How to Make the Most of Your Assets (And Limit Your Liabilities)

How to Make the Most of Your Assets (And Limit Your Liabilities)

What comes to your mind when you hear the terms assets and liabilities? Most businesspeople think of a corporate balance sheet. But as a person, have you ever noticed that you have assets and liabilities, too? Here, I am not talking about those financial positions you personally own or owe someone. I refer to your personal strengths and weaknesses that help or hinder you making positive contributions with your natural talent and preferred cognitive styles that we track with TIPS Innovation Profiles, Thinkergy’s innovation people profiling method. After all, each of the 11 TIPS profiles comes with a unique mix of assets and liabilities. Today, let’s discuss how you can make the most of your assets (and limit your liabilities) with TIPS.

What are your assets? What are your liabilities?

The term “asset” can be defined as “a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality”. From a financial or business point of view, asset can also mean a “property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and valuable to meet debts, commitments, or legacies”. 

On the other hand, “liability” can be defined as “a quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault”, or as “a person or thing whose presence or behavior is likely to cause embarrassment or put one at a disadvantage”. 

When we put these key ideas together, we can say that your personal assets are those good, beneficial qualities that you mainly use to create value and make a positive difference to yourself, your business, and society. In contrast, your liabilities are those disadvantageous behaviors and qualities that set you back and prevent you from realizing your full potential. Together, your positive and negative qualities form your personal balance sheet. 

How do your assets and liabilities relate to TIPS?

TIPS profiles people with the help of the four TIPS Bases (Theories, Ideas, People, Systems) and the four TIPS Styles (to think, work, interact, and live). Both the TIPS Bases and Styles feed the questionnaire in the TIPS Online Profiling Test, and they also span the TIPS Profiling Map that provides the coordinates to position the 11 TIPS Innovator Profiles (based on the test results).

Each of the 11 TIPS profiles (All-Rounder, Coach, Conceptualizer, Experimenter, Ideator, Organizer, Partner, Promoter, Systematizer, Technocrat, Theorist) comes with its own personal balance sheet — a unique mix of assets and liabilities. The TIPS profiling report features and elaborates on the top five assets and liabilities of each profile.

For example, what are assets of a Conceptualizer? They tend to possess a natural talent for strategy and getting the big picture. They are balanced, integrated whole-mind thinkers who equally enjoy and excel at quantitative, analytical thinking and qualitative, creative thinking. Being self-reliant conceptual knowledge workers, they are good at creating new concepts and tools, and they are naturally born problem-solvers. (By the way, these assets typically relate to the dominant TIPS style of a profile, which is the work style “Brain” in the case of the Conceptualizer.) 

However, like all other profiles, Conceptualizers not only come with a set of assets, but also with a set of liabilities listed on the right-hand side of their personal balance sheet: Conceptualizers dislike sweating the small stuff. Having their heads up in the clouds, they may miss out on details, sensations and events going on in the real world, which also exposes them to politics and people issues at work. While solving the problems of everyone else, they tend to forget to focus on how to maximize their own full potential, which also puts these fast thinkers at a risk of suffering from burn-out in the long run.

How to make the most of your assets?

Many self-books and management coaches advise you to invest time and effort in improving your liabilities. It’s similar to being at school, where kids get tutoring to develop and improve those subjects at which they are weak.

But TIPS urges you to do just the opposite: Focus on playing on, developing and growing your personal assets. Your assets are those things that are easy, effortless and enjoyable to accomplish and master for you, but are difficult for others. Your personal assets are those beneficial qualities that best allow you to add meaningful value to your organization and yourself.

How to limit your liabilities?

Now you may wonder: But what about my liabilities? Should I invest time improving on my weaknesses? Nope. Don’t bother. TIPS is based on the idea to make everyone play on their strengths, while having other people fill in for one’s weaknesses. 

So, who are these “other people” that compensate for your liabilities? They sit opposite each TIPS profile on the TIPS Profiling Map.

For example, being dual opposites, Conceptualizers and Organizers balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Organizers enjoy operations and taking care of all the details. They are down-to-earth and pragmatically get things done, working in the moment in a both efficient and service-oriented way. As such, an Organizer complements a Conceptualizer, and vice versa.

How can you benefit from gaining greater self-awareness of your assets and liabilities with TIPS?

Here are three concrete application areas (out of many others):

  1. Career planning and alignment:
    Look for roles that allow you to apply your strengths as much as possible, because that’s how you can make the biggest positive difference in business. For example, a Conceptualizer can best play on their assets in functional roles such as strategic planning or business development, industries such as high tech or consulting, and smart or start-up organizations.
  2. Job applications and interviews:
    Regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate applying for your first job, or a seasoned veteran vying for a vacant position in senior management: Being aware of your assets and liabilities is essential to scoring that new position. It allows you to convincingly advertise your core strengths in your job application — and to comfortably and credibly answer that question about your weaknesses in an interview. (After all, we all have weaknesses). Becoming more self-aware of your assets and liabilities also can give you an idea of how you may come across to others, and allow you to empathize with their point of view.
  3. Personal Development:
    When planning your professional development initiatives, ask your superior and human capital development manager to send you to attend training programs that grow your human asset base, or in other words: that further and expand on the assets of your TIPS profile.

Conclusion: Become aware of —and focus on— your assets

TIPS gives you the opportunity to play on and grow your personal assets, while having others compensate for your liabilities. So, how can you harness the powerful dynamics of your personal balance sheet? That’s easy:

  1. Simply register yourself at our new TIPS Online Test Platform.
  2. Then, get TIPS-ed for $89 to discover your TIPS profile and personal profiling results.
  3. Finally, start making the most of your profile’s assets and enjoy reaping the rewards. 

© Dr. Detlef Reis 2018 


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