Presentation on theme: "Division of Student Affairs Strengths Based Leadership"— Presentation transcript:
1Division of Student Affairs Strengths Based Leadership What happens when we focus on what is RIGHT with people?
2Why Are We Using StrengthsFinder? We believe that everyone has something to contribute!Rath & Conchie (2008) point out in Strengths Based Leadership: “whether you are taking charge in a boardroom, on a construction site, or even in your home, it is likely that you will find yourself leading at some point in your life.” (p.1)Drucker (1999) challenged people to consider: “what should my contribution be? Given my strengths, my ways of performing, and my values, how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done?” (p.25).StrengthsFinder has proven success.It is used in academic, business, and nonprofit settings; over 2 million people have taken it; it is available in over 24 languagesNo two individuals have the same Top Five in the same order.The validity and reliability of the assessment meet very high standards.
3Three Key Findings in Strengths Research The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.The path to great leadership starts with a deep understanding of the strengths you bring to the table.
4StrengthsFinder 2.0 …identifies areas where an individual’s greatest potential for building strengths exists. It is a philosophy of using talents as the basis for consistent achievement of excellence (strengths). Individuals are able to gain far more when they expend effort to build on their greatest talents.
5Part I: Investing in YOUR Strengths If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.Conduct handwriting activity!First, write their name 5 times with nondominant hand (1 min)Second, write their name 5 times with dominant hand (1 min)Part I: Investing in YOUR Strengths
6–Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark 34 ThemesSelf-awareness of strengths = more self-confidence = more annual income ($3000-$13,000)“I’ve never met an effective leader who wasn’t aware of his talents and working to sharpen them”–Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark
7Why does Gallup only give you the “Top Five?” How many people tend to ruminate on the negatives instead of the positives? That’s why. It is a natural instinct to focus on the “negatives” or “constructive feedback” or things we need to work on. However, research shows (and the HBR article explained) that individuals make much more significant gains when they focus on their natural skills and talents – the things that are positive, right, and good.This is not to say that we should stop striving to improve or learn. It just means that it will take way more resources (time, energy, financial) to make the same amount of gain in a improvement area than it would to make the same gain in a naturally strong area.
8Top Five –listed in order of intensitystarting point for self-discovery & self-awarenessEncourages individuals to build strengths by acquiring skills (i.e. basic abilities) and knowledge (i.e. what you know, including facts and making meaning from experiences) that can complement their greatest talents in application to specific tasks.Large group discussion about their reactions to their Top Five … Accurate? Questionable? Empowering? Stifling?
9Let’s Assess … Person A Person B Strategic Activator Adaptability Maximizer WooAchiever Learner Input Activator FocusWhat might these people be like?What jobs might these individuals have?What might it be like to work with them?What might they be good at? Not good at?Person A = Mike PhillipsPerson B = Sonja ArdoinNote that both people have Activator but they are at different intensity levels and will play out differently based on the combination of other strengths. In short, two people can have similar strengths but utilize them in distinctive ways.
10Select A StrengthSplit people into groups based on top strength OR strength that resonates most … have them discuss if they relate to their Top Five collectively and how they see the specific strength they chose arise in their professional and personal lives.
11We all lead in very different ways based on our talents and our limitations. Serious problems occur when we think we need to be exactly like [any other] leaders.
12[Personal Goal Setting] Using my Strengths, where and how can I contribute to my area and the Division in ?[Personal Goal Setting]
13Part iI: Maximizing your team The most cohesive and successful teams possessed broader groupings of strengths.Part iI: Maximizing your team
14The Four Domains of Leadership Strength Know how to make things happen; ability to “catch” an idea and make it a realityExecutingReach a broader audience; sell the team’s ideas inside and outside the organizationInfluencingGlue that holds the team together; create groups and organizations that are much greater than the sum of their partsRelationship BuildingFocused on what could be; absorb and analyze information to make better decisionsStrategic ThinkingServes a team well to have representation of strengths in each of these four domains. Although individuals need NOT be well-rounded, TEAMS SHOULD BE!Gallup has yet to find two leaders who have the exact same sequence of strengths … out of the 2 million people who have taken StrengthsFinder!
15The Four Domains of Leadership Strength ExecutingInfluencingRelationship-BuildingStrategic-ThinkingAchieverActivatorAdaptabilityAnalyticalArrangerCommandDeveloperContextBeliefCommunicationConnectednessFuturisticConsistencyCompetitionEmpathyIdeationDeliberativeMaximizerHarmonyInputDisciplineSelf-AssuranceIncluderIntellectionFocusSignificanceIndividualizationLearnerResponsibilityWooPositivityStrategicRestorativeRelator
17How Do Your Team’s Strengths Work Together? Based on your self reflection, how do your individual ways of contributing align with your team’s strengths?Does your team utilize individuals’ strengths well? If so, how? If not, how could you?Where are you strong as a team? Where might you run into concerns?How do your team’s strengths serve students?How do your team’s strengths contribute the Division?Give time for people to meet with their team to look for patterns in their compilation of strengths and make meaning of the results.
18The Divisional Snapshot Executing = 184/704 OR 26%Influencing = 77/704 OR 11%Relationship-Building = 256/704 OR 36%Strategic Thinking = 187/704 OR 27%
19Part iII: Understanding why people follow If you want to lead, it is critical to know what the people around you need and expect from you. You are only a leader if others follow.Part iII: Understanding why people follow
20Consider someone you view as a leader and someone you would “follow.” Why would you follow that person?
21Follower’s Four Basic Needs Trust (honesty, integrity, & respect)Compassion (caring, friendship, happiness, & love)Stability (security, strength, support, & peace)Hope (direction, faith, & guidance)Followers have a very clear picture of what they want and need from the most influential leaders in their lives – see above list.Relationships flat-out trump competence in building trust.Nothing creates stability as quickly as transparency.Leaders who are always reacting convey to the organization that they aren’t in charge or control but are being tossed about by demands of the day. When leaders instead choose to initiate, the very act can create hope for the future.
22What now?? Reflect. Share. Practice. Build. Reflect – Continue to think about how you are using, or can use, your strengths professionally and personally?Share – send the description of your Top Five to a mentor, family member, or close friend. Have a discussion with them about if the report describes you and if/how they notice these talents in your actions and choices.Practice & Build – build on your talents to increase your strengths. Try to choose opportunities that will build your knowledge and experiences in each area. Try to find professional development that match your strengths.Note: We will offer follow-up session on utilizing Strengths through the PDC this year. We are also available to facilitate additional sessions with your team if you are interested.What now??
23Combining Strengths: Future Uses Staff RetreatsSearch CommitteesDivision CommitteesConnecting with students (classes, organizations, Executive Boards, etc.)
24Thank You!! Questions? Comments? Sonja Ardoin, Christina Logan, Mike Phillips, Jaime Russell