Discussion: Strengths-Based Leadership
It is relatively easy to describe our acquired expertise, but most of us struggle when asked to describe our natural talents.
—Rath, 2007, p. 21
Recognizing innate talents is critical not only for leveraging one’s own strengths, but for fostering a workplace environment in which everyone’s contributions are respected and maximized. This is valuable because “the opportunity for individuals to play to their strengths most of the time is the key factor that shows the greatest correlation to outstanding performance in the widest range of business outcomes including profits, productivity, customer satisfaction, and safety and employee retention” (Buckingham, 2011, p. 5).
Charged with the complex and considerable goal of promoting health care quality and safety, nurse leader-managers must learn how to draw upon each person’s strengths to foster collaboration toward this shared purpose.
In this Discussion, you assess your own strengths and consider how they can be applied in a health care organization to improve quality and safety.
- Review the Learning Resources focusing on strengths-based leadership.
- If you have not already done so, follow the instructions in Strengths Finder 2.0 to complete the online assessment and read the sections in Part II that are associated with your five top strengths.
- Consider the results of the assessment. What insights, questions, or concerns arise as you think about these results?
- Think about how your identified strengths relate to your current role as a leader-manager and to the professional contributions that you hope to make now and in the future. Give focused attention to patient safety and health care quality; how and why are your strengths valuable for promoting optimal patient outcomes and creating systems-level change?
- Evaluate strategies for applying your strengths in the health care workplace. Identify at least two that you can use to add value to a team or workgroup to improve quality and safety.
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Rath, T. (2007). Strengths finder 2.0. New York, NY: Gallup Press.
- Part I, “Finding Your Strengths—An Introduction” (pp. 1–31)
- Part II, “Applying Your Strengths” (pp. 33–172)
Read Part I first, then complete the online assessment as instructed in the book. Read the sections in Part II that are associated with your five top strengths.
Note: You must purchase a new, unopened copy of this book in order to acquire the access code that you will need to complete the online assessment.
Buckingham, M. (2011). Strong leadership. Leadership Excellence, 28(1), 5.
The author explains how strengths-based leadership creates competitive advantage for organizations. “The opportunity for individuals to play to their strengths most of the time is the key factor that shows the greatest correlation to outstanding performance in the widest range of business outcomes including profits, productivity, customer satisfaction, and safety and employee retention” (p. 5).
Cooper, H., & Cottrell, R. R. (2010). Charting your career path through clear professional values and purpose. Health Promotion Practice, 11(1), 13–15.
This article provides direction for clarifying professional values and purpose, and using that for career development. “The importance of understanding and articulating values at an individual level is that they can assist in developing one’s unique contribution to one’s profession, just as a professional organization’s values assist in directing the organization” (p. 14).