Build Your Team: Focus on StrengthsAug 01, 2022
Several years ago I was introduced to Now, discover your strengths years before it became a bestseller on the Management and Leadership lists. Essentially, the Gallup organization found that most of us are able to document our education, experiences and accomplishments but few of us are able to articulate our strengths. Gallup reports that people who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general. You cannot be anything you want to be but you can be a lot more of who you are already.
All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.
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The more recent research of Gallup scientists points to three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.
So, as a Board Chair, or as a Chief Executive Officer, why would you not want higher performance, improved engagement and enhanced well-being for your team and your organization?
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, provide the results of studies of more than one million work teams, more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and interviews with more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.
Thirty-four unique strengths are identified, with their characteristics, how they play out and how they can be used and enhanced. It is challenging to put strengths to use if you don’t know what they are!
The strengths are clustered around four themes: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking. You can get a quick visual of the strengths around your table.
A unique access code allows you to take a leadership version of Gallup’s assessment. The leadership version provides you with specific strategies for leading with your top five strengths and enables you to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength.
I have used Strengths-based Leadership with graduate students, leadership candidates, boards and senior teams. It is well worth the rather limited investment of time and resources. It is also a wonderful team-building exercise.
What are your main “pain points” dealing with team development and high performance?
What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!
Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.
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