excerpt from “Self-Improvement 101” by John C. Maxwell
Whenever you see people who are successful in their work, you can rest assured that they are working in their strength zone. But that’s not enough if you want to be successful as a leader. Good leaders help others find their strength zones and empower them to work in them. In fact, the best leaders are characterized by the ability to recognize the special abilities and limitations of others, and the capacity to fit their people into the jobs where they will do best.
Sadly, most people are not working in their areas of strength and therefore are not reaching their potential. The Gallup organization conducted research on 1.7 million people in the workplace. According to their findings, only 20 percent of employees feel that their strengths are in play every day in the work setting. In my opinion, that is largely the fault of their leaders. They have failed to help their people find their strengths and place them in the organization where their strengths can be an asset to the company.
In her book, Hesselbein on Leadership, Frances Hesselbein, the chairman of the board of governors of the Leader to Leader Institute founded by Peter F. Drucker, wrote, “Peter Drucker reminds us that organizations exist to make people’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant. And this is the work of effective leaders. Drucker also tells us that there may be born leaders but there are far too few to depend on them.”
If you desire to be an effective leader, you must develop the ability to develop people in their areas of strength. How do you do that?
1) Study and know the people on your team.
2) Communicate to individuals how they fit on the team.
3) Communicate to all team members how each player fits on the team.
4) Emphasize completing one another above competing with one another.