Using positive psychology to reach your maximum potential
When I first inherited the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) division at Microsoft, it was an average ’so-so’ team in terms of its performance ratings. We overhauled our approach using a combination of strengths-based leadership and positive psychology, and within just a few short years we became the best-performing region worldwide for four years running.
No other regional team had ever achieved that level of success before, and no other team has managed it since. There was no mystery to how we did it. With the aid of StrengthsFinder and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profiling tools, I reshaped and reorganised the team to match people’s roles to their apparent strengths and proficiency level, switching the focus to maximising their effectiveness rather than fixing their weak areas.
The lesson here is that it wasn’t necessary to recruit lots of new people to build my power team. Only two per cent of the original team was altered, but it was essential to make each person’s talent count in a more profound and complementary way. Leadership is good, but ’Leadershift’ is even better if you can move people to be more of who they are.
Decades of Gallup research has shown that there’s a powerful connection between level of engagement/job satisfaction and the degree to which people are maximising their strengths on the job. A strengths focus is how you create the blueprint for a ‘flow based’ organisation, where everyone finds challenge and happiness in their work.