"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."
- John F. Kennedy
ISAE’s Leadership Retreat on September 15 is a full day of learning that will put new tools in the hands of association CEOs, VPs, and Directors.
One of the featured presenters, Ellen Shertzer, will talk about how identifying your strengths can transform leaders and their teams. She will specifically discuss research by Don Clifton who, in conjunction with Tom Rath and researchers at Gallup, published Clifton StrengthsFinder in 1998. Leadership retreat attendees will be given an access code to conduct their own assessment as part of their registration.
Q: Ellen, how is identifying your strengths differs from a DISC or Meyers Briggs assessment?
A: DISC and Meyers Briggs are personality inventories that provide a glimpse into who you are and how you perform. Strengths provides five Themes describing a group of Talents (defined as a natural recurring way of thinking, feeling or behaving that can be applied to a particular task). Because each theme does not stand alone and is affected by all the other themes, we have to look at a person’s report holistically. The probability of someone having the same Top 5 Themes in the same order is 1 in 33 million. This customization provides a unique assessment of our Strengths and Talents and goes far more in depth than DISC or Meyers Briggs.
Q: Once I’ve identified my strengths, are there tools that can make an immediate impact on my leadership skills?
A: One of the benefits of Strengths is the resources Gallup has created after you complete the assessment. From the online tools to blogs and books, there are numerous ways leaders can use this information to expand their skills. It is also important to look at organizations that have adopted a strengths-based leadership philosophy. This allows leaders to adopt Strengths beyond themselves and utilize it within their teams.
Q: How have strength-based leadership skills impacted your own career?
A: Ironically, I returned to graduate school last year and I am making a career change because of Strengths. I was working in the world of higher education/non-profits and didn't feel fulfilled. After leading hundreds of students through Strengths workshops, I started to explore my passions and strengths and realized I needed to make a change. For me, it has served as a career inventory to give me direction, but it also gives me language to use when I am applying and interviewing for jobs. I am very aware of my strengths and I can clearly articulate this because of Strengths.
Want to find your own leadership strengths? It's not too late to register for this event! For more info and to register, click here.