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Leading Through Strengths

Posted March 04, 2014 in Community Blogs, Clive, West Des Moines

Do you know your strengths?  Are you using your strengths daily?  I am guessing the answer to both of these questions is no.  Many people do not know their strengths.  In most cases we focus on our shortfalls rather than developing our strengths.

In 1998, the Father of Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003), along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at Gallup, created the online StrengthsFinder assessment. In 2004, the assessment’s name was formally changed to “Clifton StrengthsFinder” in honor of its chief designer.

In 2007, building on the initial assessment and language from StrengthsFinder 1.0, Rath and Gallup scientists released a new edition of the assessment, program, and website, dubbed “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” Rooted in more than 40 years of research, this assessment has helped millions discover and develop their natural talents.

My top 5 strengths are:  Responsibility, Achiever, Discipline, Harmony, and Arranger.  I utilize each of these strengths in my daily life.  I will describe each of my strengths and how these strengths help me with my work.

Responsibility – allows me to take ownership of anything I am a part of and I feel bound to the task and must follow it through to completion.  The theme requires me to be conscientious, to do things right and be ethical with my actions.  Another characteristic of this theme is dependability.  I am a person others can count on to follow through with what I say I will do.  I see myself fully accountable to all stakeholders for the success or failure of projects.

Achiever:  This theme helps explain my drive and constant need for achievement.  I am not afraid of working long hours.  I enjoy new tasks and challenges.  This theme allows me to be self-motivated.  I set goals and work endlessly to achieve those goals.

Discipline:  This theme describes my world as needing to be ordered and planned.  I prefer structure and will set up routines.  I focus on timelines and deadlines.  I break long-term projects into a series of short-term plans and work to complete those plans.  I am a very detail oriented person.

Harmony:  This theme allows me to look for common ground.  I look to seek consensus in our work.  I view there is little to be gained from conflict and friction.  I see the “we” and believe in being a team member.  I believe in relationships and working through those relationships.  In my view we are all in the same boat working together to keep the boat going in the desired direction.

Arranger:  This theme allows me to be the conductor.  I work at managing all of the variables in life.  I look at arranging the variables so they are the most productive to the operation.  I am flexible and willing to look at new and better ways of doing the work.

What if leadership teams identified strengths of all team members?  Could this help teams be more effective?  What about students?  Would it be beneficial to have students identify their strengths?

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