What you do best

What do you do best? What skills come easily to you? What do you enjoy?

I recently

read an interview with Cheryl Sandberg in the NY Times Book Review

. She was asked to recommend the best business book that she's read recently. Here's a bit of what she said.

“Now, Discover Your Strengths,” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. This book has been instrumental in how we think about developing talent at Facebook. Like all organizations, we have a system for giving feedback to our employees. A few years ago, Lori Goler, Facebook’s head of human resources, brought Marcus to meet with our leadership team to help us improve this system. Marcus and his colleagues surveyed employees for 25 years to figure out what factors predict extraordinary performance. They found that the most important predictor of the success of a company or division was how many people answered yes to the question “Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” And this makes sense. Most performance reviews focus more on “development areas” (a k a weaknesses) than strengths. People are told to work harder and get better at those areas, but people don’t have to be good at everything. At Facebook, we try to be a strengths-based organization, which means we try to make jobs fit around people rather than make people fit around jobs. We focus on what people’s natural strengths are and spend our management time trying to find ways for them to use those strengths every day.

In addition to this review, I'm also deep into Cheryl Sandberg's book,

Lean In

. So far I have dogeared or underlined something on nearly every page. Not being in the corporate world, I've thought a lot about the lens through which I am reading the book and how it applies to my life as

 a work from home woman and a stay-at-home mom.

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? 

Do you feel the weight of that question? That's one of those questions that makes you feel the power of seizing the moment and moving your world around to make things happen. But it's also a question that makes you think about what your strengths are and if you are owning them. 

Celebrating Mother's Day yesterday was beautiful. The girls showered me with homemade gifts in three languages, breakfast in bed, and a blissful sushi lunch. Then, I cleaned a bit of the house, supervised piano practice, broke up a few arguments, discussed Olivia's upcoming birthday party, and got everything ready for the upcoming week. You know, the typical mom stuff. The point is, we do a lot every day and it isn't always the things that we are best at or most excited to do. But the key is to try and carve out the opportunity to do what we do best everyday and apply our skills to the places that need them. 


In light of Leaning In, empowering women's voices, and myself, here is what I do best:

• I am organized. 

I am a great list-maker, I keep track of things that need to be done. 

• I am good at envisioning. I love ideas, the big picture, and thinking about things.

• I am disciplined.

• I am creative and I love to create. 

• I am a good teacher of things. 

• I am great expresser of love. I love life, I love my family, I love people and I express it.

• I am a great debater and discusser of ideas, stories, and topics.

• I create a great space, set a good mood, decorate a beautiful home, and host a good gathering. 

• I am a seer. I see things that are sometimes overlooked. 

• I am a strong researcher and love an assignment.

• I am good at finding someone to do that at which I am not good at doing, but want done now. 

What do you do best? How does expressing your strengths make you feel? 

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? It's a great discussion and I would love to hear what you think!