Strengths-Based Relationships | Leadership Styles

Strengths-Based Relationships | Leadership Styles

Extrapolating from the five categories of strengths from the Introduction to Strengths chapter, the following might be a useful description for some of the dominant styles of leadership:

  • GET SHIT DONE – Lead by example
    • Do what you say you’re going to do; keep promises; productive contribution alongside followers
    • How does your reputation for high delivery and ‘getting things done’ earn the respect of followers?
  • INSPIRE yourself or others – Lead from the stage
    • Great storytelling; charisma / persuasion; deliver hope (especially if backed up by substance)
    • Why is your magical storytelling compelling and persuasive?
  • CONNECT to the world – Lead from the heart
    • Understand your audience; walk in another person’s shoes; shared emotion
    • How does your deep understanding of your followers contribute to your style of leadership?
  • THINK – Thought leadership
    • Robust thinking / planning; intelligent & strategic; unique ideas that inspire
    • What would you like to be known for being known for?
  • CREATE something new – Lead through creation
    • Tangible services/products that meet new needs; new systems/processes that bring stability / efficiency
    • What can you help create that would bring maximum benefit to your followers?

Understanding the categories above speaks to the relevance of authenticity. You can imagine a leader who pretends to be something they are not because they think that is what’s expected. If my natural talent is in the domain of Thought Leadership and Leading from the Heart, why would I present to a large audience my compelling story, when I would have much greater impact hosting focus groups and creating the intimacy of rich personal conversations about a topic I am passionate about or an expert in? Similarly, if I am comfortable Leading Through Creation, and Leading by Example, my approach with followers could be co-creation workshops with specific, tangible outcomes in mind. If I fall into the trap of pretending to be something I’m not, my followers will see right through me and become disenchanted rather quickly.

In the context of leading a strengths-based practice, there are at least two constituent follower groups to consider – the internal team and clients. The internal team (practice manager, executive assistant, relevant outsource partners) will benefit from understanding the leadership preferences of the practice owner. This may assist with determining practice strategy, client impact and modes of delivery which will be described in the next chapter. For example, a practice strategy leveraging the practice owner’s strength in Leading from the Stage may unlock lots of potential with a speaking strategy, either to create leads for other delivery modes, or creating substantial income from the power of inspiring speaking. In contrast, a practice owner who is exceptional in Thought Leadership and/or Leading Through Creation may get on a roll with authoring (books, white papers, social media) or creating rich content for training programmes. It is important to note that most people have two or more leadership styles that they can access with a high level of impact, so it would be very rare to limit your strategic / tactical choices to just one leadership style.


With love,



About the author

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Christopher Miller

I am passionate about helping and inspiring small business owners to create their purpose, live their values and experience success, happiness and fulfilment by owning a business they can be proud of.
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