What could you achieve if your business were 38% more effective, or if your customers were 44% more likely to be satisfied with your results? Would it make a difference?
For years, I’ve been an avid proponent of Strengths-Based Leadership. In a nutshell, the theory argues that if we want to be our best, we need to capitalize on our strengths. According to research from the Gallup organization (as reported in Now Discover Your Strengths by Clifton and Buckingham, among others), in organizations where leaders are encouraged to build on their strengths, the business is
• 50% more likely to have lower turnover
• 38% more likely to have productive business units
• 44% more likely to have higher customer satisfaction.
You can improve your own results by building on your strengths. I call it Tapping Into Your Brilliance, and it’s the Fourth Practice of Personal Leadership.
Of course, we don’t always know what our brilliances are. But you can find them. My favorite resources are Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Marcus Buckingham’s Go Put Your Strengths to Work, both of which offer you the chance to take a quiz that reveals to you your strengths.
But it’s not just our strengths that need work. It’s also our blind spots. Cece Sutton, the president of the retail banking group at Morgan Stanley, agrees:
“Great leaders work on themselves. They’re acknowledging and aware of the things they need to improve on to be better. I don’t know all my blind spots, but I know a lot of them. I’m not always conscious of them, but I do think about them and try to improve.”
What’s especially dangerous about our weaknesses is that they’re so hard to see. Think about that blind spot in your car – how scary it is to realize that another vehicle could be hiding back there, threateningly close, and you can’t even see it.
To excel as a leader, you’ve got to be able to see into your blind spots. To help leaders with this process, I’ve created a feedback system you can use to discover both your brilliances and your blind spots. It’s called The 360 Investment, and you can find it at www.The360Investment.com.
You can also learn more about Strengths-Based Leadership by downloading a free copy of my white paper, The Best of You and the Rest of You: Making the Most of Strengths-Based Leadership.
For now, just give it some thought. What are two of your strengths, and how can you make them work for you? What is your one biggest weakness, and how can you prevent it from holding you back?
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