Why do we tend to gravitate towards
people who are just like us?
Common Ground is Important…
…So is Diversity
Do Values Really Matter?
“We wanted to come up with
committable core values
and by committable, meaning we're
actually willing to hire or firepeople
based on whether they're living up to
those values, completely independent of
their actual job performance.“
-- Tony Hsieh, Zappos Founder
How can you find out what their
• Give each person the opportunity
to share their observations
• What did you learn?
• What really jumped out at you?
• Does the report seem to accurately
describe you and your strengths?
A Word About Strengths
• Is it just something that you’re good
• Is it different from a skill or ability?
• Traditionally we would define a
talent in terms of the output
• Strengths theory defines it in terms
of energy and engagement
A leader needs to know his strengths as a
carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows
the instruments at her disposal. What great
leaders have in common is that each truly knows
his or her strengths – and can call on the right
strength at the right time. This explains why there
is no definitive list of characteristics that describes
- Dr. Donald O. Clifton
Leadership is the capacity
to influence human
thought, emotion, and
behavior starting with my
How do I identify my strengths?
• What is working well and how can I do
more of it?
• What things energize me?
• Do I feel a sense of yearning or
• Would I do this even if I weren’t getting
• VIA and SBL surveys
Why Should I Get to Know My Team?
• Can’t they just put their heads down
and do their work?
• This is a fast-paced work
environment. We focus on results.
We don’t have time for personalities.
• I’m not your therapist. We have a
job to do, so let’s do it.
Strengths and Motivation
What works for one employee may not work
for another. The approach needs to be
tailored to each team member.
A Tale of Two Staff
We’re all unique (no this is not photo shopped)
Build a Common Vocabulary
a doorway to a
conversation . . .
How Engaged is a Pitcher in the Batter’s Box?
Are any of the members of your team playing out of position?
When can I
get back on
Why did I
swing at a
Gallup 12 Keys to Engagement
• At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
• In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing
• My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a
• There is someone at work who encourages my development.
• In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my
Bringing It All Together: Strengths in Teams
• Individual Exercise
o Think of a team project that went really well. Why did your team
succeed? What roles did different members of the team play?
o Think of a team project that went off the rails. Why did your team
struggle? What roles did different members of the team play?
o What strengths are missing on your current team?
o Is there anyone who is currently playing out of position?
Brainstorm other roles they may be able to play.
o Do you notice any strengths in overdrive, individually or
E-Bay: A Case Study
“Jeff and I had very complementary skills,” Omidyar told us in
our interviews. “I’d say I did more of the creative work
developing the product and solving problems around the
product, while Jeff was involved in the more analytical and
practical side of things. He was the one who would listen to an
idea of mine and then say, ‘OK, let’s figure out how to get this
Team Strengths in Overdrive
• Case Study #1: Is too much Harmony a bad thing?
• Case Study #2: Achievers collide . . .
Dan Griffiths, CPA, CGMA is the Director of Strategic
Planning at Tanner, LLC, a Salt Lake City-based professional
services firm with 115 team members. Dan facilitates
approximately 75 board and leadership team off-sites each
year across a variety of industries. He currently serves as a
member of the AICPA board of directors. Dan is an avid
flyfisher, backpacker, and gardener. He and his wife Bibiana
are the proud parents of four children.
Contact Dan at: email@example.com
Or connect with him on LinkedIn