Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Cochie

Posted on January 27, 2010


Strengths Based Leadership

Strengths Based Leadership

After extensive research involving over 40,000 interviews with leaders, 20,000 interviews with followers and over a million surveys of work teams, Tom Rath and Barry Cochie uncovers the secrets which make effective leaders effective.

Key revelations of this extensive research show that:

1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.

Contrary to common belief, an all rounded leader may not be the most effective leader. An examination of renowned leaders shows that they are all famous for different reasons. For instance, it may be due to their ability to influence, as in the case of President Obama, or their ability to plan, as in the case of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The trait they have in common is that they all know their strengths well and constantly improve and capitalise on these strengths at the right time. On the other hand, mediocre leaders attempt to be good at everything, but more often than not end up being the jack of all trades but master of none.

2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.
Places in leadership teams are more often than not, filled on the basis of competence rather than their suitability. Rath and Cochie cites the example of a sales manager position most likely being filled by a candidate who either is best at sales or has best knowledge of the sales process, rather than how his strengths would compliment the team’s strength as a whole. Effective leaders fill their teams with members whose strengths cover the Four Leadership Domains of:

• Executing: Leaders who make things happen.
• Influencing: Leaders who help their teams reach a much broader audience.
• Relationship Building: Leaders who are the glue that holds the team together.
• Strategic Thinking: Leaders who keep us focused on what could be.

3. The most effective leaders understand their followers needs.
Here, Rath and Cochie introduce the Four 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?

Included in this book is the StrengthsFinder Assessment which helps us to plot the strength of our team based on the Four Leadership Domains. The leadership lessons of this book are certainly fresh and relevant, making it a must-have for aspiring leaders.

Click here to get your copy now, or find it at the Books page!