Mistaken Identity Leads Ministry Director to LFYS Profile
“I discovered Leading From Your Strengths by accident,” confesses Roger Orman, a director with the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. “It was a case of mistaken identity.”
For years, Roger had used Gallup StrengthsFinder in his work as a pastor and later as Associate Director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. But when he transitioned to his new role in his home state of Mississippi, a colleague approached him with a request. The colleague had completed a strengths profile as part of seminary training. Could Roger help him interpret it?
Both men assumed the assessment was those Roger had processed for years with other ministry workers.
“Leading From Your Strengths was different,” says Roger.
Like other assessments, the profile addresses the user’s natural strengths but to Roger, the adapted strengths reporting was new and exciting. Adapted strength data indicates how much the user adjusts his natural strengths to match the requirements of a specific environment, such as work, your family, or your ministry.
His interest piqued, Roger took the assessment for himself.
Natural Strengths Nailed
He was stunned. Roger’s profile revealed his introverted nature, a trait that no previous assessment had identified and one that few people know about him. “I was a theatre major in college and a local church pastor for many years. I am used to ‘performing’ in front of people, so they naturally think I am an extrovert,” says Roger. “The profile nailed me.”
It was at that point that “I knew Leading From Your Strengths is really, really good,” he says. “And then, I simply had to learn more about it.” Roger attended the Ministry Insights Equipping Conference where he became certified.
There he discovered another beauty of the profiles: their accessibility. While it is extremely helpful for a user to work with a certified coach to interpret the profile’s results, any user can read and use the data. “The profile just makes sense,” he says.
He now sees the profile as a valuable tool both in his own ministry personal toolbox and one that can bring value to teams.
Interpreting Adapted Strengths in a Living Laboratory
Roger brought the profile to the attention of his supervisor and subsequently processed it with other members on his team.
As they worked, fellow director Johnny Ervin noticed that the content was familiar. He soon recalled that he had completed Leading From Your Strengths three years earlier.
“It was a perfect opportunity for me to work with him to see how his life circumstances impacted his adapted strengths,” says Roger. “I was in a living laboratory.”
Johnny’s church planting position and responsibilities had changed in the three years between assessments. He had moved into semi-retirement. While his passion remained in startups, now his focus was on coaching new church planters.
Johnny’s updated profile reflected that change. “He now had lower adaptive strength numbers compared with the first report,” says Roger. “He understands who he is and he is using his natural strengths in his new role helping young planters have strong starts.”
The Profile Is a Snapshot in Time For Teams
Roger is now planning a retreat to equip Mississippi Baptist Convention Board leaders to present the profile to churches across the state as a tool they can use to build strong staffs.
“Teams and leaders need to know their strengths, says Roger. “But there is more to successful team work than that.” He sees tremendous value in leaders and their staff member completing the profile again every couple of years as a team to better understand how they are adapting.
“The profile offers a snapshot in time for teams,” says Roger. “Life events, circumstances, and environment alter how we use our strengths. If you maximize how you adapt, you can lead from your strengths.”
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