Small Business Leadership – Know Your Team’s Strengths

Knowing your team members’ individual strengths is paramount in streamlining your business operations. Developing a thorough understanding of each member allows you, as the leader, to best direct them in terms of job parameters.

Ideally, you want to make sure you hire the right person for the job, but as businesses are, or should be, continually evolving, so too will the parameters and duties of individual positions.

Vagaries! I need an example!

Well, look at it this way. If you are in the field of media (advertising, marketing, SEO, promotions, PR, et. al), your job is changing on a nearly weekly basis. So even if you hire somebody with a specific skill set and experience to compliment one job  you need filled, you might find that person also has complementary expertise that can widen your efficacy as an organization.

For example, if you hire a social media manager, obviously this person must be fluent in the essentials of the position – familiarity with the social media channels, understanding which businesses should choose which channels, content aggregation and delivery, content scheduling, media formats, promotion, etc.

In addition to fitting into your company culture, you might also find that person is a really effective relationship builder – a quality that absolutely compliments the base requirements of the position. At least that’s what we experienced with one of our team members.

A Case Study of a Member’s Strengths

I met Cameron a little more than a year ago, shortly after she moved back to Redding. A naturally affable and approachable person, Cameron also demonstrated a penchant for client relations. Though, and at the time, especially, she had a wonderful skill set in social media management, we quickly saw that her interactions with clients left them feeling happy.

Her personal brand definitely fit in with the culture of our company. When she presents herself to existing or potential clients, we know what the feedback will be – a positive experience for both parties. Cameron harnesses the unique ability to balance professionalism with a down-to-earth and genuinely friendly demeanor. This is a balance most leaders look for in team members, but few actually find.

Look for the “also…”

When we originally brought Cameron on board, we didn’t really have a place set for her. But we knew she would be a positive asset to the company, and we made sure to get her involved. In doing so, we’ve been able to broaden the offerings of the company with an experienced, reliable person in place to help our business grow.

Did we just get lucky? Maybe, but I truly believer it comes down to the also. Cameron is good at social media, but she is also great at client relations. She also makes an effort to always be accommodating to potential clients. She also is a mother to four young children. She also fits in, personally and professionally, with our company. She also wants our company to grow and be successful, and she has a desire to be instrumental in that goal.

Strengths sometimes dictate direction

Again, having a solid idea of the parameters of work set in place is important before you hire anybody. But also remember to be flexible. Look for any underlying benefits, characteristics and traits that a candidate has that might lend credence to your business. As a leader, it is your charge to identify where employees are exceeding, and equally important, where they are struggling.

Allow for the possibility that a new employee’s strengths can dictate where their focus and contributions to your company lie. Don’t be afraid of reassigning an employee, of any tenure, to a new job that might better suit their skill set, and ultimately your efficacy as a company.


Do you have any thoughts or examples of employees that succeeded when their job descriptions were modified to reflect their strengths? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!


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