Let’s Start with Strengths


If someone handed you a magic box that could help you and your team increase impact by 36%, would you give it a try?  In a TED talk entitled “Starting with Strengths”, Eva Katharina Herber reflects on the benefit and impact of helping to grow your team through their strengths.   According to a study by the Corporate Leadership Counsel,  teams who are coached to leverage their strengths increase their impact by 36%.   As technical people, programmers or engineers, it’s easy to treat the people like our work.   In school, we’re trained to find bugs in our work and remove them.   People are NOT engineering problems.  If you only focus on the negative and the weaknesses of your team, the data shows that this practice decreases engagement and productivity.

It’s interesting to see data showing that organizations and individuals tend to show profound growth when strength analysis is part of the discussion.  I have to confess that entrepreneurial focus is a challenge for me.  It’s the challenge of being creative, curious and being a maker.   When you’re curious, you tend to have a broad pallet of interests or projects.   This talk helped remind me of the coaching from “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.   Great companies realized success when they leverage their collective strengths, team passion, and discover economic models that use those passions and strengths.

It takes focus and energy to build a true business venture that can be executed.   This talk provides a reminder that leaders need to amplify the strengths of their team and minimize weaknesses.  I do believe it’s important to acknowledge personal and team weakness too.  The research, however, suggests that discussions around growing strengths is more productive.

What are the strengths of your team members?  What are you most passionate about?  What do you do best?

Photo Credit by Dawn Manser – https://flic.kr/p/6oaunE


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