Strengths based leadership


“Have you ever wondered ‘what are the keys to effective leadership?’ … And this is exactly the question which Tom Rath and Barry Conchie seek to answer in the book “Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow”. To answer this question they reviewed a culmination of 30 years of research by Gallup Corporation. The research they reviewed  included over 40,000 personal interviews with leaders from around the world and 20,000 interviews with followers to ask why they follow a leader. The results of the their research lead to the  authors proposing the following three keys to effective leadership.

1. The Most Effective Leaders Are Always Investing in Strengths

The authors found that there is no one leadership strength which all effective leaders possess. Recognising that there is no one best leadership style the authors make a case for leveraging one’s strengths to meet leadership challenges. Effective leaders know their strengths and invest to get the most out of them, they continually expand and enhance them. …

2. The Most Effective Leaders Surround Themselves With the Right People and Then Maximise Their Team

‘Although individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be.’ – Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, Strengths Based Leadership

Whilst well-rounded individuals don’t make the best leaders the best teams are always well-rounded.  Given that no single leader is strong in every leadership domain, effective leaders work to build a leadership team where each member has a complementary set of strengths. …

3. The Most Effective Leaders Understand Their Followers’ Needs.

The researchers asked followers to choose three words that best describes the contribution that a leader make to their life. Many of them used the same words to describe what they seek from their leaders.

  1. Trust: Nothing happens without a sense of trust between leaders and followers.
  2. Compassion: Followers want to know that their leaders care about them.
  3. Stability: Followers want leaders that they can depend upon.
  4. Hope: Followers want to feel positive about their future prospects.”



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