Analyzing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Our team at Catalyst does SWOT assessments at least twice a year. They create the blueprint for everything we do. That’s how valuable they can be. This evaluation has been around for quite some time, so while you may be familiar with it, you may not have completed one that focuses on yourself.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Taking time to do it will result in:

● Clarity of direction and purpose.

● Affirmation of what you are doing right.

● Identifying where you might need help.

● Being more aware of what is happening around you.

It also doesn’t take very long to complete. So, let us guide you through the 4 areas of assessment before you try it.

1. Strengths

As it sounds, strengths identify what you are doing well or, in the beginning, what you anticipate you will do well. Maybe you are highly disciplined - then, include discipline on this list. Maybe you love connecting with new people - Include networking, as well.Don’t stop until you record 7-10 strengths that you have and that are relative to your short-term vision and 12 week goals. If you want to be a pilot, don’t include the fact that you are a great cook.

2. Weaknesses

Same concept as above: Identify what you are not doing well, or what you anticipate not doing well, in relation to your current vision and goals.

3. Opportunities

In light of what you are setting out to do, what are the biggest opportunities you need to take advantage of? If school is a required piece to achieving your specific purpose, is there an opportunity to take at least one class this semester? Could you commit to attend a conference in the field you are interested in?

What if you desire to be an entrepreneur and you already know a successful entrepreneur that is willing to mentor you? That’s an opportunity. Anything that can advance your progress in achieving your goals is an opportunity. List 5-7 potential opportunities.

4. Threats

Great leaders are often glancing towards the horizon to see what is headed their way. There are always potential obstacles trying to take us out, and sometimes those hurdles are beyond our control. Maybe you are battling an illness, and it is slowing progress towards reaching your goal. Maybe your plan takes some startup capital, and you are not sure how to go about acquiring the money.

Virtually anything can become a threat to your progress, so you want to evaluate some of the biggest potential threats that would keep you from pursuing your specific purpose.

Ok, done. Now what?

✔ Address any imminent threats first. Seek wise counsel from others, as to what you can do to avoid stopping your progress all together. The threats you identify should be reflected somewhere in your 12 week goals or strategic actions.

✔ Make sure you have a plan in place to take advantage of the opportunities that are before you.

✔ Lean on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. If administration is a weakness for you, find someone that can hold you accountable or volunteer to help you in this area. Focus the majority of the time operating in the things you do well, and find a way to navigate around your weaknesses.