Are You Leading With Your Strengths?

Playing Your Strengths

Several years ago, my wife was sent to be trained as a strength coach with a new test that was developed by the Gallup Organization. The test was taken online and only took about 30 minutes by answering specific questions. After completing this new strength test, she showed me her five top strengths. I was amazed on how accurate it was for her. The “Now Discover Your Strengths” book by Donald Clifton  features 34 possible strengths. So I got a copy right away and took the test. I then asked my wife to provide her assessment on the results. Same results…

My Gallup’s Strength Finder report tells me that my top personal strengths include the Maximizer tendency-which compels me to “transform something strong into something superb.”

So naturally, I wanted to know what the bottom five were so I called and asked them to look up my online test results. They paused on the phone and asked me if my top strength was maximizer – I froze on the phone. They said maximizers are the only test takers that call and want to know the bottom strengths. I was sold, at that point, on this test to measure your personal strengths. I have found that knowing my strengths empowers me to hire others who can lead in other areas.  So after that, every employee had taken that test – now we build teams to solve problems based on their leadership strengths.

A while back, I read a story about a Olympic table tennis player that had just won the gold and the reporter ask him how he won with his back hand weakness, He paused – and then looked the reporter in the eyes and said ” He couldn’t handle my strong forehand.”

When we lead with our strengths – it energizes us and our performance is always better.

Are you hiring others who have strengths you don’t have? When we play the strengths of others as well – we both win. Allowing others to play their strengths – only raises the performance bar for the whole team.

Are you playing the strength of others in your leadership approach? If not, why not?

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