Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strengths-based leadership report

The next book we are to read for our Missional Leadership Initiative is 'Strengths Based Leadership' by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. In the back of the book is a code you can use to take a free online strengths-based leadership assessment (with the cost of the book). You can access it from their Strengths Homepage at strengths.gallup.com. According to my cohort leader we were supposed to take the assessment first, then read the book (I guess). I took mine yesterday morning, then read the book in the evening.

According to the assessment my top 5 strengths (out of 34) are:

1. RESTORATIVE - adept at dealing with problems; good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
2. EMPATHY - can sense the feelings of other people by imagining yourself in others' lives or their situations.
3. DELIBERATIVE - best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices; they anticipate obstacles.
4. CONNECTEDNESS - have faith in the links between all things; believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
5. INTELLECTION - characterized by their intellectual activity; they are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

The assessment then shows how these top 5 strengths fit into the four domains of leadership which they believe to be: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. Most people have strengths spread over more than one domain, but the idea is that we should try to build our leadership team in such a way that each area is covered by someone. According to my assessment, my strength themes fit into the four domains this way:
  • Executing (Restorative, Deliberative)
  • Influencing
  • Relationship Building (Empathy, Connectedness)
  • Strategic Thinking (Intellection)

Notice that I scored a big fat zero in the "influencing" domain. This apparently means I have no ability to influence people, but I am better at 'executing', 'relationship building' and 'strategic thinking.'

At first I wasn't so sure about my assessment results. I have never really thought of myself as a good problem-solver type or relationship-builder. However, I am warming to the idea. I also might try to take the assessment again, to see if I get different results. Monday morning is probably not the best time for me to do things like this. I will also add some thoughts on the book later too. I was much more leery of the assessment before reading the book. I felt a little better after. I just struggle a little bit with organizational leadership stuff in general, and I think the small church is way different than a business model. I also think I sometimes function better when I don't analyze myself, because I can tend to get overwhelmed easily by what I am not doing, and I have a hard time thinking about the fact that I can do anything very well. So... you know... there ya go.

Peace out; and in.