Guest Blogger

Strength-Based Leadership

Institute Graphic

The Session “Youth Services Leadership – Influence and Support” discussed great ideas for shifting our perspective to looking at our strengths to best service our patrons.

StrengthFinders is a branded survey that helps you discover what you naturally do best, and grow your talents into strengths. However, you do not need to purchase the test to understand your own strengths. Visit here to look at the different domains, and then think about your strengths.

My top strengths are Strategic, Learner, Achiever, Futuristic, and Intellection. I’ve learned that this means that I see the big picture, but I struggle with details. How does this shape the way I lead? I can’t overemphasize the importance of teamwork. I can think of three people in our children’s department that are wonderful organizers. They build databases, systems, and networks that my brain would never think of. When I have a big idea about an art program and we are implementing it, my colleague will say “Katie, where are the wipes? The scissors? Glue sticks?” “Oh yeah,” I say. “We need those! Thank you for thinking of it!” Another colleague is an amazing Relator. Whenever we have a storytime, she grabs our marketing materials to give out to patrons after the program ends. She walks around and talks everyone, while my mind is already imagining the next program, the next strategy, and evaluating how to improve for the future.

What are your strengths? How can you understand your own gaps and delegate to others? Consider your team. The next time you hire someone, can that person purposefully fill in your department’s gaps? Most importantly, don’t obsess over your weaknesses. I’ll often forget the glue sticks, but my wonderful colleague won’t.


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