It is crucial that you have strong leadership in place if you want your business to succeed.
As John C. Maxwell says; “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” If your leadership team is strong then your business will be well positioned to rise but if your leadership team is weak your business will eventually fall, just like Maxwell states.
This has been proven time and time again throughout political and business history. We have seen it recently in Alberta with the terrible PC party leadership over the last number of years which led to their decimation in the election in 2015. Similarly, the current NDP government leader, Rachel Notley, has seen her popularity nosedive since she came into power and her leadership ability became more public. We are also seeing this played out right now in the leadership race in both the Republican and Democrat parties in the US . . . no one is sure where this will end up!
Corporately, poor leadership has cost many companies dearly over the years . . . from the recent Volkswagen scandals to the financial bailout of scandal ridden AIG to the Enron debacle. There are no shortage of business failures and scandals caused by poor leadership.
Fortunately, there are also many good leaders in today’s world. These leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses. They build strong teams around them and make sure that they are balanced properly so there are no areas of weakness at the team level.
Strength Based Leadership
A few years ago Tom Rath and Barry Conchie wrote a book called Strength Based Leadership. This book is based on the extensive research that the Gallup organization has done around strengths. Strength Based Leadership specifically leveraged that research and studied more than 1 million work teams to better understand leadership strengths.
4 Domains of Leadership
The result of all this study and research was the finding that a person’s strengths are balanced across four domains of leadership:
- Relationship Building
- Strategic Thinking
Not every leader has strengths in all four domains. What this means is that all leaders have weaknesses! Now this is far from ground breaking but this tool provides a common language and platform to define strengths and weaknesses and to relate these to the domain of leadership.
Have your team complete the StrengthsFinder profile exercise and identify each team member’s top five strengths. It is available online for $15 by clicking here.
Take the StrengthsFinder strengths of the leaders of your organization and graph them in two ways (note that you can use the Leadership Strengths Graphs Excel template from the Business Tools page to do this graphing exercise):
1. As a raw graph showing all of the 34 StrengthsFinder strengths and your leadership team’s distribution among them as shown below.
2. As a leadership domain graph showing the balance of your team across the four domains of leadership as shown below.
These graphs provide some very valuable information that you can use to strengthen your overall leadership.
- It is very easy to visually see the distribution of your team across all of the StrengthsFinder strengths.
- From the distribution above, patterns and trends begin to emerge that may lead you to look at repositioning people into an area of strength or to bring in new people who provide a strength that your team doesn’t currently have.
- You can tell immediately if your team is properly balanced across the four leadership domains or if you have some areas of weakness that need to be addressed.
Go ahead and map out your teams profile. How balanced is your leadership team across the five leadership attributes? Are you lacking in some areas that will eventually damage your business? What changes do you need to make?
Leave a comment on your experience with team strengths and weaknesses below.
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” Stephen R. Covey
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