• Yasmin Hurst

Strength-Based Leadership


We all have our strengths and weaknesses; it would be impossible for one person to excel in everything. Its important to recognise both strengths and weaknesses, and to be aware of the impact of both in our daily lives. Some of us are lucky enough to maintain a focus on our strengths both in and out of the workplace, while others are making the best of a situation or workplace scenario. Our motivation, passion, enthusiasm, sense of purpose, and perception of success comes from playing to our strengths.


WE SPEND ONE THIRD OF OUR LIVES AT WORK


Strength-based Leadership is based on concentrating on the stronger aspects of an employee and team. While the weaknesses are not ignored, they are not the focus. We spend one third of our lives at work, our ability to contribute and provide value to our employer has a significant impact on our productivity, happiness and well-being.


Providing the environment, opportunity and encouragement to employees to meet their personal potential while discovering a fulfilling vocational path, is the true meaning of leadership. In turn, you will generate a strong culture of positivity within your company, as well as an environment that promotes innovation, creativity, and loyalty.


Strength-based Leadership is used by several forward-thinking innovative businesses, Facebook being one of them, but despite proven and published benefits of its positive impact on productivity and employee engagement, it is still not widely adopted in practice. We continue to see the signs of “we’ve always done it this way” syndrome.


Strength-based Leadership has four core principles:


Alignment


Align tasks to strengths, think less about assigning specific people to tasks and more about the required strengths to complete the job. When we feel confident and passionate about a task, we are more likely to excel in its delivery and boost wider interest within the team and organisation.


Diversity


Celebrate what makes an individual unique. Building a team of like-minded people will not maximise on opportunities to innovate, it is our differences that generate creativity.


Transparency


Transparency builds trust. Maintaining and developing a transparent relationship between employers and employees will encourage a level of comfort and openness that allows our strengths and passions to come to the fore.


Empowerment


As a leader you need to allow your teams the space to discover, be curious, brave, and sometimes naive. Growth does not come from one person providing all the answers, just as strength does not come from being perfect all of the time. Allowing the space to imagine and create a way forward has an element of risk but without it we limit potential.


We all understood the value of improvement and the risk of fierce competition, so it stands to reason that we will all have to continually change to become “better” at what we do. If we are to breed more leaders, and keep pace with the rate of innovation and change then we will need to revisit our working practices, our success criteria, and the way in which we hire people and build and manage our teams.

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