“One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy to improve from incompetence to mediocracy than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence”
What comes to mind when you think about self-improvement? Do you immediately start thinking about all the things you’re not very good at, your faults, your weaknesses?
This is common. As individuals, we tend to focus on our ‘negative’ attributes, and in the workplace, it can feel like our areas of improvement are under constant scrutiny.
Be honest, as a leader do you find yourself lamenting over your team’s flaws?
Taking a proactive approach
As the Peter Drucker quote above implies, it’s easier and more effective to start with existing strengths. Going from good to great, or from great to excellent is far less time consuming for you and for your team.
The problem with focussing on a lack of ability is that it requires so much energy and effort to progress. Understandably, it also creates frustration for all parties, leading to unnecessary stress and low morale. Your team is left feeling inadequate and insufficient.
When you focus on improving an existing strength, it’s welcomed and embraced. By acknowledging an individual’s strength, you are showing you value them. They feel validated and valued as a team member. You’re saying, ‘You know what? You’re great at this, let’s build on that and take you to the next level.”
A strength-based strategy
How do you feel when you focus on one of your strengths? Empowered, right? Do you feel a tingle of joy, happiness, elevated mood, energised? You feel confident and motivated. So why not build this into your workplace culture and give everyone the gift of feeling this way?
Imagine what this would mean for your team. Increased confidence, improved productivity and performance, enhanced engagement. When everyone is playing to their strengths, everyone benefits.
And the beauty is that your team will have complementing strengths. Although one person may struggle in one area, another individual may excel in that area – balancing the team dynamic.
It starts with you
The best way to develop this strategy and culture is to alter your mindset to a strength-led one. It’s your responsibility to lead the team into a new way of thinking.
Of course, you’ll need to have key tools in place in order to assess strengths and capabilities. Strength-led management won’t work unless it’s sincere. And remember, your perspective on an individual’s strengths may not align with their own perceived strengths so it’s vital to have these assessment tools in place.
In our bespoke Purpose, Progress, Performance programme, we drill deep into strength-based strategy, identifying individuals’ strengths – those that make them feel energised and confident. We take you through a strengths-finder exercise that hones in on 4 specific areas which allow you to uncover where you excel.
Not only that but you’ll enjoy all of the below:
- Have fun and build stronger relationships based on authenticity and trust.
- Understand each other’s strengths, differences and how they complement each other.
- Have honest conversations about what you all need and how you can support each other.
- Gain the tools you need to build individual and group wellbeing and resilience.
- Create a blueprint of shared values, behaviours and ambitions.
- Become a cohesive and effective team that achieves more together.
A great team needs a great leader, one that values their strengths and motivates them.
What if you and your team were thriving, effective, and fulfilled?