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Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  4,987 ratings  ·  186 reviews
In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important ...more
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Gallup Press (first published January 6th 2007)
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Jennie
How is this a book? No, I am seriously asking. I have no problems with the material in the book. In fact it seems to be a good follow up to First Break All The Rules. The problem is tht there are about 45 pages of book and the rest is a couple of case studeis and then all about the categories. And not in an indepth way...more in a useless bulleted overview way. This book had potential but ended up feeling like a bloated magazine quiz. This never needed to be anything more than the website with q ...more
Ron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erika RS
I read this books as part of a reading group at work. It is a mediocre book with highly valuable information if you are willing to dig through the business speak and find it. As such, reading it in a group worked well. At our meetings, we were able to weed out the valuable information.

The theme of this book is that people do best when they focus on their strengths. This flies in the face of much popular wisdom which says that you should work to improve in your weakest areas. Instead, the author
...more
Laura G
The psych major in me is interested in personality inventories, so the StrengthsFinder assessment was intriguing to me. I can't really judge if the results were absolutely accurate for me; most of my top five "themes" fit me, but I think that I could feel that way about several of the other themes described in the book too. I like the idea of knowing your own and other people's strengths, capitalizing on them, and finding people with different strengths to round out a team. It would be easy to s ...more
Miêu Tặc
Jan 05, 2015 Miêu Tặc rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: leaders, managers
Shelves: development, 2020
This book breaks the conventional wisdom that people should fix their weaknesses and become well-rounded.

Rather, it advocates a different approach that people should lean forward their strengths. Great leaders have the acute awareness of their strengths as well as their weaknesses. But they don't struggle to fix their weaknesses, instead they find the complements. This way, they build strong, well-rounded teams.

This book also comes with an extra book about themes of strengths, how to leverage th
...more
Michelle
My brother is in town and while we were out and about he mentioned that he read this book first within a management program at work and then again within a service group at his church. As he was talking about it, it seemed as if there were many things that would interest me that go along with the themes in the book. Obviously, from the title you can see that the book focuses on finding your personal strengths as a leader. I picked it up and read it very quickly...one night.

Debbie, you would unde
...more
Jennifer
I would like to preface this review by explaining that I am moving to a leadership position at work, and my manager asked me if I had ever had any formal leadership or management training (I hadn't), and offered to send me to a seminar. As I would rather do just about anything than go to a business seminar (jargon-speak! icebreakers! introvert-torture!), I offered to read a bunch of leadership/management books on my own time and try to find a leadership mentor. This is the first attempt at part ...more
Mckinley
Why follow leaders?
1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.
2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.
3. The most effective leaders understand their follower's needs.

2. Maximizing your team: 4 domains of leadership strength: executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking
NO one is GOOD at all of these; idea is for team to be good at all.
- teams focus on results
- prioritize what's best for org
...more
Peg
My new boss had Directors read this, with the personal self-assessment (new book purchase comes with a one-user only code to take the assessment on line - nice gimmick for sales). Basic premise is that you get more out of people in the work place if you emphasize getting them to do what they're already good at and succeed at; and the effort to correct weaknesses or strengthen vulnerabilities rarely pays off much. Very quick read for a management book (a good thing) with practical suggestions for ...more
Gene Babon
Strengths Based Leadership is my early candidate for Best Business Book of 2009. This is a companion book to StrengthsFinder 2.0.

The value in both books gets created when you use the unique access code provided and take the time to learn about yourself. This book focuses on providing analysis to those who are in a leadership position or want to be.

If you are in a role that requires you to lead a team or help make a team more productive in some way (who isn't?), then learning more about what make
...more
Mary
Pretty good book on Leadership in the workplace. As with all generic psychology books, you need to take this with a grain of salt since many generalities are made. However, the key findings of managers investing in worker strengths, understanding what tools/training are needed to get the job done, and surrounding your self with the right people who are not necessarily like you in order to maximize all strengths seems somewhat obvious. He discusses his Four Domains of Leadership strengths: Execut ...more
aaron
this is a pretty good book about leading with your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses. it tell of different styles of leadership and of the ways that you can use them to effectively lead others. it makes the point that great leadership isn't always cut from the same mold, in fact, most great leaders are very different from each other. i think that may be one of the most important lessons to take from this book. i read it for marriage counseling. there are definitely some examples y ...more
Henrik Brameus
The underlying concept of the book is good. We are all different, and there are no specific traits that make people leaders. there, now you know the basis of the book.

As far as the book goes, it is a bit thin on actual reading. A big part of the book are descriptions of the 32 different personality aspects, which is not necessarily riveting reading. It could serve as useful reference when you are leading others. But I was still sensing a clear lack of guidance and advice.

One of the stars for th
...more
Julie
It was interesting to read about the 34 different strengths that a person may possess.
This book comes with an access code for an online assessment to determine your top 5 strengths. It was interesting to read about my top 5 strengths and to also identify other strengths that I think I have. Reading this book and taking the assessment was definitely a growing experience for me.
Amy
A bit of a rehash of strengthfinders 2.0 but some good stuff. Definitely getting the whole team to take the test and see if we can work to our "strengths".
Allan
Mar 01, 2015 Allan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: tech
I love the concept of playing to your strengths. Weaknesses are hard to overcome, and although doing so can be immensely gratifying, doing so doesn't usually further your personal or professional goals. Identifying your strengths and being aware of them is very powerful. I was impressed by how accurately the StrengthsFinder profiling was for me.

This book also discusses how various personality types can be leaders by focusing on strengths. Many people may not feel that they have the charisma and
...more
Emily
The point of Strengths Based Leadership is that you are not Abraham Lincoln. Nor are you Sun Tzu, Geronimo, Lee Iacoca, or any other great man of history/business about whom you have read a book encouraging you to emulate. You are you, and you should not try to be Abraham Lincoln, but you should acknowledge your own strengths and build a team of others with a diversity of strengths, which is what Abraham Lincoln did, but you're still not Abraham Lincoln. That's the main point, but how to fill th ...more
Todd
A quick self-improvement work on leadership, this book serves mainly as a vehicle to promote Gallup's StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment tool. The work opens by correctly noting most people's lack of self-awareness/honesty in terms of their own leadership potential ("Out of 1,001 people randomly surveyed, 97% rated their ability to lead as being at or above average." p 1). It then transitions into a parable about a boss addicted to following first one then another leadership fad, without attaining a ...more
John Kenworthy
I really cannot recommend this book. Whilst the research behind it appears to have some basis in fact, the assessment and recommendations are generic and could apply to anyone.
Plus, it focuses on the whole concept of developing your strengths only. The key idea that led to the financial crisis where the character of the person and their weaknesses are not addressed.
Ishraq
I read this book because we had two copies of it in the company bookshelf and immediately I grabbed one with very high expectations where I should admit that I was a little bit disappointed.

The idea of the book revolves around self-awareness and awareness of the others so whenever you are able to identify your strength and weakness points as well as the others, you will be able to invest in these strength in order to achieve a better leading skills.

The book starts with telling stories (I do lov
...more
Carol Smith
This was required reading for a new small college library directors program I participated in. Like many books of its type, the main points could be summarized in a single page vs. an entire book. In a nutshell, identify and play off your particular leadership strengths, and also identify and integrate the different leadership strengths of your team to form a stronger whole. It's a quick read, and half the book is made up of appendices detailing and offering prescriptions for each strength type. ...more
Tricia
Content could have been delivered in slimmer volume, but worth a skim. Best and most useful part of book is the explanation of four domains of leadership (executing, infuencing, relationship building and strategic thinking) and how knowing your own and your teammates' strengths and where they fall in the domains can contribute to effectiveness and organizational health. Also, the information on the four basic needs (trust, compassion, stability and hope) of followers is of interest, but was not ...more
Chinarut Ruangchotvit
This is a great follow up to StrengthsFinder 2.0 if you're into team dynamics. I went into this book thinking it would add fuel to partnership explorations with other folks who've taken StrengthsFinder - turns out I'm not finding it as useful here. Where I find this book shines is in further defining yourself as a leader based on your own strengths - take others out of the equation when you first read this book. What worked for me highlighting the information provided for my top 5 strengths and ...more
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Three key finding emerged from this research: 1) The most effective leaders are always investing in their strengths. 2) The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. 3) The most effective leaders understand their followers' needs."

2- "What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths - and can call on the right strength at the right time
...more
Dayu
Saya suka buku ini.

Premis yang dipakai adalah semua orang pada dasarnya adalah pemimpin.
dan karena itulah penelitian terhadap efektivitas pemimpin menjadi dasar pembuatan buku ini.
ditemukan ternyata pemimpin itu selalu menginvestasikan waktunya untuk memperkuat kekuatannya, menemukan orang yang tepat dalam tim dan mengembangkan mereka dan yang terakhir adalah memahami keinginan dari pengikut pemimpin tsb.

Buku ini banyak hasil penelitian yang menerangkan kalau ternyata orang yang tidak bisa maksi
...more
Cathy Allen
Building off of the others in this series, this book is really helpful when working with groups. There is little in my consulting practice which is as much fun as assigning a group of work colleagues to each take the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test online and then share their printouts with each other. As each person in the room tells what they learned about each of their top signature themes of talent, you can almost see lightbulbs coming on. People grow in their understanding not only of themselves, ...more
Heather
This was a good book and I think more helpful than the first book—StrengthsFinders 2.0—because it organizes the 34 strengths into some important and helpful categories and gives more meaningful explanations about how to use each of the strengths to help and lead others.

It’s neat to see the themes of what makes effective leaders. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths; surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team; and understand their followers’ nee
...more
Heather
What a dud. Anyone already invested in strengths-based leadership will find some value here, hence the second star rating. Anyone else is likely to claw out her eyes a the hideous corkscrew English ("business speak"), redundancy, and lack of thought or substance.

For the good stuff, suitable for all walks of life and careers, check out Greenleaf on Servant Leadership. Caveat lector: some of his followers go heavy on the religion, but it's not at all essential to the philosophy.
Bracken
Mar 28, 2015 Bracken rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: noone
Shelves: work_management
I was quite disappointed. The first 100 pages, that should have given great instruction about how to improve your strengths and the strengths of you team, failed to deliver. I kept feeling like a used car salesman was trying to sell me the test that came with the book. I feel like the book could have been better developed and useful, but it was merely a marketing ploy.

The reference pages about the 34 strengths were valuable, but the other was nearly worthless.
Sheri Struk
I read this in preparation for a Strengths Finder presentation for a volunteer commission I serve on for my city. The main part of the book is actually only about one hundred pages with lots of extra pages of additional resources. I appreciated the discussion of four significant leaders and how their strengths work in their respective organizations. The book is an easy to read guide and provides good clarity as to what Strengths Finders is all about.
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ARE YOU FULLY CHARGED?, the latest national bestseller by Tom Rath, was released in mid 2015. Tom's six NYT/WSJ bestsellers have sold more than 6 million copies and made over 300 appearances on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list. Connect with Tom at:

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More about Tom Rath...
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“If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.” 13 likes
“Although individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be.” 10 likes
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