What are ‘Strengths’?

Last week I talked about how StrengthsQuest is one of my favorite tools for leadership. It focuses on what you naturally do best, in order to become the best version of yourself. So, what exactly are your “Strengths”? How do they fit in with the training you’ve received, the talents you have, and the skills you’ve developed?

The best way to think about it is…

Your talents are the way you NATURALLY think or behave.

Your skills are your ability to move through the steps of a task.

Your knowledge is simply what you know.


Talents, knowledge and skills are what make up your Strengths. It is the combination of the natural talents you’re born with and what you spend your life learning about and practicing. Here’s a specific example:

For a basketball player, knowledge is understanding the rules of basketball. Skill is the ability to dribble the basketball. Talent is the inner drive to outperform the competition.

Could that same basketball player take her competition talent and apply it to being a musician? Or a lawyer? Or a film maker? Absolutely!

When learning about and discussing your Strengths, it doesn’t mean that you’re limited to being or doing certain things. It means that you have a foundation of Strengths, on which you can build anything!

Strengths are never limiting. The limits are only set by the things you want to do and how hard you’re willing to work. But knowing your Strengths, can help you focus on the right things to do and can get you there much faster!


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