My last blog discussed the key findings and advice outlined in the Harvard Business Review article, “Making Yourself Indispensable” (click here to read that blog post). At the time that article appeared in HBR, executive coach and bestselling author, Marshall Goldsmith, interviewed Jack Zenger in his Huffington Post blog.
Read the interview at “The Indispensable Leader” for Jack’s insights on these questions Marshall posed:
• Most people tend to think of “improvement” as fixing weaknesses. Why is it so important for leaders to build strengths instead of focusing on shortcomings?
• You mention that the process of building strengths is different than that of fixing weaknesses. How so?
• Can you give an example of a leadership strength and how competency companions could help build that strength?
• Your research shows that an individual is the worst at knowing their own strengths and weaknesses, so how do you get a more accurate picture of yourself?
• Once you’ve identified which competencies are your strengths, how do you choose which one to develop? How do the competency companions play in to your development plan?
• Why does developing strengths make you “indispensable”?
“The Indispensable Leader” is a very insightful piece that I highly recommend you read for insights on building extraordinary leadership skills. As Jack points out “it is the leader with a handful of strengths who is making the most important contributions to the organization. Think of every objective measure of organizational performance that you can — whether it is employee turnover, customer satisfaction, employee commitment, productivity, innovation, or net profitability. In every case the differences are not slight, they are huge … These are the leaders who no organization wants to lose. They are the ones who top management and the front-line workers see as being truly indispensable.”