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Seven Reasons to Lead With Strengths

Seven Reasons to Lead With Strengths

by Jim Asplund

The success of the people you lead -- and your entire organization -- depends on the development of their strengths.

Conventional wisdom focuses on fixing weaknesses. Unfortunately, that "wisdom" leaves individuals and organizations struggling on the path to mediocrity.

The best-led organizations know that the direct path to individual, team, and organizational success begins with a primary investment in their employees' greatest talents. The best leaders find what is naturally right with their people and build on it.

Strengths are the innate traits and abilities people use in their daily lives to complete their work, relate with others, and achieve their goals. Decades of Gallup research demonstrates the benefits of creating a strengths-based organization.

  1. If a manager primarily focuses on an employee's strengths, the likelihood that employee will be actively disengaged is 1%.
  2. If a manager primarily focuses on an employee's weaknesses, the likelihood that employee will be actively disengaged is 22%.
  3. People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job.
  4. Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity.
  5. Teams that receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability.
  6. Among employees who received strengths feedback, turnover rates were 14.9% lower than for those who did not.
  7. An employee who regularly applies her strengths is 6.2 times as likely to strongly agree that she has the opportunity to do what she does best every day.

Gallup just launched the Gallup Strengths Center to make strengths a lot more accessible for forward-thinking business leaders, coaches, and individuals worldwide who want to maximize their potential and improve their organization's performance.

In the past, coaches and individuals had to buy one of Gallup's best-selling books to get a code to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder -- our online assessment that uncovers, in rank order, a person's top talents out of 34 themes. Now coaches, leaders, and individuals can buy codes directly from the Web.

Here are the new strengths solutions available to individuals, coaches, and leaders:

  • Strengths Discovery Package: Individuals will discover their top five most dominant strengths and learn how their "signature strengths" help them excel. They will recognize the unique traits that make them who they are and begin their path to better performance and higher engagement.
  • Strengths Development Package: Individuals will uncover their complete strengths profile, including the relative intensity of each of their 34 strengths. This knowledge will help them understand how to maximize their effectiveness and achieve success. They will also improve their relationships by learning to identify the strengths inherent in everyone.
  • Strengths Coaching Starter Kit: Gallup's Strengths Coaching Starter Kit will introduce you to what it means to coach others about strengths, and start you on your path to becoming an effective coach. You'll learn how to establish coaching relationships, understand an individual's complete strengths profile, identify talents in action, and help others invest in their talents to build their strengths.
  • Fundamentals of Strengths Coaching Course: This three-day course gives aspiring coaches instruction and deeper insight into becoming an effective coach. Led by Gallup's own qualified experts, this course is vital to anyone serious about coaching others about strengths.
For more information, visit the Gallup Strengths Center.


Jim Asplund is Chief Scientist, Strengths-Based Development and Performance Impact Consulting, at Gallup. He is coauthor of Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter.

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