Strengths-Based Leadership

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Thisterm paper critically focuses upon the knowledge provided onstrengths-based leadership by the book ‘StrengthsBased Leadership’written by Tom Raith and Barry Conchie. According to Rath and Conchie(97), leaders that are focused and can achieve anything are mostlyrequired by every organization. However, it is necessary for leadersto be aware of their own weakness and strengths in order toaccomplish their objectives. In leadership situations, strengths andweakness must be capitalized by the leader. In addition to this, theymust also have a strong team that can compensate effectively for anyof their personal weakness. It has also been proposed by Rath andConchie (98) that overall success, higher levels of motivation,personal engagement can be resulted if an individual utilizes her/hispersonal strengths. Along with leadership, positive psychology hasalso been focused by the authors of this book. In this book, Rath andConchie (99) advises different strengths for different scenarios ofleadership, perceives leadership as a collective process and arguesthat that all individuals have specific innate talents that can bedeveloped into strengths.

Thebook is basically based upon three main segments, i.e., understandingwhy individuals follow a leader, how the team can be maximized andinvestments that must be done in strengths (Rath and Conchie 98). Themost effective leaders are those who understand the needs of theirfollowers well, surround themselves with the right people and arealways ready to make significant investments within their strengths(Cliftonand Harter 120). Inthe first segment, it has been contended by the authors that howimportant it is for a leader to be aware of his/her own strengths andhow these strengths can be utilized by him/her instead of adoptingthe styles and habits of other successful leaders. They also haveargued that confidence can be built up within an individual if he/sheutilizes her/his person strengths effectively. In order to supporttheir argument, they have also referred to the research that impliesthat long-term career success is influenced by self-confidence (Laneand Chapman 131).Itis necessary that a leader must be aware of his/her strengths like aphysician know about the instruments or the carpenter knows about histools. It is important for leaders that they utilize their specificstrengths on the right time.

Inthe second segment of the book, it has been recommended by Rath andConchie that instead of a leader with a dominant trait, it is farbetter to have well-rounded teams. Similar individual strengths mustnot be maintained by these teams. However, adequate talent must bepresent within them especially in 4 domains of leadership, i.e.,strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing and executing.The mission and ideas of the team can be sold by those who have thestrength of influencing others. Significant help must be provided bythe leader to the team in reaching a broader audience and in order toassure that the group is hear, the leader must speak up and takecharge. An effective leader is the one who has the ability to come upwith a unique idea and know how to make things work in order toaccomplish that idea. The base that holds the entire organizationtogether is provided by leaders that are knows how to buildsuccessful relationships. Everyone is kept focused on the furtherorganizational goals and objectives by strategic thinkers. In makingbetter decisions, the team is provided significant help and theinformation is constantly analyzed and absorbed by strategicthinkers.

Inthe final segment based on why people follow each other, it has beenemphasized by the authors that it is highly significant to considerthe opinions of followers and maintain proper communication withthem. Hope, stability, compassion, and trust are four basic needs ofa followed that must be provided by the leaders. Employees are morelikely to stay up with the organization and are more productive whenthey feel that their leaders are compassionate regarding them. Such aleader who has a positive outlook and a consistent behavior is mostlyrequired by followed.

Theremaining of the book provides brief descriptions regarding 34different themes of leadership and instructions regarding how tocarry out the strengths finder assessment (Rath and Conchie225).Overall the book is quite influential, however, one basic facthas been ignored by its authors, i.e., the composition and thesituation of the followers is the main thing on which theeffectiveness of the leadership depends upon. For instance, even iftake-charging and authoritative style of leadership is not one of thestrengths of the leader, still it can be required the most in acrisis scenario. Similarly, if the talent required for meeting thegoals and objectives of the organization is not acquired by thefollowers, then success cannot be achieved even if the leader isrelying upon his or her personal strengths. Besides, some points lackby the authors in the book, there is one positive aspect of the book,i.e., significant advantages can be gained by readers throughself-assessment such as “strengths based leadership”. For aleader, it is worthwhile and fun to discover strengths.


Clifton,Donald O., and James K. Harter. &quotInvesting instrengths.&quot&nbspPositiveorganizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline&nbsp(2003):111-121.

Lane,Forrest C., and Natasha H. Chapman. &quotThe relationship of hopeand strength’s self-efficacy to the social change model ofleadership.&quot&nbspJournalof Leadership Education&nbsp10.2(2011): 116-137.

Rath,Tom, and Barry Conchie. &quotStrengths based leadership.&quot&nbspGreatleaders, teams, and why people follow. New Work: Gallup&nbsp(2008):98-225.