A GOOD LEADER....
Needs to know his trengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths. And can call on the right strength at the right time. This explains why there is no definitive list of characteristics that describes all leaders.
To help aspiring leaders identify their strengths, Clifton and his team created a web-based program dubbed “StrengthsFinder.” As a part of this book, you will have an opportunity to take a new leadership version of the.Strengths Finder program. In addition to helping you discover your own strengths to lead, this new version will provide you with several strategies for leading others based on their unique strengths. As you can see in the chart below, if you are able to help the people you lead focus on their strengths, it will dramatically boos engagement levels throughout your organizations.
The organizations that leadership does not focus on strengths; 9% are engaged in their work.
The organizations leadership focuses on strengths: 73%
As one top executive summarized, “If you focus on people’s weaknesses, they lose confidence.” At a very basic level, it is hard for us to build self-confidence when we are focused on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. Over the past decade, Gallup scientists have explored in much more detail the mechanism through which a strengths-based approach influences our lives. These studies revealed that people experience significant gains in self-confidence after taking StrengthFinder and learning more about their strengths. This increase in confidence at an individual level may help explain how strengths-based programs boost an organization’s overall engagement and productivity.
The people who had more confidence in their abilities at a young age (between 14 and 22) started off with slightly higher income levels - making, on average (in 1979), $3,496 more per year than the low-confidence group. As each year went by, this gap continued to widen. WHEn the researchers reviewed follow-up studies form 2004, the group with higher self-confidence was making $12,821 more annually compared to the average annual income for the lower self-confidence group. The people with higher self-confidence in 1979 continued to capitalize on their disproportionate gains in each year passed.
In addition ot he income and career benefits, what Judge Hurst discovered about the link between early self-confidence and physical health may be even more surprising. When asked about he number of health progress they have that interfere with their work, the group with low-self-confidence in 1979 reported almost three times as many health problems 25 years later in 2004. Almost unbelievable, the group with high self-evaluations in 1979 reported having fewer health problems in 2004 than they did 25 year before.
The results of this study suggest that people who are aware of their strengths and build self-confidence at a younger age may reap a “cumulative advantage” that continues to grow over a lifetime. A preliminary Gallup analysis (using the same longitudinal panel from Judge and Hurst’s study) suggest that people who report having a chance to use their strengths in the workplace gain a similar advantage. Our research team found that people who had the opportunity to use their strengths early on (between the ages of 15-23) had significantly higher job satisfaction and income level 26 year later.
The outcomes highlight the value of leaders knowing their own strengths and also reveal how important it is fo r leaders to help others uncover their strengths as early as possible. If an organization’s leaders are able to help each person capitalize on this cumulative advantage, it is likely to create more rapid individual and organizational growth. These guides also reveal and mechanism through which a truly strengths-based organization may be able to grow at an entirely different rate for decades to come.