Tag Archives: Strengths

Marine Corps. Leadership: Employ Your Command With in Its Capabilities

Could you list your team's strengths and weaknesses?

Could you list your team’s strengths and weaknesses?

“There is no substitute for accurate knowledge. Know yourself, know your business, know your men.” – Lee Iacocca

If our teams are going to succeed, it is because they have been set up for success. When a leader is not aware of a team’s strengths, weaknesses, and limitations, they are less likely to employ them accordingly, increasing their potential for failure.

When teams or individuals experience failure because their abilities and limitations were not first considered, it causes even more frustration and angst, which leads to decreased motivation and poorer performance. This is not to say that a leader can not give them a task that is beyond their capabilities, however this should be communicated and expectations should be set accordingly. In order for leaders to avoid these issues, they must first assess their teams strengths, areas where they will naturally excel; assess their weaknesses, areas where they experience greater difficulty; and then take measures to increase ability, training in areas of strengths and management of weaknesses, as well as reviewing and working through possible, future situations.

Assessing a Team’s Strengths:

  1. Strengths Finder 2.0 – This tool allows you to gain a perspective into a persons top five strengths. While the list of themes (strengths) is broad and general in listing, the assessment creates a unique report for each individual. Meaning two team members may have the same strength, but how those strengths are used and reported will be different.
  2. Myers Briggs – This assessment helps identifies a team members personality. While this may not seem like an out-right strength, knowing their personality will reveal in which situations they will most likely excel.
  3. DiSC – This assessment is another form of a personality test, however rather than sharing an individual’s personality type the DiSC assessment reveals how a person will operate and interact with in a team.
  4. One on One & Performance Reviews – While this tool will cover a multitude of needs, a one on one will allow a leader to assess where the team member is excelling and where they are falling behind. An aware leader should be able to decipher  an individuals area of strengths through these meetings.

Assessing a Team’s Weaknesses:

  1. Identify repeated areas of struggle – If a team member is struggle to complete a certain task, it is likely there is a component of that task that is a struggle for the team member. Do not automatically assume that the given task is an area of weakness, but rather seek to pinpoint the area or areas of struggle. Doing this will help you better understand where to employ team members, where not to employ, or even to cut a member if their areas of weakness are a team’s core competency.
  2. Review personality assessments – Generally speaking, one personality is no better than the other. However, there will always be trade offs with a given personality. A person will be able to stay secluded and focused on a task, but will appear to be less of a team player. When we better understand team members personalities we will ultimately understand who they are, and who they will not be.

Take Measures to Increase Ability:

  1. Have a goal/growth plan – This will allow leaders and team members to set desired objectives and map out actions to be take to achieve growth.
  2. Identify possible hurdles – No path is paved with perfection. If leaders and team members can identify possible problems before they are problems, they will be able to create solutions to over come those  issues, once they arrive with relative ease.

What have you done to effectively assess strengths and weaknesses, as well as increase overall ability?

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Leadership is: Zeal pt. 2

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” – Rupert Murdoch

In Leadership is: Zeal pt. 1 we discussed helping others achieve their goals so that they would be excited and motivated to help us achieve ours. By the way, this is not meant to be a form of manipulation, this is just a good leadership practice!

In this post we will discuss how to maximize on other’s excitement for our goals.

5 ideas for maximizing other’s excitement for our goals:

1. Cast a Clear, Motivating Vision – Create a clear, compelling picture, one that inspires people beyond themselves, and beyond the organization. This requires us to look beyond how we are benefited, and to focus on how everyone benefits.

Simon Sinek explains motivation in his TEDx talk

2. Use Passions & Strengths – Capitalize on what excites people, and already exists within your organization. When people are able to operate within their areas of strengths, they feel empowered and successful. When people feel empowered and successful in their areas of passion they are excited to do what ever it is they will be doing.

3. Provide Accountability – Track progress, give feedback, and give direction when necessary. The old adage goes, people don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect. Whenever you delegate authority it must be followed up with accountability; however this isn’t just about quality control, accountability helps others recognize winning.

Manager Tools has the best information on One-on-Ones

4. Display Internal Success – Catch people winning, then praise them for it. When people are recognized for their contributions encourages them to contribute more. Catch people winning by walking around and intentionally looking for it, once you find it, promote it!

5. Showcase External Success – Validate the vision by sharing examples of how it is being accomplished. When people are bought into the purpose of your organization, they want to see the fruition of their labors! A display of success encourages continued effort. Share testimonials, frame letters and put them on the walls, display what ever could be considered a trophy.

6. Share the Success – Don’t be greedy. It is true that everything rises and falls on leadership, but it is accomplished on the backs of the entire organization. When money or credit is given to those who helped accomplish the vision, they will be willing and ready for the next go around.

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Leadership is: Zeal pt. 1

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What are the goals of those around you?

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” – Rupert Murdoch

It has been said that others will only be half as excited as we are, when it comes to our passions.

The benefit of our excitement is that we generally have more than enough to go around. The challenge is maximizing on that excitement, and instilling it into others.

In an earlier blog post, Leadership is: Buy-in, I write, “people must be bought into who you are before they are bought into what you are about.” In order to get people bought into who we are, we must be bought into what they are about. In other words, if we want people to help us achieve our goals, we must help them achieve theirs.

Starting points to help others achieve their goals:

1. Know their motivation – We must ask, “what motivates those around us?” Motivations vary, but once we understand what motivates the people around us, we can direct our efforts and incentives to help them win.

2. Know their passions – Henry Ford believed in separating work life from personal life. The problem with this is that the two directly affect each other. When we discover the passions of those around us we can support them emotionally, financially, and/or mentally.

3. Know their strengths – Everyone wants to know what they’re good at, and then be appreciated for what they do. When we know the strengths of those around us, we can help them accomplish more by making sure they are plugged into those ares.

– and finally –

4. Know their goals – It is difficult to help a person get to where they are going, if we don’t know where they want to go!

Once we are bought into helping others achieve their goals, they will be more motivated and excited to help us achieve ours. In part 2 of this leadership letter, we will discuss how to maximize on this motivated excitement.

How else would you help someone achieve their goal(s)?

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