What happens when leaders use their strengths? Things happen.
Whether they think of their strengths as natural abilities that need to be developed or acquired talents that are intentionally sharpened, leaders rise to places of influence using their strengths. What happens when they use their strengths to start a new business or organization or church?
One of the most widely used strength identifiers is the Clifton Strengths Finder inventory. In Strength Finders 2.0, author Tom Rath, provides a detailed look at the way our strengths effect the way others see us or respond to the way we lead. This week we’ll look at the strength of Self-assurance.
Self- Assurance Defined…
Rath says Self-assured Leaders are confident in the direction they want to go and they sell it to others. In start ups, they are so certain about their direction that they tend to inspire courage in others. Rath suggests that Self-assured leaders should look for Start-up situations for which “no rulebook exists.” They thrive when they need to make a lot of decisions. In the best case scenarios, they create momentum that engages other people who use their talents synergistically for a successful outcome.
But what happens when self-assurance goes bad? Leaders may miss important social cues or mishandle critical data that should be considered before moving forward. In Start ups self-assured leaders must possess self-awareness to help guide their decisions. Whether they respond to a gnawing in their gut or feedback from a trusted friend, they must possess the capacity to “listen”. Proverbs teaches, “In the abundance of counselors there is victory” (Pr 24:6). Effective leaders pay attention to what their body is telling them and what their team mates say.
According to Rath, Self-assured leaders may especially benefit from others with strengths like Strategic and Futuristic. It makes sense that friends or coaches with forward thinking gifts that are not intimidated by change could help steward a vision toward a successful outcome.
When have you experienced using a strength of Self-Assurance? What do you think contributed to your sense of certainty in that situation? How did it help influence change? How did others come alongside? What worked well? What didn’t work out? Why? How did self-awareness play a role?