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August 2022 Countdown to Success On Strengths in Practice

5 Inputs, 4 Quotes, 3 Thoughts, 2 Challenges and 1 Question (August 18th, 2022)

“Helping you achieve high-performance medicine.”

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Happy August,

Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to speak to a class at my local veterinary school. This was a small eight-person class tasked with learning to evaluate and consult on dairy medicine at the herd level. I was able to share a message about the benefits of applied strengths in a team setting as well as introduce them to the StrengthsFinder 2.0 system.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a talent evaluation system that helps you identify the innate talents that you unconsciously manifest daily. With the proper guidance and coaching(something we at OTO were able to offer this class as well as other veterinary peers)individuals are able to accelerate their development simply by being conscious of their strengths.

This month I'd like to extend an offer to all my newsletter recipients. I would like to give the first 10 people to email "I'm In" to me at their own StrengthsFinder 2.0 code. This $20 value is my way of giving you all a way to begin to participate in the same journey these students got to. Of course, if you want to go further and experience a similar follow up strengths coaching program, I will happily facilitate that as well.

As a reminder, journey of professional development is important to me. Teaching and seeking the advancement of our profession has been a goal of mine since I started veterinary school and OTO gives me a vehicle to continue this mission. If you wish to join me more interactively as I pursue to please hit that reply button or join our Facebook Group to share your journey and growth with our community.

You never know when your ideas, stories, actions, or reflections will inspire another vet out there!

Alright, let’s get to it! Here are 5 Inputs to Inspire, 4 Quotes to Contemplate, 3 Thoughts to Ponder, 2 Challenges to Conquer and 1 Reflection Question to help you grow this month.

5 Inputs to Inspire

I. We begin at the source; the foundational StrengthsFinder 2.0 book. This book comes with an assessment code as well as an excellent explanation of the research and premise behind the modern strength’s movement. Learn about Gallup's 34 unique strengths and which ones are your "signature strengths."

II. StrengthsFinder 2.0 falls in the science of personal development called a "strengths-based approach." This is a skill set that can be difficult as humans to accept because it encourages you to ignore your weaknesses which many people have been taught need to be addressed. I encourage you to take some time to read about the solid science behind this movement at Positive Psychology.

III. One interesting conversation that inevitably comes up when we discuss strengths is weaknesses. Many people fixate on the need to fix or concentrate on them vs recognizing and appreciating the large number of new strengths they just discovered. This is a real-world example of Prospect Theory or the human tendency to value negatives (weaknesses) at approximately two times the amount of strengths. You can learn more about this psychological theory and how it affects every decision you make at The Decision Lab.

IV. One of my favorite applications for personal strengths doesn’t only involve the individual. Strengths can be a great way to improve Intrapersonal interactions in a team setting and has been a valuable tool we've used in our clinic to revamp the intra-clinic culture over the last five years. If you're interested in what this might look like Gallup has an excellent four-part podcast series about the importance of doing just this and how it can look in practice.

V. The final input I have for the OTO community today is the StrengthsFinder 2.0 report. Again, you can get a free copy by being among the first 10 people to reply to This report is a great resource about your strengths that will give you methodologies for strengths application that are unique to your strengths profile, not a cookie cutter plan. This means that by doing the assessment you've naturally begun your strengths journey.

4 Quotes to Contemplate

I. Author and developer of StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath: Therefore, she has a unique perspective about the frustrations that work can cause:

The key to human development is building on who you already are.

II. World famous painter Vincent Van Gogh about how using your strengths to bring about your passion is the key to making more of your profession:

Your profession is not what brings your weekly pay check, your profession is what you're put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual.

III. Author, poet and activist Dr. John A King discusses the importance of being a leader who plays within their areas of strength:

Visionary leaders focus not on fixing weaknesses, but instead maximizing strengths.

IV. American lawyer and politician William Jennings Bryan discusses how it is our choice to make our own destiny, just as it is our choice to leverage our given strengths:

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

3 Thoughts to Ponder

I. Consider introducing your clinic team to strengths; once we were able to vocalize our teams strengths within the clinic we were able to better address why conflict arose. This conflict existed because multiple people were attempting to do the same tasks but in different ways, and sometimes even in ways that were areas of weakness to the individual performing the task. Once we educated each other about why we they do things the way they do, via StrengthsFinder 2.0, we were better able to open up dialog between people and utilize each other more effectively.

II. Strengths have played an integral role in helping me determine my place within our clinic as I transitioned into ownership. Once I realized the power behind my willingness to learn and create a futuristic vision, I was able to identify needs our clinic had that represented strengths I had. Additionally, I was able to better identify the tasks that I need to step away from, in areas of my weakness, and delegate or contract others which allowed me to accelerate our practices advancement.

III. Having a better understanding of strengths and specifically the ability to identify them in others will make you a better consultant. If you can find the person in the operation that is a relationship builder, you can better assign them tasks that they value. Similarly, you can more quickly identify poor job placements and advise clients to remedy them before they become an issue.

2 Challenges

I. This month's first challenge is easy. Take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. That' sit. Take it and read your results.

II. Our second challenge is to apply one strength per day. After you've taken the assessment then I want you to read one strength every morning and then think about how you could apply it today. This might be as simple as using it when you hang out with family or as complicated as designing a new system in your clinic. No matter the size this challenge is all about getting you to become a conscious practitioner of strengths, day in and day out.

1 Reflection Question

What would happen to your well-being and career if you only worked in areas of strength and interest?

Until next month,

Dr. Eric Rooker

Founder of Operators to Owners

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