With all the resources out there for leaders of teams, have you found one that will help you work with ALL the different types of leaders that may emerge? Because, let’s face it, not all leaders are equal. Not all leaders are the same. So, as a leader of different personalities, how can you best serve your team?
One of the things I have done before is to find out what my leaders’ Love Languages are… but this isn’t all that helpful when actually mentoring people (although it is good for coming up with incentives), and I was often coming up with situations where I was coming up with all these ideas, doing all these courses, and making big future plans, and I could see that my team didn’t really get what my vision was, which frustrated me and, I think, made them feel a bit overwhelmed with everything I was trying to implement.
So I bought a book – Strengthfinder 2.0. And that changed everything for me.
You see, after buying the book, and entering the code from the sealed section at the back, I went online and answered dozens of questions, and at the end of it, I was given my strengths and an action report of how to best nurture them.
What an eye opener!
So these are my top 5 strengths, in order, that the test revealed I have.
- Ideation – I am an ideas person
- Learner – I love learning new things
- Futuristic – I see the detail in what the future could hold
- Empathy – I can sense the feelings of people around me
- Maximiser – I stretch myself towards excellence and can do that with others
So, can you relate these back to my situation? I was having all these ideas (Ideation), including ones I had learned from courses, blogs, webinars, podcasts, etc (Learner), and had loads of them. I could see the huge potential it could have for all my team (Futuristic), and I tried to communicate it with them, so we could all be amazing (Maximiser), but I was feeling frustrated because I could tell I had lost them with all my enthusiasm (Empathy).
But here was the thing. These are MY strengths. Not my team’s strengths.
So how could I become a better leader knowing these? After all, as the book says, if someone focuses on your strengths, the chances of you being actively disengaged is only 1%, compared to 22% if someone focuses on your weaknesses (and I have had people do that, and I think my percentage is a lot higher!)
Here are the 3 ways I can use these results to become a better leader and at the same time strengthen my own wonderful, unique leaders.
1. Learn About Myself
Once I knew about my strengths, I delved into the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book, which gives a description and example of what that strength looks like in a person, gives 10 ideas for action, and also ideas of how you can work with someone with that strength. As I looked through the 50 ideas for action I got as a result of learning my top 5 strengths, there were some really useful tips I could use for my own personal development. I will list some of them here:
- I get bored quickly, so make sure I keep myself mentally stimulated.
- I need to finish my thoughts and ideas before communicating them (so others can understand them, and me)
- Learn to edit my ideas.
- Reflect on when I get my best ideas
- I need to schedule time to think (oh my, this is SO true!)
- Feed my ideas with gathering knowledge (oh – I am a Learner too!)
- I learn best through teaching (and writing blog posts!)
- I can help others through a consulting role
- Take advantage of educational opportunities.
- Honour my desire to learn
- I need to be able to communicate my ideas about the future.
- I should take time thinking about the future, which will increase the vividness of my ideas.
- I need to surround myself with people eager to put my vision into motion.
- I can be good at helping people see the longer vision for their business.
- I should, apparently, consider serving others as a mentor.
- I can use my empathy talents to read the mood of a room, and match my actions accordingly.
- I need to be in a role where I am helping others to succeed.
- I am good at measuring my own performance, and that of others.
- I should spend time with people who have discovered their strengths.
- I should spend more time on building great talent, rather than on fixing weaknesses (woah, that’s a biggie!)
- I need to focus on long-term relationships and goals.
However, when I looked more into these amazing strengths, one thing really shone out to me…. These are all great, but what is lacking – a driver, a strength in acting on these ideas, goals, visions and plans. And so I can build my team with people who have those great skills!
2. Learn About My Team
So, in order to best serve my team, I can get all my leaders to take the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test themselves by purchasing the book. This will then give me their 5 top strengths, so I know what they can do to strengthen their own leadership, but also the book will tell me how I can best work with them and serve them too – great!
3. Help My Team Learn About Me
I see this as an important part of the mentoring process. My team needs to understand me, and my strengths, just as much as I need to understand them. So, what does my team need to know? Well, I can help them with their ideas, and if they are stuck, I can come up with creative ways to help them get unstuck. As a Maximiser, I also need others to understand my strengths. I can share my visions for the future with my team, and help them to share their visions. I can also not only help my downline by helping them to understand me (which is obviously easier if we all use Strengthsfinder 2.0) but I can serve my team better as I help my upline and mentors understand my strengths too.
Examining the Strengths
There are 34 different strengths, and with 5 strengths given in the basic test, that actually gives you a possibility of 278,256 different combinations of strengths! So you could have any one of those combinations yourself, and any one for each and every team member you have. But don’t worry, you don’t have to understand all the different combinations, understanding the different strengths is enough, and more simply, the Four Domains of Strength – the 4 headings under which one of these strengths falls – Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking, which I will be looking in to in my next blog post.
So what do you think? A helpful tool for your business? Have you used Strengthsfinder 2.0 in your network marketing business? How has it helped you be a better leader?