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Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow Hardcover – January 1, 2008
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From the Publisher
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.
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Research demonstrates that people tend not to utilize their natural talents, leading to frustration. Even more, most people also tend not the scale their strengths, but instead focus on scrutinizing their weaknesses. This book makes the case that the best leaders are not, in fact, well-rounded, but maximize their innate gifts with an acute awareness of who they are and the needs of those they lead. This book provides a general framework for effective leadership and helps you identify what your strengths are.
Strengths Based Leadership is the “executive version” of the acclaimed StrengthsFinder 2.0. Both books use the same formula to compute your strengths: by taking a 177-question online assessment. Your “grade” on this test computes your top five themes which you can then read about amongst the 34 themes described in this book.
What Strengths Based Leadership does very well is introduce you to the real leader in you and not the version of a leader formed in the image of popular culture. This book provides tailored, specific and actionable advice on how you can lead in all areas of life. Ultimately, Strengths Based Leadership will likely be a go-to resource well into the future.
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.
Top international reviews
Very informative assessment tool: will help support professional and managerial development.