Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Review: Strengths Based Leadership

I recently finished a book lent to me by a friend, Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie from the Gallup Press.

It has strong data-based analyses of what makes a leader Great, a Team exceptional, and a break-down on why it is that people follow.

Here are four things that I got out of the book.

1.) 4 Domains of Leadership Strength

Those are Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. The moment I read this, I immediately made a prediction that I would be mostly a Strategic Thinking leader with maybe a little Influencing thrown in. As it turned out after I took the Strengthsfinder 2.0 Test, my top 5 Leadership Skills are:

Strategic Thinking:


2.) Individuals need not be well rounded, but teams do.

This is self explanatory, I've always known that my natural inclination to want to fill up a team with a bunch of stat-nerds and math-geeks is potentially self-destructive.

3.) Members of strong teams are as committed to their personal lives as they are their professional lives.

Some individuals have the impression that as long as you work hard you can be lazy at home and live a good life. Alternatively, they view their work as a chore that sucks the energy out of them and so when their attention is brought to their personal lives, their own mindset hamstrings their ability to live with natural happiness. Mindset is everything.

4.) Followers Four Basic Needs

Trust, Compassion, Stability, Hope.
I tend to think of how other people act unempathetically due to my high IQ. I am socially awkward in any type of new or unpracticed situation. That being said, having large statistical studies to understand what drives followers is useful to someone like myself. 

I would rate this book an arbitrary:

The book is incredibly data-driven and fact-based, but it lacks any kind of emotional drive to action and their example stories of successful people who used their Strengthsfinder strengths wasn't a very compelling persuasion attempt. I was disappointing to find that there was only about 100 pages of actually book material, despite the book being about 300 pages. The rest of the book was mostly explanations, data, research, and references. It would have been more fitting to fit all of this information into a more compact paper and release it into the community that way. But hey, Money has got to be made somehow.

Thank you for your time,


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