Views expressed are my own and do not represent the Mandela Washington Fellowship program

We took the Clifton Strengths test. This test was administered so that we may be aware of our strengths so that we may make better use of them. I wasn’t surprised by my results but I was a little disappointed that I don’t have any “executing” strengths or “manual labour” active strengths. Listed below are my top 5 strengths in their order.

1. Strategic

I’ve always joked around about how I have the wisdom to know what to do and when to do what to do. I was glad that the test was backing it up. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the first born that I had to manage and co-raise my siblings but I have always been able to effectively strategise stuff. In my advertising career I am able to create a strategy for a 360° advertising campaign effortlessly and I guess we know why. I fear that sometimes I may come across as a bully or domineering because I feel so strongly about knowing what needs to be done and wanting it done pronto! Others have argued that I wouldn’t be a Leo if that wasn’t one of my traits. We’ll never know why being strategic comes so easily to me.

2. Ideation

I thought this would be my number 1 actually but anyways top two is also cool. Ideas come to me faster than I can execute. My boyfriend says I am tree because I constantly have a new business idea every week. He did Entrepreneurship so you can see why it’s a match made in heaven. I’ve been feeling a pull towards pursuing a career in being a consultant. I want to get paid to come up with good ideas. I would like to use this strength to turn around existing businesses. Yes, I’m ready to be an intrapreneur. I’m also looking into creating businesses and selling them off to people with money and are looking to invest it someplace. I love building strong brands and I don’t have to own them all.

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3. Learner

This is funny because just recently I blogged about how I’m now addicted to online courses especially the free ones. In my areas of interest, I am always looking to see how other countries or people are doing the things I’m doing. If you go on my LinkedIn most of my connections are advertising people across the globe. I also follow AdWeek on Twitter just to keep up with the advertising campaigns. This is mostly for inspiration and to broaden my mind and the way that I see things. Being exposed to new ideas, inspires new ideas in me as well. Keeping up with the trends allows me to level up and compete on a global level because EXCELLENCE is the end-goal.

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4. Includer

Growing up I always felt unwanted. I wasn’t good at anything except academics. I was useless at sports and any other extra-curricular activities. I struggled to make friends and it didn’t help issues that my mom wouldn’t let us out the house as much. Yes, this is why I have no people skills and really enjoy my time alone and can’t work well with other people’s kids. Have you ever had to stand in a crowd while people pick teams and you’re the last one to be chosen and you start to feel like you’re default and that no one intentionally wanted you. That’s most of my life and I don’t want anyone to ever feel that way so making people feel included is important to me. I remember at one of the places that I worked in, the Creative Director accused me of always second guessing him by consulting others but truth is I wanted other people in the team to feel like they were part of the team as well by soliciting their opinions and perspectives. You can’t please everyone for sure!

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5. Belief

Anyone that knows my work ethic will tell you that I won’t do anything for the sake of money. I have to believe in the opportunity being presented and what it stands for. Even with the people that I work with, I choose my tribe according to vibe. Our beliefs need to gel. When I first met my mentor she felt that I was too emotionally charged and that the work that I was going too grounded in past experiences which might be unstable. I could have a vendetta against something today and tomorrow I’d be past it then what happens to the initiative that is build upon that vendetta. Fortunately, one of the things you can be sure of is that injustices will always be there. As long as people are alive, there’ll be injustices in the world. Injustices are built upon diverse perspectives and you can bet your last dollar that humans will never ever ever see things the same. It will never happen. I believe what I believe in and I believe it very strongly. I’m very steadfast about it, almost stubborn.

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My mom always said to us when it was time to start thinking about subjects for O Levels, “Focus on the subjects that you are good at and get 100% than to spread yourself thin across everything for 75%s.” I have taken this mantra into my work as well. I want to perfect my craft as a storyteller and accept that I’ll never be good with finance and tech. Leave those with a thing for numbers to focus on that while I work on the words. You really can’t do it all.