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The most effective leaders...

The most effective leaders rally a broader group of people toward an organization's goals, mission, and objectives. They lead. People follow. Yet rarely do we examine 'why' people follow. A majority of the research that has been conducted about leadership over the years - including Gallup's work in this area - could be missing one obvious point: You are a leader only if others follow. Leaders are only as strong as the connections they make with each person in their constituency, whether they have on efollower or one million. Yet we continue to focus on leaders and lal but ignore their impact on, and the opinions of, the people they lead.


One problem is that we have studied leaders in solution from the connections that make them great. As legendary investor Warren Buffett put it, by definition, a"A leader is someone who can get things done through other people." So while a leader's opinions may be interesting to study, that might not be the right unit of measurement for understanding why a person follows one leader and ignores another.


If you wanted to know why the president of the United States was making a difference in the lives of the American public, would you look to him for the best answers - or would you ask his constituents? When companies want to know why a product is popular, they ask their customers. So, if we want to know why people rally behind a leader, shouldn't we ask them why they follow? Or how a great leader has improved their lives? If you want to lead, it is critical to know what the people are you need and expect from you.


Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie


The Collective Talent of a Team:

A you can hear in the stories of these four leaders, they have exceptional clarity about who they are ; and who they are not. If any one of them had chosen to spend a lifetime trying to be a “good enough” at everything, it’s doubtful they would have made such an extraordinary impact. Instead, they’ve all been wise enough to get the right strengths on their teams, and this has set up their organization for continuous growth. Unfortunately, very few teams are truly optimized mourned their strengths. (pg. 67)

While studying successful leaders like Anderson, one of the most revealing items we asked leaders to respond to was: “Please describe at time when you felt like you were ‘in a zone’ where time almost seemed to stand still.” Anderson told us that he feels this way almost any time he is learning something, whether it is from a person, a book, or solving a puzzle. He said, “I find amazing the tI can be eft-eight years old and seems to know less every day. No matter how much you learn, it just continues to open up more substantial questions and relationships.” (pg. 65)

Davies described how he strives to dedicate 100% of his attention to his family throughout the weekend. Davies extends this philosophy to all his bank’s employees, always encouraging them to put family first. Our evidence suggests that the most successful teams have members who are highly engaged I their work and highly satisfied with their personal lives. By setting this expectation, which so many others perceive as unattainable, they attract new members who want to do the same. This high level of engagement then sets a powerful example for the entire organization.

Strong teams embrace adversity; our work with the leadership teams of some of the most innovative and successful companies in the world reveals a simple truth: Having a team composed of individuals who look at issues similarly, who have been the product of comparable educational backgrounds, and how have experiences with similar track records and approaches is not a sound basis for success.

Earlier, we outlined why leadership teams need a diversity of strengths; ideally, including individuals who demonstrate a balance of strengths in different leadership dimensions. But diversity goes well beyond team strengths. We have also discovered the the most engaged teams welcome diversity of age, gender, and race, while disengaged teams may do the opposite. (pg. 74)

As former United Nations secretary-general Koji Annan described in a leadership interview with Gallup, building a strong team within an organization requires the same basic ingredients of a. Successful soccer squad. Annan encourages the teams to “playin a coordinated manner,” but he is quick to point out that should not exclude “individual brilliance” Annan explains that as soon as the brilliant ones are pulling with us toward the same goal, this individual talent actually strengthens the collective team. As a result, successful teams often have an organization-wide influence.

Building a strong team requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Getting the right strengths on the team is a good starting point, but it is not enough. For a team to create sustained growth, the leader must do this, it allows the entire team to spend every more time thinking about the needs of the people they serve. (pg. 76)


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