Personal SWOT

 

A SWOT analysis is a common tool to study a businesss that applied to your personal strengths and weaknesses can reveal a great deal for you.

A SWOT analysis is a common tool to study a businesss that applied to your personal strengths and weaknesses can reveal a great deal for you.

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

Understand yourself and discover who you are and what you want

You have a choice to make when embarking on any journey. It is possible to simply set off and go somewhere that is anywhere but here. Choose a direction and move! Where do you end up? Well… somewhere! This is actually how most people approach their life and their career.

Think about the last time that you decided to go somewhere specific. Firstly you would know where you are at the start of the journey. Then you identify your destination. Then you identify the route from here to there and the means of transport. In choosing the mode of getting from here to there, you would take into consideration what you have that will enable you to get there from here. Perhaps a car, with fuel and of course, you would have the ability and license to drive. If that isn’t an option for you, you might choose a bus, a train, maybe even cycle or walk. You would choose the most appropriate transport for you in your circumstances.

The same is true for developing your leadership. Step 1 is to know where you are now.

This is worthy of some serious personal reflection. What are your strengths and weaknesses? You may have taken our GAPPS Leadership assessment? This is a clear, holistic and objective assessment of your leadership strengths and development needs and an easy place to start this exercise. If you haven’t done this yet, you’ll need a bit more deep soul-searching. Even with the GAPPS report in hand, you may need to dig deeper.

In addition to this, we identify the opportunities and threats to ourself and our leadership future.

You will map your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats on a grid. (Yes, it’s the same idea as an organization SWOT analysis).

Together, your strengths and opportunities help identify your long-term goals. While your weaknesses and the threats facing you need to be mitigated, planned for or managed to ensure that your goals remain attainable and realistic.

To begin your personal SWOT analysis, you begin by asking yourself a series of questions, answering them in the appropriate of each of the four quadrants:

Personal SWOT Analysis

Strengths

What sets you apart from others?
If you have taken a competency or similar assessment (or better still our GAPPS assessment) you will have identified your leadership strengths and you should include these here.
Think also about your other strengths, all of your experience, education, hobbies as well.
  • What are you really good at?
  • What do other people ask you to do for them?
  • What have you done that makes you really proud
  • What connections do you have access to that others do not have?
  • What skills do others recognise in you?
Do ask your family, friends and colleagues for honest and candid feedback here. If they suggest something is weak, when you believe it a strength, thank them for their honesty and put it in the next column. (yes, maybe they are wrong, but it is what others perceive and see that is often more real than our reflection – think of photos of you.)

Weaknesses

The trick here is to be utterly honest with yourself. Accept that you do have weaker areas, especially if you thought that you were good here but after asking your friends or colleagues, they said otherwise, well those belong here.
These things are to be reduced or managed.
Be fair to yourself, and forgiving (just as you are with others’ weaknesses).
  • What tasks do you do only because you have to do them?
  • When are you most vulnerable?
  • Where do you lack resources, connections or experience where others have them?
  • In which tasks do you struggle to master?
  • Is there anything about your personality or character that holds you back?

Opportunities

Now turn attention to what’s happening outside that may be leveraged to your advantage.
The economy is often mentioned here or under threats.
  • What are the opportunities for someone who does X well? (where X is a specific skills, knowledge or resource)
  • Given a fair world and the chance, what would you do that you would truly love and enjoy?
  • What would you advise someone possessing your strengths that they could do?
  • What trends do you see or have heard about, that have an impact on your career?
  • Where is the easiest growth for you in your career?

Threats

Lastly, consider those things or people who could derail your plans.
Clear consideration of these now will enable you to plan around things that are truly uncontrollable.
Do you have weaknesses now that are genuinely holding you back.
What setbacks might you encounter?
What obstacles have others faced when doing something similar to your plans?
Is there a person, or people, who are genuinely an obstacle in your plans? (You may be thinking that this particular person is against you and is deliberately blocking your progress. We are not looking to resolve this here, nor is this a time to blame someone else, just note it and later you will plan around the threats.
Get your template here.