Strengths Blog

 January 5, 2016

Clues to talent – Part 2, Rapid Learning

By Daryl Johnson

Last blog we discussed Yearning as a clue to talent. A second clue to talent is Rapid Learning. What seems to be naturally easy for you for which you need little or no instruction?


One of my son’s, while in high school, loved the Top Gun movie and went through a time of wanting to be a fighter pilot. We purchased a F16 video game for him that had a very realistic heads up cockpit display. The main objective was to successfully land on an aircraft carrier.  I was not very successful even after diligently trying to follow the instructions. He, on the other hand, landed with ease having totally skipped the flight instructions altogether.


I know that youth, dexterity, hand/eye coordination and time at the controls were factors here but it could also be that talent was on display.  Talent is an innate way of thinking, feeling, or behaving that has the potential for becoming a full blown strength. You either have it or you don’t in particular areas.


Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, supports this view in his latest book Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder. This online assessment identifies ten talents that highly successful entrepreneurs share.  He makes the case that entrepreneurs are born with these talents and you either have them or you don’t.


In the case of video games….apparently, I don’t.

Interested in sharing your thoughts on this post with us?


 December 18, 2015

Clues to talent – Part 1, Yearning

By Daryl Johnson
There are several keys to observing talent in both yourself and others. They include YEARNING, RAPID LEARNING, FLOW, SATISFACTION, and GLIMPSES of EXCELLENCE. (Gallup Resource, Start with Talent:Finish with Strength)
The first of these is yearning.  What keeps you awaken at night dreaming about what could be if your imaginations came to life? What wakes you up in the morning and energizes you throughout the day?  Conversely what drains the life out of you each day creating dread instead of anticipation. This being pulled or yearning toward something is an indicator of talent. Yearning is an internal force, a magnetic attraction that brings you back to an activity or experience over and over again. You can not wait do spend time in this area again. This is YEARNING.
In life we are either pushed along by demanding schedules, deadlines, things that must be achieved or we are pulled along by a vision that is compelling and sets every fiber of our being on fire with motivation and joy. What is pulling you?
Interested in sharing your thoughts on this post with us?

September 1, 2015

NSI on the Move

By Daryl Johnson
This has been a productive summer with training events in Baltimore and Atlanta as well as representing NSI at three PALCON events. At the Olivet PALCON in May 71 of the over 300 participants  attended a workshop entitled “Increasing Discipleship through Member Engagment”  presented along with Dr Emmanuel Reinbold to good response. Two new districts from that region have invited me to training events next year.
It was a priviledge to connect with Dr Rick Underwood, Director of The Center for Pastoral Health, while at Trevecca Nazarene University PALCON in July.  Dr Underwood is incorporating strengths training into the ministerial licensing process for interested districts on that region as well as using strengths in pastoral counselling through his office. We are happy to announce that Trevecca is now an official NSI university partner and we anticipate future training events as they become a strengt5hs training center for the nine districts on that region.
We anticipate being at the Canadian PALCON at Ambrose University in Calgary to present on “Growing an Engaged Church through Strengths Discovery and Development”. A key component of this presentation will be sharing by Pastor Gary Bennett and staff  regarding the strengths journey of  Victoria First Church of the Nazarene over the past few years.  They  are an exciting local church model of the NSI member engagement strategic pathway.
We are also  in conversation with Ambrose University, Mid- America Nazarene University, and Mt Vernon Nazarene University about partnerships with NSI.  We assist these institutions in developing strengths strategies and training in a couple of ways: 1) The development of strengths assessment with students through student development offices, 2) Introducing member engagement process and strengths training to the various districts on an educational region through center fo pastoral and congregational de3velopment .
We are thankful for these intisutionsal partnershiops and it has been a good summer of making connections.
Interested in sharing your thoughts on this post with us?

July 8, 2015

Strengths and the Greatest Commandment

by Dr. Daryl Johnson

To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37-39) is the greatest commandment prompted by Jesus.  The next verse stating to, “love your neighbor as you love yourself,” contains the often glanced over and forgotten, “as you love yourself” clause – but what a powerful message!  So easily we can downplay that the key to loving others is first of all an appropriate and healthy love of self.

As a pastor I encountered negative people who were down on themselves, highly critical of others, easily offended, and easily threatened.  Frank was one such individual. Because he was not able to see good in himself, he could not see or appreciate the talent and success of others. As I coached Frank through the StrengthsFinder assessment, I placed a key emphasis on helping him gain an awareness of his unique talent and worth as created by God.  It was exciting to watch as a transformation took place. To discover and celebrate who you are is not a self-centered, me-focused approach.

As Al Winseman, (author of Living Your Strengths) states, “On the contrary, the more self-aware you become the less preoccupied with self you become.”You being you gives God praise for His creative genius in making you and gives you the freedom to celebrate others. Love yourself in order to love others well.

Interested in sharing your thoughts on this post with us?