Issue No. 46 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting might come as a shock to you—but get this—you CANNOT be anything you want to be! Buckingham, Clifton and Rath—the strengths gurus—have studied more than two million people and believe that you are uniquely made and you have some strengths, but not all of them. (Parents who naively affirm their kids that they can aspire to any greatness do them a great disservice.)
Getting Your People to Do What They Ought to Be Doing
Author Tom Rath says that more than 70 percent of the workforce do not leverage their unique strengths at work. This past week, a company president told The Wall Street Journal, “I spend most of my day trying to get people to do what they ought to be doing without me having to tell them they ought to be doing it.” Yikes!
Rath’s book, Strengths Finder 2.0, based on a Gallup study of more than two million people, identifies 34 talent themes like Achiever, Arranger, Connectedness, Developer, Harmony, Relator and Woo (winning others over), to name just a few. Rath says when you multiply Talent times Investment, it equals Strength.
Each book includes a unique access code so you can take the Strengths Finder 2.0 online assessment at StrengthsFinder.com. Once you’ve completed the assessment, you’ll receive an email with your top five talents, in priority order, along with a narrative.
Memo to the company president (above): Urge your people to identify their top five strengths. Then restructure your company so your team members are working out of their strengths, not their weaknesses. You’ll have a revolution of joy in your workplace almost overnight!
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. Strengths Finder 2.0 was The Wall Street Journal’s number one bestselling business book last week. Why is the “strengths movement” such a hot topic?
#2. What percentage of our team members here actually leverage their top five strengths every day at work?
The Team Bucket: Celebrate Our Strengths - Insights from the Management Buckets
King David wrote in Psalm 139:14 (KJV), “I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” According to Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, co-authors of Now, Discover Your Strengths (the 2001 book that launched the strengths movement), “Very few people share your signature themes (in fact, there are over thirty-three million possible combinations in the top five, so the chances of your meeting your perfect match are infinitesimal.)” (See Issue No. 4.)
I encourage my clients to host a “Celebrate Our Strengths” day and distribute a chart showing the top five strengths (out of 34) of every team member. Conduct a training segment that affirms your organization’s commitment to help your people leverage their strengths at work—and discuss the amazing uniqueness that God built into each person. You’ll be amazed at what this will do for your company culture.
Next month, I’m facilitating a board of directors annual retreat. We’ll review the top five strengths of each board member, and the senior leadership team members, and discuss how each person can leverage those strengths to maximize their leadership. That’s fun stuff!
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions: The Team Bucket
#1. Raise your hand if you have already taken the online strengths assessment. Now raise your hand if you know your top five strengths, in order. OK, now raise your hand if you are truly leveraging your strengths at work.
#2. Raise your hand if you know the top five strengths of your boss, your direct reports and/or your colleagues. Raise your hand if you think we should have more training on this critical subject.