As Jim Collins so eloquently put it in his game-changing book Good to Great, you’ve got to have the “right people on the bus” and then also “in the right seats.”
His point: It’s important to asses the individuals who make up your team or group to make sure you’re leveraging strengths.
For individual team members, I use what I call the Step Back 360 assessment to help them understand where they are on their leadership journey. The best teams are continually assessing the talent on their teams and are committed to the development process.
Countless assessment tools are available in the marketplace to help teams and organizations assess their current talent and wade through that important discussion about the “right people” and the “right seats.” Many organizations I’ve collaborated with have had tremendous success with leadership 360s, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Enneagram, and the DISC. They all have merit, and I have experience using many of them to help clients with their assessments. I often remind clients that no test can tell every single thing about a human being, but they are indicators that help reveal our most natural modes of self-expression.
One of the assessment tools I am particularly fond of is the StrengthsFinder assessment by the Gallup Organization. Their mission is to help us all move beyond the common human instinct to point out what is wrong with the person and to shift the conversation toward leveraging the strengths of an individual. We all have strengths, plural. But we spend so much time focused on our weaknesses that many people don’t have a good sense of what they naturally do well. They don’t understand how they are uniquely oriented to be an incredible asset to their team.
It doesn’t mean we don’t identify opportunities we have for improvement (believe me, this is pivotal for the assessment phase), but we must shift our eyes to understand how we are uniquely positioned, to know what we do well, and to bring awareness to those strengths.
If we want to gain clarity on the temperature we wish to set in the future, we must first know where we stand currently as a relationship or a team.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
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