Editor's note: Brian O'Neill, CMSWire Contributor and former chief client officer for FIS, wrote for CX and other teams in his former organization a series of articles. Each were titled, “The Path ... " with each edition being a new take. For example, he would discuss culture, leadership, ownership, purpose, etc. In his six-plus years in his CX role, he sent out 286 notes with the intention to empower, reinforce and frame his company's mission by sharing insights to help his team improve its game and increase its level of engagement in what it wanted to accomplish. He revives some of these notes and adds some current perspective in this Fall 2022 CMSWire series

Knowing Your Own Strengths

On August 13, 2016, I sent out "The Path . . . To Little Rock." In this edition I highlighted a team leadership meeting we had in our Little Rock offices.

Not only was it a great chance to connect with our leaders at an important campus, but it provided me an opportunity to visit The Purple Cow. The purple what? If you've been to Little Rock, then you know, plus my wife worked there when she was in college.

More importantly, in this edition, I introduced the broader team to the idea of strengths and the importance of understanding how these strengths are critical in forming a team that can perform consistently at the highest levels. 

Related Article: The Path to Excellence: Guide for CX Leaders Begins Again, Part 1

Understand Your Team's Strengths

Here's the note I sent to my team (minus some edited-in subheads):

Underscore consistently.

Earlier in my career, while I was with Healthways, a Nashville, TN-based healthcare services provider, we were working with Gallup to create The Gallup/Healthways Wellbeing Index. At this time, the Healthways leadership team had the foresight to see the benefits of "Strengths Based Leadership," whereby everyone is fully aware of their strengths throughout the organization to help optimize teams and individual performance.

If you don't know "your five," may I suggest that you put CliftonStrengths to work for you and your team. Every team that I managed in my 13 years at FIS knew their five and the five of their team members.

Related Article: My Top Three Lessons Learned as a CX Leader

Learning Opportunities

Ready to Be an Impactful Leader?

Do you want to be a more impactful leader?

Know your five, know your blind-spots and foster an environment for everyone to embrace the unique strengths of each individual on your team. Learn the language, embrace strengths-based leadership and foster an environment where "The Strength Formula" can take flight:

Talent x Investment = Strength

  • Talent: a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving
  • Investment: time spent practicing, developing your skills and building your knowledge
  • Strength: the ability to consistently provide near perfect performance

Think about high performing athletes . . . perhaps Tom Brady . . . there is no question he was blessed with talent, but in the absence of an investment would he be able to consistently provide near perfect performance?

As a leader, you must ensure the development of your people includes the actual time needed to develop those talents into strengths. CliftonStrengths will provide you the roadmap, but a great team also needs the correct pieces to play the key roles to ensure success: a more difficult equation to solve, to be sure, but also part of the fun.

Conclusion: Strength a Common Theme for Path to Excellence

There will be more about strengths as this was a common theme in the 286 editions of The Path. As for me . . . Relator - Maximizer - Communication - Arranger - Strategic . . . tells you everything you need to know.

Enjoy the journey!

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