A Brief History of Leadership Vision
Leadership Vision has been at the forefront of the Strengths movement since the very beginning. Back in 1999, Brian was working at Bethel University in St. Paul MN and received a grant to identify a cohort for distance education. They needed to use assessments and psychometrics as part of the grant requirement. Gallup found out about this, and someone from the organization reached out and asked if he wanted to partner using this new tool, StrengthsFinder.
I had never heard of StrengthsFinder…in those very early days, we entered into Partnership with Gallup…we were truly focused on students…we wanted to recruit for distance education…through that effort we began to be asked to do more of it…
Since the year 2000, Leadership Vision has provided Strengths Based leadership and organizational consulting to all sectors of business, education, technology, healthcare, and nonprofits. Since then, we’ve worked with something like 33,000 people across 350 different organizations in 31+ countries.
A Shift in Focus
In the early days of Strengths, our focus was primarily on individuals and getting the language of Strengths out to the public. It was about helping a person to leverage their Strengths on a daily basis. In the years that followed, Gallup did some research showing that individuals are really only able to improve the way they engage their Strengths by about 8% at best. That wasn’t good enough for Brian, and an intentional shift towards a team mentality began.
I have a team mentality about how I approach things…I always had this team thing in the back of my mind. The moment we really did make a turn, moving towards the idea of how do we get this to teams, using the research Gallup was doing. We realized that when you focus on your Strengths and do the best you can, your level of improvement can only go up 6-8%! That this just wasn’t good enough. That’s just not what I’m here for.
This is why we use StrengthsFinder to work with People, Teams, and Culture.
At Leadership Vision, we believe that knowing your top 5 Strengths is only the beginning. A person’s greatest potential lies in their ongoing exploration of talents. And, it is our objective to shape culture that intentionally aligns people around a Strengths philosophy. We believe that ultimately it is within a team where people gain insight into others while sharpening their own Strengths potential, capacity, and influence.
Knowing Your Strengths is Just the Beginning
After you first take the StrengthsFinder test, the first step is to know your 5 Themes of Strength. You’d be surprised how many people we work with who have previously taken the test and still don’t know the names of their Themes.
The five words in SF… the 34 Strengths are representations of the Talents, the building blocks, the behaviors …what it looks and sounds like. Knowing your top 5 is a great start, but knowing what the strengths actually looks like…is different. We dive deeper in the behaviors
Talents are patterns of thought, feeling, behavior, and motivation that come naturally to you – the things you do without thinking about them. They are the identifiable behaviors that you see.
Two people who share a Theme of Strength won’t necessarily share the exact same Talents and likely display different behaviors of Strength. Since Talents are the building blocks that make up a Theme, it is important to understand the individual Talents behind each of your 5 Themes of Strength.
We begin each and every one of our client engagements with some form of behavioral understanding of Talents because we believe a person’s greatest potential lies in their ongoing exploration of talents.
Any engagement we begin with somebody…it always begins with the behavioral understanding of Strengths…You have to recognize what it is a person is bringing…the 5 Strengths…all we’re asking is what does that look like, sound like, feel like…sensory reactions.
Focusing on behaviors, on the Talents, is important and critical for building a Strengths Based organization because it allows us the flexibility to understand each other in a greater way.
We want to Introduce this concept that Strengths are dynamic and not set. Those talents, the very elements that are coming together, those are changing and adapting…growing and recessing…when we understand there is a dynamic there, we give each other the room to understand what/who we are…understood…
This can be difficult, really difficult, and before you think it’s hopeless to understand the 14 Talents that make up each of the Themes… (which is 476 behaviors by the way), don’t despair. Brian says to start naming what you see.
Understand More with StrengthsFinder
So what are we doing this for? What’s the goal? Well, it’s our objective to shape culture that intentionally aligns people around a Strengths philosophy.
for a culture to entertain the possibility of taking a Strengths Based approach to how they are working with their people, teaming, environment, create the kind of health they are looking for. We come to the table with this objective in mind. So we’re never simply focusing on one event or one person…always something greater going on there.
Everyone wants to be understood. We all crave to be known for who we truly are. Think about how many conflicts come from simply not understanding the perspective of another person. The way we use Strengths can help bring understanding.
If you would like more resources for creating a Strengths Based Team or Organization, don’t hesitate to contact us!