Monday, April 19, 2010

Leadership ideas within my Strengths

"Strengths-Based Leadership" by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie is a book I read last night that was quite interesting to help me develop my strengths as they apply to leadership. The book documents 4 domains that leadership falls under Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. For better or worse, my strengths fall into the first and last category as Achiever and Responsibility are part of Executing while the Learner, Intellection and Strategic are all part of Strategic Thinking. This makes me wonder, "How well could I lead if I'm missing in the relationship areas?" as I see the influencing as still being part where I'm not alone. It may be part of the challenge in my life to figure out how to take my strengths and go beyond myself to include others in using these strengths that I have. Thankfully for me, there were a couple examples of leaders in the book where leaders executed more in one domain than the others and so I got to see how one can take some of these and use them in a different dimension in a sense. In a way this re-affirms my career goals of wanting to be in strategic planning. I enjoy analysing things and running various "What if..." scenarios all the time, so I think it may be one of those, "I like this but a lot of other people probably don't," areas.

A few months ago now, a friend showed me a few others that had taken the Strengths Finder exercise and I found it really interesting to apply what domains each covered. It was strangely relieving to see others with similar holes to mine but also odd to see how someone actually did manage to have a strength in each of the 4 leadership domains that I found kind of surprising. Such a well-rounded individual I'm thinking now.

Another part of the book mentions 4 themes when it comes to people following leaders, Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope. I can see how these do influence me in various ways though I suppose my challenge in the coming years is to see how each of these can be met through my strengths. That I can learn to communicate with compassion about stability and hope, identify various relationship objectives and meet them through my Achiever and Responsbility strengths, etc. It could be some exciting stuff and part of the book does come with a code to get on-line guides to help with each of these and a strength so I just have to find where there is good overlap and see if I can shift my role in work and in social groups to have those kinds of positions to see how this could come to fruition. In an odd way, I'm reminded of how 6 months ago I remember saying that getting in on the ground floor of a movement would be really cool and now I think I'm starting to see some fruit from that.

I'm that person that may be a bit of a loner at times, which may not make a lot of sense to some people. I'm introverted and like seeing things through my mind's eye which makes sense to some people and very little to others but I'm not sure how else to describe what I can do. I remember yesterday just playing around on a pool table by myself as I recognize that I struggle to some extent with the physical aspects of playing billards as some would call it. Learning muscle control, thinking through the scenario of, "If I do this, that'll happen..." is kind of interesting to me and so I just enjoyed some of that. There are times where I can recognize that I'm really blessed have people in my life that have such resources for me to use and enjoy.

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