Based on your strengths and weaknesses identified in the leadership profile, how will you work with your DNP Project team, using your own strengths and weaknesses, to more effectively lead your team? How will you choose team members, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow (Rath & Conchie, 2009) is a book about identifying one’s own leadership strengths and weaknesses and being able to delegate tasks to others who encompass strengths in areas of self-identified weakness. After reading the book, I completed the CliftonStrength Assessment tool that categorizes leadership strengths into 34 themes that are organized in 4 domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking.
The Relationship Building domain is one of the four domains of leadership strength that integrates abilities to create teams and hold teams together. I was intrigued but not surprised to find that three of my top CliftonStrength themes, Harmony, Adaptability and Empathy, were grounded in the Relationship Building domain. Harmony was my strongest theme. People strong in the Harmony theme strive to find areas of agreement and consensus, thus, reducing friction and conflict. I always thought an aversion to conflict as a weakness but from the perspective of the Harmony theme, it is an opportunity to seek common ground, hear each person’s point of view, develop conflict resolution skills and find solutions through consensus. As a DNP, this strength will serve me well as I am now and will become more involved in groups and teams within institutions, professional organizations and local government.
So what are the Adaptability and Empathy themes?
- Those who lead with the Adaptability are able to “go with the flow” reduce team stress by creating a freedom from team anxiety and reducing team members frustrations.
- Leaders with a strong Empathy theme are sensitive to the feelings of team members and recognize and celebrate their achievements.
My remaining strengths fell under the Executing domain and include the Consistency and Restorative themes. Leaders with strength in the Executing domain will work tirelessly to implement the project, make it a reality and get the job done. Being project oriented will help me as a leader to follow through with meeting deadlines and time-frames set forth by the team while being considerate of my team members.
So what are the Consistency and Restorative themes?
- Leaders strong in the Consistency theme strive to treat everyone on “equal footing” by setting up clear rules and having a strong appreciation for fairness and equity.
- Restorative leaders are adept at dealing with problems and reinstating order to get the job done.
I recognize that there are 2 additional domains that were not a addressed in my profile, Influencing and Strategic Thinking which can be considered my weaknesses. While my strengths may lie at holding the team together and focusing on getting the job done, I would need Influencers and Strategic Thinkers on my DNP project team to address my weak areas and build a strong team. An Influencer is needed to sell the team’s ideas, while obtaining buy-in from stakeholders and a Strategic Thinker, to analyze information and stretch the teams thinking forward into the future for sustainability of the project.
Rath, T. & Conchie, B. (2009). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. New York: Gallup Press.