Leadership Lessons: Allow Your Team To Work In Their Strengths

For three years now I have been blessed to work for an amazing ministry. It has proven to be the most challenging but most rewarding experience leading a team that truly believes in the mission 100%. I have never in my 17 years experience working with nonprofit ministries been apart of anything that has such internal support that drives everyone involved to external excellence.

I am often asked what is a key leadership lesson that I have really taken to heart since becoming the Executive Director of Family Life Services. My answer is simple:

I try to always always always allow my staff to operate in their strengths.

Early into the the hiring process  I ask potential staff members to take the Strengths Finder 2.0 leadership assessment by Tom Rath during their very L-O-N-G interview cycle and we share those findings with the rest of the staff.

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If I find myself starting to get frustrated with someone’s performance, or if I think something is “off” I have started to immediately ask myself this question: What am I asking this person to accomplish that is a weakness for them rather than a strength based on the gifts and talents the Lord has naturally gifted them to do?

Almost always team unity and achievement comes from everyone working in their strengths. Oh yeah, and we pray. A ton.

It is that simple.


  1. Julie Parton says:

    One of the things I especially like about this instrument is that it rates you on specific strength themes, like Adaptability or Competition or Intellection; but then it also groups those into “categories,” like Strategic Thinking, or Relationship Building, etc. That way the org. can maximize its collective strength by intentionally turning to the team member who excels in a given category when then team is dealing with something that needs that particular “expertise.”

    • Hello Julie! Yes! I know who to call on for certain jobs because it is going to be fun for them, and not extra “work”. This is the best tool I found not only looking at the specifics but collective grouping. Great point. And thanks so much for commenting. I appreciate you so much. Miss you friend!

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