What is strengths based leadership?

Have you heard about strengths-based leadership? Are you wondering about the strengths-based leadership style? Are you ready to be a strengths-based leader?

Understanding Strengths-based Leadership

The Evolution of Leadership

Over the past century, leadership evolved from a concept based on power and control in the early 1900s. Over time management shifted from this concept of control and power to a traits-based idea – if an individual had specific traits, they could be a leader. Mid-century, we saw another shift from traits-based leadership to behavior-based leadership. If an individual did certain behaviors – then they were considered a leader. In the 1980s, we saw a change from transactional behaviors to transformational leadership. At the turn of the century, we see leadership through the emergence of leadership styles over the past few decades. Whether authentic leadership, servant leadership, or adaptive leadership – there are countless styles!

What is leadership

In Leadership Theory and Practice (2013), Henry Northouse shares a helpful definition of leadership. Leadership is “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.” 

More about Strengths-based Leadership

Think of a pair of glasses for a moment. Now consider strengths-based Leadership as a pair of glasses. Strengths-based Leadership is a lens through which you can view yourself, your team, your organization, and your industry. It gives us an understanding of how we will consider and see – the perspective in which we act, behave, and make decisions. 

CliftonStrengths offers an online assessment as a starting point to explore strengths. Gallup provides individuals with their top strengths – often, that is how folks first learn about their strengths. Strengths open the door to conversations with teams and departments – ultimately impacting team development and productive collaboration. 

Tom Rath, in Strengths-based Leadership, shares, “Alight individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be.” As you grow your leadership strength to influence and guide teams, embracing the diversity of strengths is essential. Strengths-based leaders model inclusion by fostering cultures and environments that create a sense of belonging.

Leader Reflection Question

Let me ask you, How might you learn more about the strengths of your colleagues today? 

ready to strengthen the leadership of your team