How serious are we about truly developing the talent of our key people? The world is over-populated with academic pursuit of leadership initiatives, all competing to produce people with accredited qualifications. But what about developing people with the confidence to deliver on the practical day-to-day challenges that our businesses through at people?
In this episode I outline my specifically created Strengths Leadership Programme for the key staff members… our team leaders & team managers. Based in the Gallup research and literature it focuses on identifying talent, developing strengths, and applying this knowledge to personal and team development in the practices that team leaders work in every day. It offers a 4-day workshop introduction, but is focused more on local impact of knowledge through supervised and supported practice over a year, and the nurturing of specific peer group support. If you’re looking for another certificate to hang on the wall go somewhere else.
For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):
“If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.” [Tom Rath].
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” [Ralph Waldo Emerson].
How do you go about identifying your natural talents? Most of us stroll through life largely oblivious to what we may excel at. Either we are subject to the constant focus on our weaknesses, and attempting to get them fixed, in the flawed assumption that this helps us to massively improve our performance. Or, we are simply just not aware of resources that can focus attention more on the task of identifying the talents and developing our true strengths.
The Gallup organisation has not just researched this area for several decades, but also mined the massive database to inform and develop the tools for strengths development. In this episode I reflect on this process of identifying talents and developing strengths. I use my own results from taking the StrengthsFinder test (on two separate occasions) to illustrate the process and themes of talent that have emerged out of the Gallup work.
For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):
“The key to human development is building on who you already are.” [Tom Rath]
At a strategic level we are continually expanding the language, but essentially using new words and phrases to say the same thing… recovery, personalisation, self-directed support, person-centred planning, re-ablement/re-enablement. Nobody can seriously disagree with the premise that service users should be given a voice in order to say what they need and want, to reflect on how best to meet their wishes and aspirations, to exercise choice and feel supported in their decision-making. However, there is often a gap between what we are saying we are doing as services, and what service users are experiencing on the receiving end. The distance between strategic vision and practical reality rarely conforms to anyone’s idea of close proximity.
This is where the Strengths Approach or Working with Strengths come into their own… call it what you will, but we need some way of translating the big picture into something that is clearly understood and able to be delivered by workers with service users (and carers). We can talk about journeys all day long, but unless you can walk it unaided then we need a vehicle, a route map, a travel guide or companion… a means of travelling that journey. The Strengths Approach sets out a clear statement of values and principles to guide and support good practice; it provides fit-for-purpose tools and the necessary guidance on flexible use of such tools; and it sets out practice-based policy statements that help to tie-in the organisation – team – practitioner levels to an agreement on what we are doing to support people to experience the rhetoric of person-centred services in reality.
Check out my 2014 publication ‘Working with Strengths…’ for the full story, complete with ideas and tools to support the implementation of best practice.