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Geekdom Media has released Obey Your Strengths, a new podcast series that examines the Gallop-created methodology. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts, and Stitcher, Obey Your Strengths features host Kathy Kersten, a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach for over 12 years and one of the first to implement the use of the StrengthsFinder approach at Rackspace.
Based on a 40-year study of traits in humans, Gallup developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder approach to help people discover their top talents. The initial version of this assessment is described in the 2001 management book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. The philosophy behind StrengthsFinder is that everyone has natural talents. We fulfill our potential when we focus on elevating our personal strengths, rather than trying to address our weaknesses. StrengthsFinder lists 34 potential strengths; after taking the assessment, you learn about your top five strengths and how to leverage them in life and work.
“StrengthsFinders is one of those game-changing ideas implemented at Rackspace, especially since so many founders and investors have taken it into their post-Rackspace lives and incorporated it with great success,” said Geekdom chairman Lorenzo Gomez, who published his book The Cilantro Diaries last year. “Graham [Weston, co-founder and former Rackspace chairman] has always said the idea of using StrengthsFinder at Rackspace was a one-billion-dollar idea.”
Weston and Gomez launched Geekdom Media in June to publish original content of interest to the entrepreneurial ecosystem while showcasing world-class experts in San Antonio. Gomez said Geekdom Media had about a half dozen or so books and about the same number of podcasts already in varying stages of production. Geekdom Media’s first effort debuted in June with Gomez and branding expert Bill Schley hosting the Brand Brothers podcast series.
“My podcast is titled ‘Obey Your Strengths’ because our strengths are tied to the why and how of what we do,” Kersten said. “It’s more than a talent assessment; it’s about identifying your motivation, your decision making, your relationship-building—basically, your unique patterns as an individual.”
Gomez said Kersten has thousands of stories from coaching people on their strengths and helping employees understand their talents as they grow companies. Since Kersten left Rackspace in 2012, she has used StrengthsFinder to coach employees at over 320 different organizations. In the first episode, Kersten and Gomez share how their strengths led them from the corporate world into entrepreneurship.
“I was so in love with the [StrengthsFinder] content, but I didn’t enjoy learning it until I started using it in the real world,” Gomez said. “In episode 0 Kathy tells a great story about this guy at Rackspace who discovered his strengths were well suited for another job. After he got certified for his new position, he managed to double his income at Rackspace.”
The first series will run eight episodes and release each Friday. Kersten interviews leaders from the early days of Rackspace such as Graham Weston, Tom Hatton, and Pat Condon to ask them what their strengths mean to them and how they built personal and professional success.
In the second season, Kersten plans to share stories after her time coaching at Rackspace to share stories from people in different industries, from startups and smaller businesses to nonprofit organizations and universities. The focus will be on a leader’s unique strengths that guide them in finding purpose in their work or embracing different roles in their life beyond work.
“We share heartfelt stories about people’s vulnerabilities and their experiences in using StrengthsFinder,” Kersten said. “Sometimes our strengths can get us in trouble as they can get in the way of productivity or our relationships.”
What interests Kersten the most about entrepreneurs who use the StrengthsFinder assessment and approach is their self-awareness and insights into the strengths of others to create successful partnerships, teams, and organizations.“I believe people are world class in something,” Kersten said. “If you discover someone’s natural talents and invest in those, you can help them produce a world-class performance.” Click To Tweet
Featured image is of Geekdom Media’s podcast host of Obey Your Strengths, Kathy Kersten. Courtesy photo.