Dear Terry – I Field Your Questions (April 2014)

Sarah from San Diego: Terry, I’ve read about strength-based development where you should focus on your strengths as a leader, not your weaknesses. What are your thoughts?

Terry: Sarah, there are two major aspects of leadership – who you are and what you do.

I agree that your leadership philosophy needs to be anchored in your core values and philosophy; it should reflect who you are and should accentuate your strengths. At the same time, unless you’re in the upper echelon of leadership at your company, you’ll need to demonstrate some basic, important leadership behaviors. You’ll need to communicate and connect with your people. You’ll need to set expectations and provide both positive and constructive feedback. You’ll need to engage and develop your people. You’ll need to have those sometimes difficult conversations with people when performance isn’t as expected. NOT doing these things – even if they’re not your strengths – virtually guarantees that you won’t be successful as a leader.

The higher you go in an organization, the less likely you’ll need to be having difficult conversations or having trouble connecting with your staff, and the more your strengths become who you are. However, the rest of us need to know how to lead and, as necessary, develop all of our leadership muscles.

Read more valuable leadership and management-related articles in this month’s Unleash Your Leadership Potential newsletter…

April 2014

Author: STEP Consulting