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Through Leadership Foundation, Dave helps leaders discover their strengths and insert themselves into their businesses to receive the highest ROI. Many leaders overextend themselves and work in areas of weakness, rather than strengths. Rather than forcing a leader to adopt an uncomfortable leadership model, Dave customizes a leadership approach that fits him. Everything starts with the leader. Leaders who build the right foundation flourish. The organization cannot rise higher than the leader.

Group Coaching provides a collaborative environment in which leaders grow through learning together. Dave encourages leaders to share insights with others that encourage and motivate leadership growth. This service reduces cost and provides a dynamic atmosphere that lifts everyone in the group.

Private Coaching provides complete focus on you and your challenges. Dave helps you grow faster and go further individually. If you want encouraging accountability and accelerated growth, consider the Private Coaching option.

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A Leadership Tool That Can Transform Your Career

May 08, 20235 min read

I regularly search for new tools to help my clients.

One of these tools I’ve discovered has the potential to transform careers.

Recently, I became certified as a Coach and a Facilitator in YouMap, a 4-fold, holistic assessment that assesses individuals’ strengths, values, skills, and passions. This assessment enables you to craft a YouMap or “map of you.”

I find that many people do not have good self-awareness about their unique abilities and skills. They lack clarity regarding themselves. They struggle with understanding their unique contribution in life as an individual.

The YouMap assessment provides the clarity needed to help people find the right position or role within an organization.

Read below to understand how it works and how it may benefit you or someone you know.


1. YouMap clarifies your strengths!

YouMap uses the Strength Finders assessment to help people discover their strengths. Strength Finders evaluates a person based upon 34 strengths.  

For most people, discovering your top 5 strengths can be very helpful. Gallup has over 40 years of history in providing these assessments.

Interestingly enough, very few people’s top 5 strengths are even close to being identical. Each one of us is unique.    

Your strengths are the natural abilities with which you were born. They are you at a core level.

For most people, you will have 1 dominant strength that drives everything else. For me, that dominant strength is strategic.

Everything I do or think has a strategic perspective. It is just who I am. This strength enables me to perceive problems and determine a path forward to solve those problems. This strength is very helpful to my clients.

The Strength Finders assessment divides the various strengths into 4 categories:

  • relating strengths (how people build connections with each other)

  • influencing strengths (the ability to move others into action)

  • executing strengths (the ability to get things done)

  • thinking strengths (how a person analyzes the world)

Understanding your top 5 strengths and what category they fit within is very helpful to understanding yourself.

For example, if you have numerous thinking strengths, you will tend to focus more inwardly and often struggle with over-analyzing situations or people. You also will need intellectual challenges in your job to avoid boredom. Routine, mundane tasks will not excite or challenge you.

If you have never taken a Strength Finders assessment, you will be amazed at how much the results help you understand yourself and others.   

2. YouMap clarifies your values!

Very few assessments evaluate your values.

What are values? In short, they are what’s important to you. They include moral and ethical areas, but they also include areas like quality, leadership, relationships, etc.

For example, let’s say quality is very important to you. If so, you want to work in a company or department where quality matters. If your organization doesn’t value quality, you may be successful in your job or position, but you will not like working where you work, because it does not value quality.

Value alignment in a job is more important than you might think.

When your company places you in a role that violates your values, it often shows up in your body. You may find yourself with headaches, stomach aches, or exhaustion. You will find it difficult to make yourself go to work.  This may be confusing to you. You like your job. You are good at it, but you find yourself unmotivated and even struggling to go to work. Why? Because the role or position does not align with your values.


YouMap helps identify your top 10 values. As you discover them, you can examine whether your job supports or violates your values. If your values are violated, you may need to change roles, departments, or your company.  

Don’t underestimate the importance of your values. It is one of the most overlooked components in enjoying and thriving at your job.

3. YouMap clarifies your skills!

Skills are those qualities or abilities you have learned in life. You may have learned them in your home, at school, at work, etc  

Approximately 80% of skills are transferable from job to job. Yet, people often struggle with knowing how to use their skills in a different field or in a different position. It’s just hard for them to see how they can take what they know from one job to another one.  

YouMap not only helps you identify your skills, but it also places your skills into 2 categories:

  • energizing skills (skills that you enjoy and that motivate you)

  • burnout skills (skills that drain you)

Sometimes people have a job or role that requires them to use burnout skills excessively. It’s not that a person cannot use his burnout skills and do well. Doing so, however, will drain you.  

If you use energizing skills, you will be motivated and excited about work. You are doing what lifts you up, rather than beats you down.

Do you know what your motivating and burnout skills are? Most people don’t! The YouMap assessment will help you discover both.

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4. YouMap clarifies your passions!

Your passions are the things that align with your personality.  They originate from within your being.

We hear a lot about following your passions. People often advise others to find something you love and give yourself to it.

Passions are good and necessary, but passions alone are not enough. That’s why it is important to utilize a holistic assessment (strengths, values, skills, and passions).

Having alignment in only one area is incomplete. You need all 4 areas to align. When they do, you will look forward to going to work. In fact, it will not feel like work, because your job fits you so well.

YouMap wraps the results of all four assessments into a unified picture of an individual.  You will gain clarity to discover the best position or role that fits you.

Kristin Sherry, the author of YouMap, says her mission is “to make everyone love Mondays.”

Most people don’t love Mondays, because on Monday they have to go back to work. They don’t love their jobs because there is misalignment between who they are and what they do. You don’t want to live your life that way.  

If you want to know more about the YouMap assessment, contact me. I would love to help you get a clear picture of your strengths, values, skills, and passions.

You will find yourself re-energized and excited about who you are and hopefully what you do.

Grow Your Business By Getting Out of the Way

Dave Pennington PhD

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Mike Kanty

Dave is a calm and thoughtful leader. His focus on Pastoral Leadership is ideally suited to his skills and life experience. Dave helps pastoral leaders develop and implement a church growth system that reaches and impacts their communities. If your vision for your Church is getting fuzzy or you are challenged with not just retaining but inspiring and growing an active congregation reach out to Dave at Penn Coaching and Consulting.


Kristin Sherry

Dave has been consulting with me for about half a year and helps me stay focused on what's important for YouMap LLC to scale and grow. The YouMap® Coaches and Facilitators love his quick start coaching process and everyone finds his insight to be extremely beneficial. He is a trusted partner and a blessing.


Bob Sager

Dave is one of those people who, upon meeting him for the first time, you feel like you've known for years. Easy to talk with, he takes a non-judgmental approach to helping business owners become more successful and have more fun.

As a member of one of the Mastermind Groups I run, Dave has always applied his knowledge, experience and imagination to helping others solve their biggest challenges. I am so pleased to know him and recommend him highly.


Mike Chirveno

I had the pleasure of working with Dave on an executive team for a couple of years. His ability to identify the "big rocks" in a situation, fashion the best "next steps" and marshal the efforts of a team to execute are the best I have seen. Dave is a gifted executive coach who makes his clients more productive, helps them stay focused on their highest priority tasks and probably most importantly, gives them a good sounding board for the important decisions they must make. There is no one I could recommend more heartily than David Pennington.


Heidi Chapnik

I have known Dave for several years. It has been an honor to know him and engage with him at his best. Dave is a heartfelt salt of the earth man of integrity, which belie his talents. Dave is super focused, organized and effective in decision making, problem solving and team building. His approach as an executive coach is open door, empathetic, yet firm and strong. Dave is able to build teams after on target analysis of challenge areas. His wide range of knowledge spans to all levels of management and his effectiveness knows no bounds.


Mark Burdette

Dr. David Pennington provided insightful, strategic business coaching that enabled my commercial firm to grow from 1 to 13 brokers and expand from 1 to 4 different geographical locations. He assisted with hiring & developing brokers, putting processes in place to manage and grow my firm. He is wise, encouraging, and a good personal friend. If you want someone who will help you grow as a leader, you cannot do better than hiring him!


Anthony Totta

Doc Dave has been a very positive influence by challenging me to become more focused and thereby more effective. He showed me effective ways to prioritize. His "spin less plates and spin the remainder well" approach for me has been just what I needed. I am thankful Dave is now offering himself full time as a coach mentor. I am sure he will help many folks from many walks of life as he did me.


PJ Petrillo

He is an excellent instructional leader who remains cool in a crisis, and responds well with clients and employees alike. David is a diverse individual who will be successful on whatever path he chooses to work within. He is a team player and mentors others well too.

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