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Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow Hardcover – January 6, 2009
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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
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.
Top customer reviews
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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? A strong focus on results, ability to consistently keep the bigger picture in view, a healthy work-life balance, embracing diversity, and thrives on intense competition.
Part Three: Understanding Why People Follow
-If you want to lead, it is critical to know what the people around you need and expect from you.
-Why do people follow? Followers' four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.
Conclusion: Leadership That Lasts Beyond a Lifetime
-Extraordinary leaders do not strive for personal success as success lies with those who follow.
-Leading With Your Strengths: A Guide to the 34 Themes
- The Research (Behind StrengthsFinder, Work Team Engagement, and Why People Follow)
All in all a strong book that I recommend if you liked SF 2.0. If you are a leadership fan like I am, another outstanding book you should consider is Leadership 2.0.
What I do remember thoroughly is the StrengthsFinder assessment, and comparing my results to my co-workers. I found that to be highly interesting, and fairly useful for getting a relatively quick handle on what sort of personality they all had. Of course it's not as good as working closely with them for months/years, but it's a great way to get in the right ballpark relatively quickly.
I will say that I'm not convinced the assessment is actually all *that* reliable/repeatable. I took it twice about 3 months apart, and of my top 5 strengths, 2 of the original 5 were gone completely and another was downgraded significantly. The ones I related to most strongly were still present, so I don't think it's total garbage, but it's not perfect.
Additionally, the test included with the book does not include any sort of ranking beyond the top 5, and it does not provide any measure of relative "magnitude" of the top 5 strengths against each other. By that I mean, are your top-5 strengths all approximately equally representative of you, or do 1 or 2 of them show through far more strongly than the others? The test does not provide this sort of information. You can have 2 people with the same exact top 5 lists (in the same order), but significantly different personalities. Consequently you kinda have to just start with the #1 strength, and slowly try to build the other 4 into your interactions, until you figure out just how strongly each of them shows through.
If you like the idea of measuring people's strengths, and trying to play to people's strengths (instead of trying to shore up their weaknesses), you'll probably get value out of this. If you find "personality assessment tests" to be complete and utter hokum, you're less likely to be a fan.