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Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow Hardcover – January 6, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A unique access code (enclosed in the back of this book) allows you to take a new leadership version of Gallup's StrengthsFinder program. The new version of this program provides you with specific strategies for leading with your top five strengths and enables you to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength revealed in the book.

Key findings from Strengths Based Leadership:

* The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. In the workplace, when an organization's leadership fails to focus on individuals' strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when an organization's leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%). When leaders focus on and invest in their employees' strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.

* The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are. Strong, cohesive teams have a representation of strengths in each of these four domains: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking.

* The most effective leaders understand their followers' needs. People follow leaders for very specific reasons. When we asked thousands of followers, they were able to describe exactly what they need from a leader with remarkable clarity: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

From the Inside Flap

Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.

In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.

In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.

As you read Strengths Based Leadership, you’ll hear firsthand accounts from some of the most successful organizational leaders in recent history, from the founder of Teach For America to the president of The Ritz-Carlton, as they discuss how their unique strengths have driven their success. Filled with novel research and actionable ideas, Strengths Based Leadership will give you a new road map for leading people toward a better future.

A unique access code allows you to take a new leadership version of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder program. The new version of this program provides you with specific strategies for leading with your top five strengths and enables you to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength revealed in the book.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; 1st edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595620257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595620255
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I found this book very interesting.
Barbara Warren
This book is a great method to becoming the best leader possible by focusing on your strengths and building a team with people with those who can fill the gaps.
Brandy L. Hatcher
I normally buy my books the first week of classes and when I did this book came right away.
champagne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Steven Henderson on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm glad Rath and Conchie wrote this book to build on the strengths movement and help us understand the connection between strengths and leadership. Before I go into specifics, you should know that the leadership strength themes are the same themes found in StrengthsFinder 2.0. This book also includes a passcode to take the same StrengthsFinder 2.0 test, but the results report is different. This new leadership version of the StrengthsFinder results report gives strategies for leading with your top five strengths, breaks your strengths down into three predominant strength categories, and it lets you plot the strengths of your team.

If you buy the book, here's what you can expect to find inside:

Part One: Investing in Your Strengths
-Don't Lead by Imitation. Different leaders have different strengths and talents. Learn about the one leader you know least about--yourself.
-Find Your Leadership Strengths. Leaders are often unaware when it comes to something of critical important to them--their personality.
-A Long-term Investment. People who are aware of their strengths and build self-confidence early on will reap increasing advantage that continues to grow over a lifetime.

Part Two: Maximizing Your Team
-Successful leaders surround themselves with the right people and build on each individual's strengths.
-What makes a great leadership team? Based on Gallup research, four unique leadership strength areas emerged: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. Every individual on a leadership team needs to be well rounded in these areas.
-The four strength themes for leadership are introduced. They are: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking.
-What do strong teams have in common?
Read more ›
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Stephen N. Shields on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Rath and Conchie have provided us with a helpful tool for fine-tuning our own leadership capacity. Using statistical factor analysis of data in Gallup's database, the authors detail how balanced leadership teams have strengths within four Leadership Domains: Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing, and Executing. The authors relate that while individuals are rarely balanced, teams always should be. Leadership Teams operating in these four domains work both to serve the four primary needs of their constituencies and to execute their primary organizational responsibilities.

Using a recent Gallup review of data from 10,000 followers, the authors also report that followers report surprising agreement on four of their primary needs: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Leaders who use the code that comes with the book to take the online Strengthsfinder assessment ([...]) to determine their Top 5 Strengths are provided with a customized Strengths-Based Leadership report that help them understand their Top 5 Strengths and a Strengths-Based Leadership Guide that provides detailed advice on how to use each of their Top 5 Strengths to meet the four primary needs.

Leaders who read this book will have a deepened appreciation of both their own leadership abilities and of the degree to which they lead best when they work in team. The four Leadership Domains and the four primary needs of followers provide leaders with a rich paradigm for considering new approaches in attacking organizational priorities.

Highly recommended.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Adam V. Floyd on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the on-line test interesting, and at least for me, seemingly accurate. However, the book consists of about 30 pages describing the theory behind the test and a few ideas on considering strengths while leading. The remainder of the book is just descriptions of each of the strengths. The book leaves me wondering how to best use my strengths as well as those of others I'm leading.

The on-line portion includes a worthless "Leadership Guide" report which is comprised of all too obvious advice including: "When making decisions, discuss options candidly and thoroughly;" "Be aware of your own biases;" "Take time to study the strategies employed by effective leaders you respect or admire." Not only are the statements obvious, they aren't really related to my particular strengths.

The "Leadership Report" is full of vague statements like: "It's very likely that you might have extra energy to work hard when you are acquiring information to broaden your knowledge base;" "Perhaps you want to deepen your understanding of certain topics;" "It's very likely that you now and then have moments when you are keenly aware of things around you." Are these written by the same person that writes horoscopes?

The test is worth taking. However, neither the book nor the website provide any really direction on how to best use your skills or lead by them. It is very likely that might enjoy taking the test now and then. But I doubt you'll get much out of the book.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bill Milnor on April 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
`Strengths' is the new currency. The Gallup group began isolating and understanding people from the talent perspective over a decade ago. Names like Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have brought to light a powerful medium for understanding what excites us and these insights make better work places and happier lives. For business it is about productivity and employee engagement; for employees it is about feeling good about your choice in where and what you do almost every day. Both are big! Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie takes strengths application to the next level: Leadership and for me, inherently part of this is great management. This work further develops the strengths of teams into four leadership domains. They are: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. I found this distilling of a team's strengths into these domains a way to conceptually simplify very important areas of focus and understand where each member might excel in their performance. This seemed especially relevant to the achievement of an organization's strategic plan. Knowing which key individuals bring the most energy to the different aspects of moving an organization forward is not only critical to success, but even more so to keeping a competitive edge.
The second theme in this work is identifying the "Followers Four Basic Needs": Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope. This is also a compelling framework for supporting a work environment that helps people act at their best.
This book will be very helpful if you are interested in strength based applications and not deficit or weakness improvement approaches. I suggest some foundation in strengths based work before utilizing this book, like Strengths Finder 2.0 and Now Discover Your Strengths, to get greater depth on its offering.
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