Strengths Based Leadership

by Ben on May 16, 2009

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There is an overabundance of highly educated scholars in the field of leadership that have very little managerial experience. Those having experience managing others did so at such a high level they were often disconnected from employees on the frontline.

If you’re looking to advance your ability to lead rather than theorize about it, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Strengths-Based Leadership.

Strengths-Based Leadership is the culmination of 30 years of intensive research by Gallup Scientists as interpreted by best selling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership and performance coach Barry Conchie.

The authors of the book had access to over 40,000 personal interviews with leaders, 20,000 interviews with followers, and surveys from nearly one million work teams from around the world.

They discovered that teams were most successful when the “Four Leadership Domains” of Relationship Building, Strategic Thinking, Influencing, and Executing were covered.

To help you indentify your own strengths as a leader, the book comes with a code for a “free” leadership evaluation at

The leadership evaluation identifies your top 5 leadership strengths and guides you on applying these strengths to meet the four basic needs of your followers (Trust, Compassion, Stability, and Hope).

In Strengths-Based Leadership, Rath and Conchie identify the “Four Basic Needs of Followers” as part of the “Three Keys” to being a successful leader:

Knowing Your Strengths

Getting People with the Right Strengths on Your Team

Meeting the Four Basic Needs of Followers:

  • Trust:  Do you keep your word as a leader?
  • Compassion:  Do you have your workers’ best interests in mind?
  • Stability:  Do your employees always know what to expect from you?
  • Hope:  Are your employees inspired about the future?

Strengths-Based Leadershipprovides inspiring stories and actionable ideas to help reinforce the basis of the book. Not only is the book informative, but it is entertaining to read as well!

Having read so many leadership books over the years from self proclaimed “experts” in the field, it was a refreshing to read a book based on data rather than speculation from a professor isolated in an ivory tower while a student aid teaches her leadership class.

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