When you’re a leader, your performance really matters. It’s not just about your own success but the success of your team. You want to do your best for your personal fulfilment, for the good of your team and to create positive business outcomes in your organisation. But how do you refine your leadership skills to maximise results? There are a lot of different people saying a lot of different things about what it means to be a good leader. 

Here’s where I want to flip the script. Instead of focusing on what other people are doing successfully and risking using a leadership model that doesn’t work for you, how about you focus on what you’re already doing well and use that to direct your leadership development?

The Value of Self-Awareness in Leadership Development

If you build on your strengths, you’ll have a solid foundation as a leader. To do that, you need to know what your strengths are. Raise your awareness of the leadership skills you’re good at and enjoy using. These are drivers of success because you’ve got the knowledge, experience and talent as well as motivation due to the satisfaction and energy you get from using the skills to execute them to a high standard. They define your leadership style and impact. So how do you identify them?

There’s a great tool I use with my clients who are in leadership roles and are looking to improve their performance, for career guidance or to apply for a new position. It’s called the Leader Strengths Profile. Through a questionnaire, it assesses your capability and enjoyment of the 60 workplace strengths and 21 leadership strengths. The assessment ranks the strengths across a quadrant:

  • Realised strengths are the skills you’re good at, enjoy and are using regularly. 
  • Unrealised strengths are the skills you’re good at, enjoy and could use more in your work. They’re like hidden gems. 
  • Learned behaviours are skills you can use to a high standard but don’t particularly enjoy so they should be minimised. 
  • Finally, your weaknesses are the skills to avoid (if possible) because you find them hard to execute and don’t enjoy them. 

When you are aware of where your skillset lies across this quadrant, you know where you stand currently and where to direct your future development. You double down on your realised strengths, focus on your unrealised strengths, improve any useful learned behaviours or weaknesses and avoid the ones that aren’t relevant. It will make your job and your career progression a lot easier.  

The Outcomes of Knowing Your Strengths as a Leader

Identifying and understanding your leadership strengths enables multiple positive outcomes. It isn’t just a report you print off and put in the bottom drawer of your desk, never to see the light of day again! A Leadership Strengths Profile is an applicable tool for your current leadership performance and future progression. These are some of the outcomes my clients highlight. 

Define leadership style

The Leadership Strengths Profile gives you the language to describe who you are and what you do well as a leader. That gives you clarity and confidence as you grow as a leader. It also provides colleagues and employers clarity and confidence as you can communicate your approach and the value it brings. The best part is that it’s your authentic leadership style. It’s the leadership model you’ve adopted because it works for you. 

Describe the impact on your team

When you know what you do well as a leader, you uncover the positive impact you have on your team. You have a clear picture of how you get the best out of people and drive success for your team. It provides language that describes the difference you make to your organisation. For example, if competitiveness is one of your strengths, you help people to exceed their expectations and realise just how much they’re capable of. 

Unveil the unknown

We don’t realise a lot of our own strengths. We’re too close to see just how much value we offer because the things we do well and enjoy tend to come naturally to us. It’s not a big deal so we don’t notice them. If I were to ask you to write down your strengths and then take the Strengths Profile assessment, I can guarantee there would be at least one realised or unrealised strength in your report not on your list. An objective assessment like the Strengths Profile is incredibly revealing and provides insights you’ll use throughout your career because the more you know yourself, the easier it is to navigate your career, finding and creating work environments where you thrive. 

Awareness of weaknesses

It’s good to know your weaknesses and learned behaviours because it’s useful information to understand and solve issues such as struggling with motivation. Most of the time you don’t need to learn to enjoy or get better at your learned behaviours and weaknesses. You’re allowed to have things you don’t enjoy and aren’t good at. Keep them minimal in your work life and they won’t be an issue. Only if a weakness is vital to your ability to perform well in your job do you need to actively work to improve it. 

Leverage quick wins

During the debrief and coaching session that follows the Strengths Profile assessment, we come up with quick wins the client can take away and apply to their work life for an immediate benefit. It could be an action to take or something to change. Either way, understanding their strengths has led to a revelation about how they can get better results in the here and now. Strengths Profiles have both short and long term applications. 

Discover Your Strengths Profile

Becoming a better leader doesn’t require you to upend how you lead. A lot can be gained from an improved understanding of your existing leadership style, strengths and impact and using that information to direct your development. Being clear on what makes you a good leader and being able to communicate that to others makes a massive difference to your job satisfaction, work performance and career progression. 

I can take you through the Leader Strengths Profile assessment alongside the Motivational Map assessment and a 90 minute coaching session to uncover your blueprint for success at work. Book your coaching package for strategies on how to maximise your strengths for greater fulfilment and improved performance.

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