“I have a confession,” says Scott Mawdesley, then a campus pastor with 12Stone Church in Georgia. “I use the Leading From Your Strengths profiles differently from other leaders.”
Scott hit on a powerful facet of the profiles: their versatility.
It was during a break from ministry when working in the consulting world that Scott got acquainted with Rodney Cox and the Leading From Your Strengths profiles, becoming certified in the process. Later, when he returned to a position in a local church, Scott put the profiles into practice with his team.
While other church leaders draw on the profiles for vetting candidates for a position and in team building, Scott has found a unique niche for the profile data – one that fits his entrepreneurial approach to leadership. He uses them to onboard new staff.
Use the Profiles to Onboard New Staff
Scott’s intuitive nature means he can identify a candidate who is a good fit early in the hiring process. Rather than asking several job candidates to complete the profile, he waits until a hire is selected. “At this point, I am confident that this person fits the role,” says Scott. “I’m not worried about our team being comfortable with the person.”
As part of the transition, Scott asks the new team member to complete the Leading From Your Strengths profile. The profile data becomes a tool for Scott to use to facilitate the staffer’s onboarding to the team and into the work environment. He uses the data to understand the nuances of the new employee’s personality at the front end so they can work best together from the start.
Scott has found the profile especially helpful when it comes to specifics about communication: What might she wrestle with? How can he affirm her? What does she need to know when it comes to change or lack of clarity?
“The profile data lets me do my best to help the new employee integrate into the system and culture,” says Scott. “I can say, ‘Hey, I know X element of our work environment will be comfortable for you, but Y may be uncomfortable. I’m here to talk about it if you need to.” That kind of heads-up keeps staff members from being blindsided and helps them move into their new roles more easily.
Use the Profiles to Coach Staff Members
Scott has also found the profiles to be helpful as he coaches his staff members to use their God-given strengths and be stronger for it individually and together. Such was the case when he was asked to take on a new position in an organization. As he made the transition, Scott asked an assistant to move with him.
Although the assistant handled her new responsibilities the best that she could, the new fast-paced setting required attention to detail – and her strengths did not fit that environment.
Scott was familiar with the assistant’s profile data, so he was able to assess the situation sooner than later. One day as he faced an urgent deadline that required his team’s immediate response, Scott realized that his assistant couldn’t help him finish in time. She simply did not have those particular strengths.
“I couldn’t change the work culture,” he said. “And she couldn’t change herself to fit the culture. She had other strengths that needed to be used in the organization. I wanted to coach her to use them.”
That was a turning point that allowed Scott and his assistant to have a series of conversations that led her to move into a different role in the organization. Scott subsequently hired a new assistant that was better suited to the fast-paced environment dictated by his position.
Use the Profiles in Ways That Work For YOU
Scott has used the profiles in off-site team retreats and in team-building exercises, but he has found them to be most productive in transitioning new members onto a team and coaching team members to use their strengths.
“The profiles don’t dictate whether or not I hire a person,” says Scott. “But they guide me to help team members use their strengths. They’re a great tool for leaders, no matter how you choose to use them.”