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May 2012
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The Intersection of Strengths, Strategy and Situation

Posted by: Alex Linley & Nicky Garcea

 

We’re delighted to give you a sneak preview into our forthcoming chapter in Coaching for Leadership (3rd ed.), edited by Marshall Goldsmith, Laurence S. Lyons and Sarah McArthur, which publishes tomorrow!

 

In our chapter, “Three Types of Hi-Po and the Realise2 4M Model: Coaching at the Intersection of Strengths, Strategy and Situation”, we examine the question of “what else” is needed for strengths to be truly successful and deliver performance, as well as exploring three types of hi-po that we have come across in our work on top talent (more on the three types of hi-po in a later blog post).

 

As a reader of The Capp Blog, you’re likely to know that using your strengths will help you to be successful. Correct. But for real and sustainable success, we argue in our Coaching for Leadership chapter that we need to go further.

 

To explain this, we developed the 3S-P Model, which shows how Strengths need to be used in service of Strategy, while also having an awareness of Situation (the “3S” part), which then make it much more likely that we will deliver performance (hence the “3S-P” in the model).

 

Think about it like this:

 

Strengths used in the absence of context (i.e., Situation) and direction (i.e., Strategy) are just hobbies. They are things that we do well and enjoy doing, but they might not really make a great difference if what we are doing is wrong for our environment, or doesn’t fit with what we want to achieve.

 

Strategy in the absence of environmental awareness (i.e., Situation) and an understanding of the capabilities to deliver it (i.e., Strengths) is just a wish upon a star. We might know where we want to get to, but if we don’t know where we are at the moment, or the capabilities that we have to help us get to our future destination, we’re unlikely to reach our goal.

 

Situation knowledge provides context, but in the absence of a direction of travel (i.e., Strategy) and a means to get there (i.e., Strengths), it is just wallpaper – providing a nice backdrop to what is going on around us. We know where we are, but we don’t have enough about us to be clear on where we want to get to, or how we will get there.

 

Yet, when we bring these three factors together, we get each of the necessary foundation blocks: an understanding of where we are now  (Situation), where we want to get to and the direction of travel to get us there (Strategy) and the capability to help us make the journey (Strengths). These three together help us deliver Performance. In this way, we define the 3S-P Model.

 

So, when you’re working on how to achieve what matters to you, remember the secrets of the 3S-P Model. Understand your Situation, be clear on your Strategy, and harness your Strengths to get there. At the intersection of Strengths, Strategy and Situation is where Performance lies.

 

Check out our chapter in Coaching for Leadership to read more about the 3S-P Model and to explore the three types of hi-po (and watch out for our future blog post on this as well!).

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