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Executive Coaching for Finding Your Leadership Strengths

 

Strengths-Based Leadership

Which leadership style will prevail in the future?

If you want to improve employee engagement and productivity while reducing turnover, your organization must build on individual and team strengths.

Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a 30-year research project on leadership strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several noteworthy books:

1.     Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton (Free Press, 2001)

2.     StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, 2007)

3.     Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham (Free Press, 2007)

In Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, New York Times-bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of extensive Gallup research. Based on their analyses, three keys to effective leadership emerge:

1.     Know your strengths—and invest in others’ strengths.

2.     Hire people with the right strengths for your team.

3.     Understand and meet your followers’ four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

3 Keys to Effective Leadership

1. The most effective leaders continuously invest in strengths.

When leaders fail to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of employee engagement drop to a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when leaders focus on employees’ strengths, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%).

That translates to an eightfold increase in the odds of engaging individuals in their work, leading to greatly increased organizational and personal gains. Employees enjoy greater self-confidence when they learn about their strengths (as opposed to focusing on their weaknesses).

Emphasizing what people do right boosts their overall engagement and productivity. They learn their roles faster and more quickly adapt to variances. They not only produce more, but the quality of their work improves. Gallup has also found powerful links between top talent and crucial business outcomes, including higher productivity, sales and profitability, lower turnover and fewer unscheduled absences.

2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and maximize their team.

The best leaders needn’t be well rounded, but their teams are. Strong teams have a balance of strengths in four specific leadership domains:

·      Execution: Great leaders know how to make things happen. They work tirelessly to implement solutions and realize success.

·      Influence: Leaders help their teams reach a broader audience by selling ideas inside and outside the organization.

·      Relationship-Building: Leaders are the glue that holds a team together. They create an environment in which groups perform harmoniously for optimal results.

·      Strategic Thinking: Leaders keep everyone focused on the possibilities for a better future.

3. The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

A leader is someone who can get things done through other people.” ~ Warren Buffett, business magnate

People follow leaders for very specific reasons. While researchers have spent the bulk of their time and funding on analyses of leaders’ individual traits, the follower’s point of view has gone largely unexplored.

As noted earlier, Gallup’s study of 10,000 followers reveals four basic needs. They want their leaders to display:

·      Trust: Respect, integrity and honesty

·      Compassion: Caring, friendship, happiness and love

·      Stability: Security, strength, support and peace

·      Hope: Direction, faith and guidance

Measuring Strengths

Gallup’s new online StrengthsFinder assessment helps you identify which of 34 theme-based strengths you have and they fit into the four domains of leadership strength: execution, influence, relationship-building and strategic thinking.

You can also take advantage of similar free online tools.

Defining Strengths

Strengths development requires you to understand several key terms:

A strength is your ability to consistently produce positive outcomes through near-perfect performance in a specific task. It is composed of:

      Skillsyour ability to perform a task’s fundamental steps. Skills do not naturally exist within us; they must be acquired through formal or informal training and practice.

      Knowledgewhat you know, such as your awareness of historical dates and your grasp of the rules of a game. Knowledge must be acquired through formal or informal education.

      Talentshow you naturally think, feel and behave (i.e., the inner drive to compete, sensitivity to others’ needs, being outgoing at social gatherings). Talents are innate and unique to each of us.

Finding Your Strengths

We display our strengths each day, and we don’t necessarily require a formal assessment to discover where we excel.

      Our yearnings can reveal the presence of a talent, particularly when we recognize them early in life. A yearning can be described as an internal force—an almost magnetic attraction that leads you to a particular activity or environment time and again.

      Rapid learning also signals talent. Your brain may light up when you undertake a new challenge. You’ll feel a whole bank of switches flick to the “on” position and feel invigorated.

      If you feel great satisfaction (psychological fulfillment) when meeting new challenges, you’ve likely identified a talent. Pay close attention to situations that bring you these en­ergizing feelings. If you can identify them, you’re well on your way to pinpointing some of your dominant talents.

      If you’re so engrossed in an activity that you lose track of time (timelessness), you’re engaged at a deep, natural level—another indicator of talent.

      Glimpses of excellence are flashes of outstanding performance observed by you or others. In these moments, the task at hand has tapped some of your greatest talents.

Talents are the foundation for developing your strengths. Use your StrengthsFinder report or another assessment tool to identify them. Hone them for a more fulfilling life.

34 Personal Strengths

The Gallup Organization identified 34 distinct personal strengths after interviewing 1.7 million professionals over 40 years:
 

Gallup’s 34 Strengths
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, 2007)

 

1.

Achiever

Constantly driven to accomplish tasks

2.

Activator

Sets things in motion

3.

Adaptability

Adept at accommodating changes in direction/plan

4.

Analytical

Requires data/proof to make sense of circumstances

5.

Arranger

Enjoys orchestrating many tasks/variables

6.

Belief

Strives to find ultimate meaning in everything he/she does

7.

Command

Embraces leadership positions without fearing confrontation

8.

Communication

Uses words to inspire action and education

9.

Competition

Thrives on comparison and competition

10.

Connectedness

Seeks to unite others through commonalities

11.

Consistency

Treats everyone the same to avoid unfair advantage

12.

Context

Reviews the past to make better decisions

13.

Deliberative

Proceeds with caution and a planned approach

14.

Developer

Sees others’ untapped potential

15.

Discipline

Makes sense of the world by imposing order

16.

Empathy

In tune with others’ emotions

17.

Focus

Has a clear sense of direction

18.

Futuristic

Eyes the future to drive today’s success

19.

Harmony

Seeks to avoid conflict and achieve consensus

20.

Ideation

Sees underlying concepts that unite disparate ideas

21.

Includer

Instinctively works to include everyone

22.

Individualization

Draws upon individuals’ uniqueness to create successful teams

23.

Input

Constantly collects information/objects for future use

24.

Intellection

Enjoys thinking and thought-provoking conversation; can compress complex concepts into simplified models

25.

Learner

Constantly challenged; learns new skills/information to feel successful

26.

Maximizer

Takes people and projects from great to excellent

27.

Positivity

Injects levity into any situation

28.

Relator

Most comfortable with fewer, deeper relationships

29.

Responsibility

Always follows through on commitments

30.

Restorative

Thrives on solving difficult problems

31.

Self-Assurance

Stays true to beliefs; self-confident

32.

Significance

Others to see him/her as significant

33.

Strategic

Can see a clear direction in complex situations

34.

Woo

Can easily persuade

Each of these strengths contributes to the four leadership domains:

Gallup Leadership Strengths
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow,
by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (Gallup Press, 2013)

 

EXECUTING

 

ACHIEVER

CONSISTENCY

FOCUS

ARRANGER

DELIBERATIVE

RESPONSIBILITY

BELIEF

DISCIPLINE

RESTORATIVE

 

INFLUENCING

 

ACTIVATOR

COMPETITION

SIGNIFICANCE

COMMAND

MAXIMIZER

WOO

COMMUNICATION

SELF-ASSURANCE

 

 

 

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

 

 

ADAPTABILITY

EMPATHY

INDIVIDUALIZATION

DEVELOPER

HARMONY

POSITIVITY

CONNECTEDNESS

INCLUDER

RELATOR

 

 

STRATEGIC THINKING

 

 

ANALYTICAL

IDEATION

LEARNER

CONTEXT

INPUT

STRATEGIC

FUTURISTIC

INTELLECTION

 

Growing Strengths for the Future

“People have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” ~ Tom Rath

Many people fall into the trap of trying to “fix” their deficits and flaws instead of expanding their strengths.

Use the Gallup data to identify your talents and convert them into strengths. You can then increase your leadership effectiveness and build stronger, balanced teams.

Remember: Leaders stay true to who they are. They make sure they have the right people around them. Those who surround themselves with similar personalities will always be at a disadvantage, as they’re too insecure to enlist partners and team members with complementary strengths.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
Mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence Workplace Expert

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, more stress resiliency, and helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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