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Business Development Tool – Strength Based Leadership Test

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Apr 8, 2010

Forgive the short detour from the One Page Strategic Plan Quarterly priorities.  Yesterday I had about 4 + hours of windshield time and listened to Gallup's audio on Strength Based Leadership.  One business coaching tool that I've been recommending for my clients is the Strengths Based Leadership test.  [A word of warning you may have difficulty navigating this site before you purchase the audio or the book]

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Here are some quick hits from the book. 

  • Gallup found there are four domains of leadership strength: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking.
  • There is no specific combination of strengths that predicts or contributes to great leadership, rather it's how the person uses their unique strengths that determine their level of leadership. Therefore more of one strength is not important nor is balance in strengths important to leadership. If you thought you didn't have the right strengths to be a leader, there's hope for you based on this information.
  • While leaders don't need to be balanced in their strength set, it serves a business team well to have a representation of strengths in each of the four domains of leadership strength. Instead of one dominant leader who tries to do everything or individuals who all have similar strengths, contributions from all four domains lead to a strong and cohesive team. This doesn't mean that each person on a team must have strengths exclusively in a single category. In most cases, each team member will possess some strength in multiple domains. It suggests that getting the right people with the right strengths is what good leaders recognize.
  • According to their latest research, the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes naturally cluster into these four domains of leadership strength. If you've done the test previously [StrengthsFinders 2.0] you'll be able to match your skills to the leadership domains.
  • Four critical qualities of leadership are Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope.
  • A crucial skill of leadership is hope. You must communicate hope to your followers and most leaders fail to spend enough time on hope.
  • Most leaders spend too much time in response mode. Indeed they may say they spend time initiating, yet when measured it's much less than they realize.
  • Initiative is hard work. Perpetual response is much easier, which explains why most leaders spend most of their time in response mode.

 In our Gazelles two day workshops my plan is to ask the executive team to complete the Strengths Based Leadership test.  One of the checkboxes on the Rockefeller Habits Checklist under the heading of "As goes the Executive Team goes the rest of the firm" is Team members understand each other's differences, priorities, and styles.  The Strength Based Leadership Test provides real insight to help each team member understand each other's strengths. 

How well do you know your team's strengths?  Have you been under the assumption you cannot be a good leader because you are deficient in some skill area?  It's time to change your view of leadership.  Do you have a comment on this view of leadership?  Pick up the book or audio to learn how you can use your strengths to improve your leadership and how your team can contribute more to the growth of your business.

I promise to get back to the Quarterly Priorities next blog.  

Topics: Business Growth, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, One Page Strategic Plan, Business Development Tool, Strength Based Leadership

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Doug Wick, President

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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