Leading With Strengths
It seems almost counterintuitive that we should focus our efforts on developing and working to our strengths, rather than always working to “fix” or improve our weaknesses.
Yet, this is exactly the approach that will yield the best productivity, creativity, team culture and cohesion within your business.
According to authors Donald Clifton and James Harter, “Managers who focus on strengths have been shown to be nearly twice as likely to produce above-median performance in their team as those who focus on weaknesses.”
In the book “Strengths Based Leadership,” bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership expert Barry Conchie apply the Gallup organization’s 30 years of research to suggest that leaders need to first know and understand their own strengths, and the strengths of those they lead.
Being self-aware is an essential component of being an effective leader. In doing so, it means being introspective and honest to assess your own strengths and then focusing on them. This self-awareness also extends to recognizing, but not focusing, on your weaknesses. Focusing on strengths and competencies enhances self-confidence.
If we agree leadership is about maximizing an individual’s potential, then it follows that as leaders, we should ensure we have people working in roles within our organizations that work to their strengths.
According to Forbes, “The companies that embrace the mentality of aligning people’s strengths and passions with the right projects and teams get amazing results.”
Building a diverse, talented team around you as a leader will ensure you have a well-rounded group that boasts strengths and skillsets to complement yours. Strong, effective teams are a critical component in building a solid, inclusive organizational culture.
Health club organizations that can successfully integrate strength-based leadership principles into the culture and strategy of their business will have increased measurable outcomes of employee engagement, improved productivity and greater profitability.
Kristen Green is the executive general manager of Aquafit.