“Back in the small company days of 15-20 employees, Bob was responsible for the software developers, and on a daily and weekly basis, they would need to check in their code, get feedback on what they were developing, how it worked with the system, and so on.” The President and CEO of a leading provider of clinical information systems in the healthcare field is talking about a company catastrophe that never came to pass.
“This was all a real drag on Bob, and initially we thought that he just wasn’t management-level material. But, going through this strengths process, and rethinking the alignment of people onto teams, we found that Bob has a brilliant mind for software architecture, and an understanding of the macro market in terms of where the software should go and where the market is going.”
Freeing Bob up from one role on the team in order to better position him to serve the company resulted in what the company now refers to as the “5.0 Release” of their new software platform, a breakthrough that positions the company for a 10X growth in institutional customers.
Once the leader and the team members have identified each person’s strengths, they need to match people’s strengths with the work to be done. At times, managers and executives think of this process as “too soft.” Work, after all, is work, and people should dig deep and get the job done! It’s true that work is work, and everybody needs to dig deep. But strengths are an asset that should not be wasted. Nowhere else in our disciplined operations would we jam misfit parts into our product. The small investment required to become expert at building on strengths repays the company and everybody involved many times over.
“Align Strengths With Team Responsibilities” is the second of three parts taught in the Serving Leader Action called Build on Strength. Case stories and step-by-step exercises found in the The Serving Leader Development System (SLDS) provide a road-map for leaders and managers to build teams based on the strengths of their people. This module teaches leaders how to put together teams, not by asking each person to be great at everything, but by positioning each person’s unique strengths into the service of the other team members, and all of them together in service to the goals and objectives they must achieve.