4 Effective Leadership Skills

Maximize-Leadership-SkillsIn Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, New York Times-bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of extensive Gallup research. Based on their analyses, three keys to effective leadership emerge:

  1. Know your strengths—and invest in others’ strengths.
  2. Hire people with the right strengths for your team.
  3. Understand and meet your followers’ four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

The most effective leaders continuously invest in strengths. When leaders fail to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of employee engagement drop to a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when leaders focus on employees’ strengths, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%).

That translates to an eightfold increase in the odds of engaging individuals in their work, leading to greatly increased organizational and personal gains. Employees enjoy greater self-confidence when they learn about their strengths (as opposed to focusing on their weaknesses).

Emphasizing what people do right boosts their overall engagement and productivity. I’ve seen this happen in the work I do coaching people. They learn their roles faster and more quickly adapt to variances. They not only produce more, but the quality of their work improves.

Gallup has also found powerful links between top talent and crucial business outcomes, including higher productivity, sales and profitability, lower turnover and fewer unscheduled absences.

4 Effective Leadership Skills

The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and maximize their teams. The best leaders needn’t be well rounded, but their teams are. Strong teams have a balance of strengths in four specific leadership domains:

  • Execution: Great leaders know how to make things happen. They work tirelessly to implement solutions and realize success.
  • Influence: Leaders help their teams reach a broader audience by selling ideas inside and outside the organization.
  • Relationship-Building: Leaders are the glue that holds a team together. They create an environment in which groups perform harmoniously for optimal results.
  • Strategic Thinking: Leaders keep everyone focused on the possibilities for a better future.

To me, it makes sense to have a well-rounded team composed of individuals who vary in their strengths. But often people are grouped together because they are similar — and often similar to the boss!

What’s it like in your organization? What do you think about this? You can contact me here and on LinkedIn. Let’s talk.

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