REBECCA KENNEDY - Director for Missions - STRENGTHS: Strategic, Arranger, Maximizer, Individualization, WOO (Winning Others Over)
How has knowing/understanding your strengths affected how you go about your work?
"One of the characteristics of a Maximizer is to be aware of one's own strengths. I think I've always been aware of the things I do well; however, the StrengthsFinder has given me a deeper understanding, appreciation, and language for strengths. It has been a relief to discover that I don't have to do and be everything. I am simply one piece of the puzzle."
How has knowing/understanding your strengths affected how you lead?
"It has given me confidence in knowing that my contribution to our team is not only important, but necessary. My team needs me to be who I am to the best of my ability. That's the way it works in the body of Christ. 'If I am not myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, then what am I?' -Rabbi Hillel"
How has knowing/understanding your strengths affected how you build relationships?
"Having a deeper understanding of all 34 themes has given me a much broader perspective of relationships. Understanding that I, as a WOO, may come across shallow to someone with the Deliberative strength has heightened my sensitivity for clear communication."
Were you surprised by any of your strengths when you learned what they were through StrengthsQuest? If so, which one(s) and why?
"At first I was surprised to find that my top two strengths were in the thinking theme. I've always considered myself to be a person of action. I assumed I would be an Achiever or Activator. However, as I began to read about and understand Strategic and Arranger, I was convinced that I use those two strengths in just about every area of my life."
Has knowing/understanding your strengths changed the way you approach any aspects of your life? If so, which aspects and how?
"I've already alluded to two aspects--relationships and teamwork. I approach the way our staff works together with a different perspective. It's not a competition to see who is the best employee. Rather, it's about each person learning to leverage their own unique set of strengths for the good of the whole. This approach, in turn, helps build a deeper appreciation and respect for my colleagues."
Why do you think it's important for Baylor students to know and understand their strengths?
"I believe self-awareness is the first step in understanding your Calling. God calls each of us, it is our choice whether or not to respond. Many students choose who they are going to be based on what other people tell them to be. For example, I met a student who was a business major only because her dad had been a business major. After discovering her strengths and determining the things she was most passionate about, she realized that counseling was a better choice. She is much happier now."
Why do you choose to work in higher education and with students?
"I chose to listen and follow God's call on my life. I am aware that my strengths, personality and certain opportunities allow me to be a person of influence. I understand that my role in life is not to find a cure for cancer or put the first person on Mars or win a Nobel Peace Prize. However, if I am sensitive to the voice of God I may have an opportunity to influence a student who will help find a cure for cancer or who will be the first to land on Mars or who will win a Nobel Peace Prize. I believe my charge is to help students find their calling."