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Strength-based Leadership July 17, 2007

Posted by Bill in Competencies, Leadership & the Self, Organizational Behavior, Development, and Culture.

Strength-based Leadership
“living your best life” choosing the best for our lives

Cheryl shared some from her own story

understand the difference between themes/strengths
identify at least three strengths
formulate strategies to plan for a “strong week”
Articulate primary strategies to manage the “shadow side of strengths”
develop a template for creating a “strengths based” organization

Primary references
Clifton Strengths finder
Now, discover Your Strengths (Buckingham and Clifton 2001)
Go Put your Strengths to work (Buckingham 2007)
Strengths finder 2.0

Clarification:  More than just another tool
Definitions: Themes vs strengths
Goal of strengths initiative:
build a workplace/role where strengths are utilized to advance accomplishment of mission through the collaborative efforts of leaders/tem members.

Theme as applied to, mature itself into a strength in a flawless way
Themes become strengths with effort and practice.

Step one: Reflection
identify the themes
Strengths engagement track
Practical application

Step two:
Conversion of theme to strength/review of strength components
Essential question:  How will I ensure that I put my strengths into play just a little more this week than I did last week?  (objective is to build your job around the best of you).

Clarification of strengths
Those specific activities at which I do well for which I retain a powerful appetite
Three components:
Talents (innate)
skills (learned – consistent/near perfect performance

S = Success (you feel effective)
I = Instinct (I can’t help but…)
G = Growth (it feels easy)
N = Needs ( a feeling of fulfillment/ being “in the zone”)

Your strengths are those activities that make you feel strong.  Note: feelings reveal strengths

Evidenced through our speech:
It thrills me when…
I love it when…
I get so excited by…
I can’t wait to…
Practice this conversation with participant/employees, bosses.  this will provide them the freedom to use “strength speech”

Long term objective
How can I play to my strengths a little more this week than I did last week?
– identify exactly how and where each strength helps you in your current role
– find the missed opportunities to leverage each strength in current role
– learn new skills and techniques to sharpen each strength
– build your job toward each strength

Implication for :
– dissertation topic
– strategies for completion of doctoral studies
– enhanced understanding of how to work more effectively with committee members

What is the “Strengths” of your advisor(s)?

The “shadow side” of strengths
Harm others; excuse behavior; insights to manipulate; to put others down

What to do with weaknesses?
I feel drained when…

Warren Buffett gave Bill and Melinda Gates money to give away because he doesn’t like doing that…

4 strategies to stop your weaknesses
1 – stop doing the activity and see if anyone notices/cares
2 – team up with someone who is strengthened by what weakens you
3 – Offer up one of your strengths and gradually steer your job toward this strength and away from your weakness
4 – Perceive your weakness from a different perspective

Recommended three part proactive strategy
Part 1: strengths chat with boss
Part 2: how can I help you?
Part 3: How you can help me

Strengthen the team
What are you passionate about?
where can I expect to see the best from you?
What kinds of situations should I actively steer you away from?

Note:  there will be critics:
expect it
Identify “champions”
stay the course – make a plan

Strength based Organization
Mission Statement
core values
hiring process
evaluation process
Team building
Succession planning
Strategic long term plan

Moses was a strengths based leaders…
Ex 15.2
Deut 6:4-10
Ex 15:3



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