By Kaitlin Hurley
Developing high performing teams has many facets, one of which is understanding each other’s strengths and leveraging this knowledge to help the team and its members succeed. Using our proprietary method called the Strong Team Model™, Evans Incorporated takes team and leadership development to the next level by helping team members learn about their team, lead strategically to achieve project goals, and grow in their capacity to lead and develop people.
The Strong Team Model™ consists of categorizing strengths into 4 “buckets”, giving a team perspective to the individual strengths discovered using CliftonStrengths. The buckets are:
- “Wings” refers to competencies and strengths in blue sky ideas and strategic planning, which are necessary to create a vision that a team will own and commit to.
- “Handshakes” refers to competencies and strengths in external influence, including outreach and persuasion, which are necessary to obtain organizational resources to support team performance.
- “Hearts” refers to competencies and strengths in taking care of the team, which are required to develop and lead a team to high levels of performance.
- “Boots” refers to competencies and strengths in traction, referring to execution and implementation, which are required to resolve obstacles and deliver the planned goals.
The Strong Team Model™ is set apart from other strengths-based assessments by the timeline application of strengths during different stages of a project’s lifecycle.
In the development phase a project lifecycle, the majority of team efforts in the beginning should focus around the strategy of the team. This is where the Wings competencies should be leveraged. Handshake and Hearts competencies hold equal weight in the beginning of the implementation phase because gathering resources and team building is imperative for setting the project up for success. Throughout the development phase, the weight on all three of these competencies decrease while Boots competencies increase, because the focus shifts to making sure the plans are developed and ready to be implemented.
In the implementation phase, Boots competencies continue to gain importance as the plans are being executed. Hearts competencies resurge in the beginning of the implementation phase to make sure the team is strong and ready to execute, gradually decreasing in focus throughout implementation. Handshake competencies, on the other hand, resurface gradually throughout the implementation phase, as gaining support and obtaining resources becomes more important as previous resources are used. Lastly, as is to be expected, focus on Wings competencies continue to shift away as the actions become more tactical throughout the implementation phase.
Understanding this lifecycle and the strengths that can be leveraged in different stages is crucial to setting a team up for success while also supporting the project. Evans’ Strong Team Model™ is what helps our clients apply their strengths and build teams, helping team members learn, lead and grow.
If the Strong Team Model™ is an approach you feel would benefit your team, one of our experts on high performing teams would be happy to discuss further! Connect with us for any questions, or if you would like more information at HPT@evansincorporated.com.