Leading From Your Strengths

In two weeks I'm headed to Philadelphia to speak to the Philadelphia Bar Association's Women in the Profession Committee and to the Professional Development Consortium Philadelphia City Group.  We will be talking about how to leverage personal strengths to lead effectively and to find more fulfilment and happiness at work.  While there are many ways to identify your top strengths, my "go to" assessment is the Clifton Strengthsfinder™.  

Here's why I love it so much:

  • It is highly validated and researched. The Strengthsfinder assessment is owned by Gallup, the polling people. Over 10,000,000 people have taken the assessment and all the results are in one database. For that reason this is one of the best researched assessments out there. So even though you can buy this assessment for the price of a book, about $20, I find it more useful than many assessments that cost much more.
  • Each profile is unique:  The odds of 2 people having the same profile are 1 in 3,000,000.  That may be why the results usually resonate so strongly with my coaching and consulting clients.  
  • It's all about the good stuff:  This assessment tells you where are you especially strong.  It does not tell you your weaknesses. Of course, everyone's greatest strengths can be overused. That's why the reports contain some great learning around how not to do too much of a good thing.  
  • And the good stuff is really what matters most.  The researchers at Gallup have found that there is no particular set of strengths that make people successful; rather, the secret is knowing what your strengths are, using them as much as possible in your work, and delegating to, or partnering with, others who have needed strengths that you do not. There are actually people out there who love to do what you loathe. It made me very happy (and it made my assistant happy too) when I first discovered that. It turns out that she loved doing things that I hated to do and vice versa. So until I realized that, I was periodically "rewarding" her by giving her projects I would love, but that made her climb the walls. Taking the assessment put the kibosh on that and we were both much happier. 
  • By sharing their strengths profiles with each other, people who will be working together over time really get to know, understand and appreciate each other much more quickly than they would otherwise. 
  • For many, knowing your strengths makes you feel good about who you are, more self accepting and confident.  

How to take the assessment:

  • Buy a book that contains a code for the Strengthsfinder ™  assessment.  
  • Click this link to see the books that contain the code. You can also buy a copy on Amazon for Kindle and get a code emailed to you immediately (for those of you who do not count patience among your strengths).  
  • Once you have a code, do the following:
    • Go to the Strengthsfinder website
    • Click the appropriate box based on the book you purchased
    • Click "enter your access code"
    • Fill out the registration and click submit
    • Follow the remaining instructions
    • Be sure to download the PDF report from Gallup and to use the "Ideas for Action"