In the previous episode, we discussed how to respond to various situations as leaders. This week, we will discuss whether there are situations in which we need to be more adaptable or more self-aware in our leadership style. Continuing our two-part exploration of “time and place,” we’re tapping into and building upon the self-discovery and leadership development work we’ve done as we focus on our strengths-based approach.
The language and framing of my strengths greatly aided my personal development when I took the CliftonStrengthsFinder assessment back in 2008. The relationship between my Achiever strength and the need to learn to live with the “whisper of discontent” was one of the most powerful phrases in the description of my strengths.
A “whisper of discontent” was the best way to describe my feelings of restlessness. I suddenly felt seen and understood and was better able to navigate the thoughts that often accompany my Achiever traits.
I’ve taken you on an exploratory journey in the last few episodes, each one encouraging you to dive deeper into your understanding of yourself. We developed a richer naming system that better represented the totality of you, rather than the one-dimensional naming system you are often forced to use.
Rather than concentrating your attention and effort on your shortcomings and attempting to develop in areas where you will never achieve success, a strengths-based approach teaches you how to accomplish more using your innate strengths. It assists you in appreciating both your own and other people’s abilities, allowing you to work together to complement and fill gaps for each other’s benefit.
In this episode, listen for
- Understanding your strengths and knowing the language to use when you’re talking about it to bring a richer sense of who you are to the table and not have to pretend you know everything
- Knowledge about what you can and can’t contribute to the world isn’t selfish
- A strength-based approach will help you appreciate your strengths
[7:32] My desire for you is to not have a cookie-cutter answer to what success looks like but to know what is uniquely yours
[10:47] When you take the strengths-based assessments and evaluate how you typically react, what projects and tasks you love and thrive in, and your typical relationships, the descriptions of your key strengths can be quite revealing
[14:07] The questions surrounding my primary domain, Strategic Thinking
Gallup’s 34 Strengths-based approach to leadership encourages you to not spend all of your energy on areas of weakness. The Four Domains are helpful both as an individual and when looking at your team or partners. If you want to approach this from a different angle, I’d recommend you read “Who Not How” by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy.
The 34 CliftonStrengths are separated into 4 main domains:
As a leader, it’s essential to be mindful of where your strengths lie and find methods to draw on your own and others’ talents. At the same time, it’s important to decide whether you should add new team members with strengths in the same or other domains.
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