When to stop managing and start leading: Strengths-based leadership by Jamie Phillips

When in a people management position, we can often feel like we need to maintain control over the staff, the operations, the equipment, and often over the issues that arise from day to day. After all, we are responsible for the outcomes. This can often be counter-productive and can lead to micro-management, employee dissatisfaction, increased sick leave, lower productivity, higher turn-over and higher stress for the manager and their team.

We cannot control everything. Problems will arise, people will get sick, systems will cease functioning, and there will be days when productivity is not at its peak. How we work with our staff, how we lead our staff, can mean the difference between all out chaos, or controlled situational management. With strengths-based leadership, or good leadership in general, there should be no need to ‘manage’ staff, as staff will manage themselves.

What are strengths-based leaders?

Strengths-based leaders are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are clear on their own values, and their own personal goals. They invest time into building upon their own strengths whilst leveraging those strengths to overcome their weaknesses. They positively engage others, know how to influence others to follow their lead, and are optimistic, confident, and resilient.

Strengths-based leaders are servant leaders always ensuring the conditions in the workplace are optimal for success. They recognize, and utilize, strengths, skills, and talents of others. They lead by example and are appropriately transparent with staff and offer authentic relationships. They are not afraid to give credit and promote success, not as their own, but of the staff. Leaders are not there to do the work, they are there to support the staff to do the work, therefore, successful staff mean a successful leader.

Strength-based leaders build trust, confidence, and the support of their staff. They ensure the environment is free from workplace blockers and are consistent in the way they manage situations. They empower staff to utilize their strengths, be motivated to complete their work, recognize their success, and promote a positive and energetic workplace.

Becoming a strengths-based leader

  • Be aware of your own strengths
  • Learn how to use your strengths and the strengths of others to tackle the inevitable workplace issue
  • Learn what your staff value, their strengths, their goals, and what they want to achieve for the organisation
  • Ensure you create a workplace that promotes success. Good leaders have good followers. Good followers have good leaders.
  • Learn to accept things will go wrong. A good leader acknowledges this and knows who and what can get things back on the right path as soon as possible.
  • Engage in leadership workshops. Virtual Psychologist offers a range of leadership workshops designed to promote good leadership.
  • Engage a coach. Virtual Psychologist offers executive coaching.

As a leader your success depends on the success of your staff. Engaged and empowered staff will enjoy their work and want to achieve successful outcomes for you and the organisation. Acknowledge your staff’s success and skills with upper management as their success is your success.

Engaging with Virtual Psychologist is a good start along the journey of becoming a good leader. We offer coaching, counselling, and support services to help you overcome your own blockers, assist you in discovering your strengths, and helping you to promote a healthy and happy working environment.

Text-based support has proven to be a catalyst for successful outcomes. Giving staff the opportunity to seek support when they need it without disrupting their usual routine, something traditional methods of EAP cannot claim. If your organisation doesn’t have EAP, or is not yet aware of the benefits of text-based EAP, please share our website and have them email info@virtualpsychologist.com.au for a discussion on how we can revolutionize EAP in your workplace.


Rath, T., Conchie, B., & Press, G. (2008). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. Simon and Schuster.

Welch, D., Grossaint, K., Reid, K., & Walker, C. (2014). Strengths-based leadership development: Insights from expert coaches. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 66(1), 20.

Ding, H., & Yu, E. Followers’ strengths-based leadership and strengths use of followers: The roles of trait emotional intelligence and role overload. Personality and Individual Differences, 168, 110300.

Scroll to Top