibernation is demonstrating a strength: not laziness but self-care. He will be ready to get back to whatever bears do in the springtime, and he will be well-rested.

Anything and everything is fodder for this list.


Find the common thread. Look back over your list of strengths and see if you can find 3 commonalities between these competencies you possess. If you can’t, that’s no problem because having diverse strengths is surely no shortcoming.

You want to look for things that might fall into categories.

  • Are you skilled at technical things or organization?
  • Are you the person to have around when things get heated, and someone with a level head is required to soothe hot tempers or diffuse negative interactions?
  • Are you forever patient?
  • Do you have a natural inclination to put others first and are at ease taking care of people’s needs?

These strengths don’t have to align perfectly with the job in which you find yourself, but they can help you implement strategies for success in your current position or help you find a good fit if that time comes.


Establish your strengths on a daily basis. Now that you have identified some of the trends amidst your strengths, it’s time to come up with a course of action to employ them. Creativity is the name of the game here.

Let’s say that making people feel seen and appreciated is one of your strengths, but you don’t really work with clients as part of your job description. Maybe you write code all day and are not the person to interact with them. However, if you are in an office setting or even a virtual one, apply that skill with your coworkers. Serve your team with that skill if you don’t have clients to serve.

If you really don’t have a team with whom you interact daily, make a note of others whose lives you could impact with that skill. This could include family members, friends, or even your local barista or Über driver.

This is a continuation of shining your light, a theme you will notice throughout your journey because it’s important to practice this one every single day.


Identify the strengths you aren’t utilizing to their fullest potential. Looking back at the strengths you possess, let’s think about ones that you don’t necessarily employ daily.

Are there any sitting on the bench just waiting for you to call them up to make the winning play? Mark these strengths or skills with an arrow on either side to show that we need to get them moving in any direction.

Example: I am good at cleaning!

Write down 2 or 3 ways to bring these strengths to the forefront of your daily practice.

Continuing from the example above, this might look like:

  • Grab the trash from adjacent cubicles at the end of the day to spare the building engineers the trouble.
  • Wipe down the countertop in the coffee room for others on a daily basis.
  • Shake out the welcome mat at the door into the house from the garage.

See what I mean about being creative? There are so many ways to utilize your underutilized strengths.

Maybe that means putting yourself into a situation where you know you will have the opportunity to use them. One of my core competencies that I don’t regularly call upon is the caretaking of others. I’m a busy guy. My wife, Loveanne, is the one who usually cares for me, but I am very capable of taking care of others. I’m good at it, and I even enjoy it.

So, for this exercise, I put myself in the place of taking care of her more than I ordinarily would: bringing in the groceries AND putting them away, making an unexpected pass with the vacuum, cleaning up for her so that she doesn’t have to…etc.

This not only helps me reignite my strength for caring for others, but it also performs an act of service, and it shines the light on her so she knows I appreciate her.


Hold yourself accountable! As an adult (and a leader, for that matter), it’s up to you to accomplish your goals and to hold yourself accountable for where you can do better.

After a week or so, reflect on your untapped strengths and your ideas for employing them.

Did you find a way to execute, or did you let this slip to the bottom of your “To Do” list because you are a busy bee?

It’s ok if it slipped! You aren’t in trouble, but I would suggest making a checklist or finding some way to hold yourself accountable for making your impact on the world.

You have so much to offer everyone around you, and what you will begin to realize is that when you offer everyone else your strengths on a regular basis, you are the one who gets to bask in the knowledge of the fact that you are putting your best to work for others. Who wouldn’t feel great about that?

Have you enjoyed learning a little more about practical ways to put your best foot forward and positively impact the lives of others? Take the challenge and download the rest of my free Real Leadership Companion Booklet today!


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As Co-CEO of the largest independent financal services company in North America, John Addison’s skill as a leader was tested and honed daily. He retired in 2015 after taking the company and it’s people to massive heights. He’s just not done helping people get to the top. Today, he’s at the helm of Addison Leadership Group, INC working daily to mentor and educate new leaders.