Although globalization and the opening of new international markets are creating rich opportunities, research shows that failure rates for overseas executive postings typically run at 15 to 20 per cent – and can be as high as 70 per cent – with potentially enormous cost consequences. The big psychological question is one of ‘nurture’ or ‘nature’.
CliftonStrengths by Gallup: https://positivepsychology.com/clifton-strengths-assessment/
What Is the CliftonStrengths™ Assessment?
Most of us will find ourselves leading at several points in our lives – in the workplace, on a sports field, in school, or even at home.
But what makes a great leader?
That was the question a team of experts led by Don Clifton set about answering using decades of data from Gallup polls, 20,000 interviews with leaders, one million work teams, and consultations with 10,000 followers worldwide (Rath & Conchie, 2009).
They found that the most influential leaders do the following (Rath & Conchie, 2009):
1. Invest in strengths
Focusing on and developing an individual’s strengths boosts engagement from 9% to an incredible 73% and leads to substantial gains for both employees and the organization.
2. Surround themselves with and invest in a great team
Leaders may not have all the skills needed, but their teams do.
3. Understand their followers’ needs
Followers often have specific requirements from their leaders.
Central to their findings was the idea that “while our society encourages us to be well-rounded, this approach inadvertently breeds mediocrity” (Rath & Conchie, 2009, p. 7)
They identified that leaders striving to be competent at everything were the least effective overall.
But what does this mean in practice?
Effective leadership means becoming aware of our own and our team’s strengths.
Successful leaders must build teams around them with a set of complementing strengths, rather than specific knowledge or competencies, and then build upon them (Rath & Conchie, 2009).
Clifton and colleagues’ research identified four distinct domains of leadership strengths that high-performing teams possess:
- Relationship building
- Strategic thinking
Individually and combined, these strength categories are valuable for looking at how a leader can contribute to a team and a form a “practical lens for looking at the composition of a team” (Rath & Conchie, 2009, p. 23).
How can CliftonStrengths™ help?
Gallup’s top scientists identified that these four domains consist of 34 themes that can help a good leader think about individual contributions to a team and identify the sort of people who should surround them.
The strengths assessment they created, CliftonStrengths™ (formally the StrengthsFinder™) is a web-based tool that helps identify the strength makeup of leaders and how each team member can contribute to the overall group goals and successful outcomes (Rath & Conchie, 2009).