If you want to be successful as a lead wolf, then you should lead with strengths. You should know where you are strong yourself, use your strengths and know where your weaknesses lie, and try to neutralize those weaknesses if necessary.

“Good talent is scarce.” How many times have I heard this phrase in recent years from CEOs or HR Directors. In our increasingly talent-based business world, we need to know, all the more, about our true strengths in order to find out which company and which role we are best suited to.

In everyday life, many people focus a lot of time on weaknesses. Thus, for example, 77% of all parents of school aged children focus all their attention on fixing their children’s weaknesses. And if the transfer is endangered, of course I understand that too. I have two children myself, and I want them to get along well in school. But too much focus on the weaknesses will at most prevent you from losing. You will only win with your strengths. Our greatest potential is to focus on our strengths, because we may not be everything we want to be, but we can be far more of what we already are.

Extensive studies by the company Gallup based on millions of respondents, show that the topics of talent, performance and success are very closely linked with each other. According to these studies, 3 out of 10 respondents can use their strengths daily in their work. This has important, very positive consequences, because these people:

  • Are 6 times more likely to be very involved in the job
  • Are 3 times more likely to have a very high quality of life
  • Achieve significantly better results and go to work much happier

That’s why strength-based leadership is so important. It makes you more successful and happier. Unfortunately, 7 out of 10 respondents can not use their strengths at work every day. So, there is still a lot of potential for improvement.

But how do we lead with strengths? Here are my 3 best tips for you for leading with strengths:

1. Know true strengths

Many people know roughly their own strengths. Therefore, they are not fully aware of how to be really successful in using their strengths effectively. But those who use their strengths, can always be successful. That’s why it’s important for you, as lead wolf, to know your true strengths. If you feel that you do not know them correctly, find out. Think, where are you really strong? What do people you know say about you? Ask them to give you honest feedback? Or use scientifically supported instruments such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder.
Honest self-knowledge is an important prerequisite for personal happiness and successful leadership, and each person has strengths and weaknesses. Particularly strong leaders, with 10 leadership factors, may have 2 or at most 3 factors in which they are outstandingly strong. But they also have 2-3 real weaknesses.
Know your true strengths, share them with others. Also, learn the strengths of others, e.g. the strengths of your boss, or of your bosses and your employees. Take advantage of the first introductory conversation with new employees or supervisors to understand each other’s true strengths. The better you know your strengths and those of others, the more successful you can work together.

So tip # 1: Know true strengths

2. Strengthen strengths

In order to be successful and happy in your professional life, you should choose roles in which your strengths are required to succeed. So choose the right role, choose the right projects that require as many of your strengths as possible. Then you have a good chance of having a lot of success and enjoyment in your job. Let others know where you are strong and where you are weak.
A great opportunity for you as the lead wolf is to help your employees strengthen their strengths, to give them regular high quality feedback. Once you know where an employee has strengths, give him feedback on his strengths. Yes, occasionally give him feedback on the weaknesses that may be keeping others from higher results. But focus the majority of your feedback on each other’s strengths. By doing so, your team members learn to utilize their strengths even more effectively.
Another chance for you is good coaching. Even if you have given your staff good quality feedback, then coach him or her and make them understand how can he or she effectively implement your feedback. Ask good questions, give precise help for self-help, again using their strengths.

So tip # 2: Strengthen your strengths

3. Lead teams to strengths

Good lead wolves do not surround themselves with people who are inferior to them. Good lead wolves surround themselves with people who can do many things better than they themselves. That’s the only way to bring many good new ideas into the discussion. And it improves results.
In weak teams it is important who is right, especially if the boss is often right. In strong teams it is not so important who is right, but what is right, right for the customer and right for the company.
Be a strong leader and surround yourself with people who have strengths that you do not have. Get people into your team who can do things better than you. Example: As a member of a European-wide company, I recruited one of the best shopper marketing experts in the world, he moved with his family, from Singapore to Europe. He had much more experience and knowledge in this important area than me and gave our company a lot of added value.
If you lead a team, I recommend in the composition of your team that you bring the people into the right roles and out of the wrong roles. The right people in the right positions. And then give them tasks that require and reinforce their individual strengths. And care for diversity. The more different strengths in your team, the stronger your team as a whole.

So tip 3: Lead teams to strengths

Summarized my 3 best tips for you for leading with strengths:

1. Know true strengths
2. Strengthen strengths
3. Lead teams to strengths

If you are interested in literature on the subject of “strength-based leadership”, then I recommend the classic “Strengths Finder” by Tom Rath.
Would you like more concrete tips and examples of good leadership, that you can improve immediately? Then visit the LEITWOLF blog and subscribe to the podcast. I regularly publish new content. Do you want very short suggestions to lead better?

Thank you for your attention,
your Stefan Homeister