WHAT WE DO
START WITH WHAT IS RIGHT WITH YOU
About 40 years ago, a psychologist with the name of Donald Clifton started to study people’s behavior, actions and thinking with one key principle as his foundation: “What would happen if people actually put most of their focus, energy and attention on what is right about themselves, instead of trying to fix what is wrong with themselves…?”
The Strengths Movement was born. Donald Clifton devoted the rest of his life to this study of human psychology and behavior. Obviously, his research led him through other critical questions like “Can you actually know – even assess – what it is that is right about you?” “Is natural talent innate, developed, or both?” And, probably the most important part of his research legacy: “Can most of human natural talent be defined and described?”
Today, nearly two decades after Donald Clifton’s death, the Strengths Movement is one of the fastest growing fields within human behavior and performance studies on earth.
We all want to be seen and appreciated as being unique. Some of us do our utmost to express this uniqueness openly and positively. Other might be more reserved but cherish their uniqueness within their privacy.
No matter what your personality might be, being unique is absolutely human. In fact, in is natural - as nature intended - because nature never clones anything. Be it in a leaf on a tree, a stone in the field, a seashell on the beach, a snowflake or any animal or bird, in some specific way everything that is part of nature is also unique - even if it might look exactly the same on first observation.
Research has shown that the best performers, the most creative people, and those who are most happy and fulfilled in their work and personal life, are those who are most confident in your own skin. The never try to fake or be who they are not…. But in contrast they always do try to better who they uniquely are meant to be. Keep growing. Keep challenging yourself. Keep on embracing your own uniqueness. And in doing so, they earn the respect of others, and also realize how natural it becomes to respect those around them for who they are.
YOUR UNIQUENESS IS NOT A CLICHE!
STRONG INDIVIDUALS - STRONG TEAMS - STRONG COMPANIES:
ALL BUILT ON TALENT
A basic definition of talent is the following: talent is an inherent drive, energy or longing that fuels and energizes your body, mind or soul to achieve, excel, accomplish or master any specific skill or ability within an area of passion or interest that you identify with.
To express it very simply – talent is energy and need. What you consistently need, and what energizes you, originates in your unique mix of talent.
Understanding the power of working, living and thinking from your natural strengths, is a lot more that simple theory – especially in the workplace. The real test for an individual, company or an organization of any kind, functioning out of their strengths, will be found within their corporate language.
Applying the strengths-based approach to teams and organizations is where its true power lies. There is no such thing as a well-rounded individual – someone who has a “perfect rounded” combination of natural talent. Actually, to show this from a Strengths-based perspective, just consider the fact that the statistical chances of someone sharing exactly the same Top 5 out of the 34 talent themes that you have, is a staggering 1 in 33.3 million!!! This means that there are maybe 200 people on earth who has exactly the same top 5 StrengthsFinder™ talent themes in sequence just like you.
Now, think teams. Teams, unlike individuals, could be well rounded exactly because we as individuals are not. Teams made up of people with different patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, and understanding and respecting those patterns are strong teams! Someone else will cover for your natural blind spot. And you make up for theirs.
The unfortunate reality is that we will naturally first project through our own strengths, and then label and judge others as being too slow, to fast, too soft, too in their heads, too relational, talking too much, talking too little, being too precise, being too reactive….and so the list of projection goes on. Thus, understanding the specific talent-based needs, contributions and language of others, is what makes a team strong, just like a top performing sports team is made up of members who understand the specific moves and abilities of their teammates.
When you think "strengths", you speak "strengths". You will have certain ways that would just seem normal within your interaction and conversation with others. The first, and probably foremost, of these, will be that you will naturally seek to identify and celebrate someone’s uniqueness and natural talents. Celebrating others is something that comes natural to the "strengths-based-mind". As soon as you see someone living out their strengths, you will want to applaud them. You become such an advocate for the idea that one size does NOT fit all, that you just love it to see and experience a perfect fit!
A "strengths-based-attitude" will also naturally encourage others to do better, and to do more of what they find energizing. Natural talent is a beautiful thing to see in action!
As far as assessments goes, the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ online assessment is backed by more than 40 years of scientific research and studies done by the Gallup Organization. In researching patterns of natural talent, an initial pool of more than 5,000 items was constructed. Given the breadth of talent assessed, the pool of items was considered very large and diverse. A smaller pool was derived subsequent to quantitative review of item functioning and a content review of the representativeness of themes and items within themes. In a follow-up study of 601,049 respondents, a 35-theme version of the Clifton StrengthsFinder was launched. After several months of data were collected, researchers revisited the instrument and, based on analyses of theme uniqueness and redundancy, decided on the 180 item pairs (360 items, 256 of which are scored) and the 34-theme version that currently is available. Since 1999, some theme names have changed, but the theme descriptions and 180 item pairs have not changed.
Today, the CliftonStrengths™ is available in more than 20 languages and modifiable for individuals with disabilities. It is appropriate for administration to adolescents and adults with a reading level of 10th grade or higher. Given that CliftonStrengths feedback is provided to foster intrapersonal development, comparisons across profiles of individuals is also discouraged – thus, it is not about comparing your talents in sequence value to those of others….it is about understanding your own and understanding the talents of others around you. Furthermore, the CliftonStrengths assessment is not sensitive to change; thus, it should not be used a pre-post measure of growth. Your talents are recurring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, and in broad essence, it will not change much over time. The way you use it, obviously, will change. In other words, redoing this assessment over time or place will not alter the outcome significantly. The exact sequence may change but within the clustering of your Top 10, mid-section and Bottom 5, the results will stay very consistent.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND STRENGTHS
BUILDING STRENGTHS-BASED COMPANIES
At Strength Synergy International we specialize in guiding and supporting companies to nurture their culture into becoming “Strengths-based”. We are experienced in various industries and multiple cultures, spanning the globe.
We know that we cannot treat two clients the same. Every company or team, just like every individual, calls for a unique approach. And you provide uniqueness only from uniqueness! Thus, we do not only practice the Strengths-based approach as a theory, but we take all the principles to our clients, in effect asking the client “let’s focus at what is actually right with you and build more on it.”
Our approach is clear: identify exactly who your company is (or aspire to become), focus on making it better – start with leadership, filtering through the whole structure – every individual, every team.
Our results are proven: ask us for references on individual, corporate or managerial & leadership level. We make an immediate impact.
Founder & Owner- Strength Synergy International.
Strengths Coach Training: Core, Enhanced & Master Level.
Strengths-based Mentoring, Coaching & Consulting.
Strengths-Cased Organizational Development & Team Alignment.
Dries Lombaard's Strengths journey started in 2005, when he approached the Gallup Faith Practice in Omaha, Nebraska, to evaluate the potential success of having the Strengths-based principles introduced more actively in South Africa. That lead to him becoming the first StrengthsFinder Coach Trainer outside of the USA within the Gallup Faith Practice. Within two years of him training and mentoring Strengths Coaches, South Africa ranked second to the USA in its use of StrengthsFinder codes in the world. He also created and grown the largest Strengths Coach Network in Africa.
Since 2013, as an independent Strengths Coach and Consultant, he has coached, trained and consulted thousands of individuals and multiple teams from many recognized companies and organizations globally in the Strengths-based approach to management, leadership, work and life.
Apart from South Africa, he coached and consulted in countries like Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenia, Egypt, The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Thailand, and The United States. His clients, over time, include companies like BASF, First National Bank, ABSA Bank, AVBOB Insurance, Volkswagen SA, Momentum Life, Allan Grey, AVENG, VISA and Discovery Life.
Dries is widely regarded as one of the most experienced Strengths Coaches and consultants in the world. He is also a Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation (ACC), and with Strengths Strategy USA.
Dries is an Associate at Mitra Consulting as a Strengths Specialist and Advisor, and a Coach Trainer and Strengths Specialist at the Strategic Leadership Institute SA.
He lives in Pretoria, with Rethea, his wife of 24 years. They have 4 daughters, two pugs, a yorkie – and numerous “weekend children”.
Ideation, Input, Learner, Intellection, Maximizer, Adaptability, Deliberative, Connectedness, Analytical, Achiever.
Director: Strength Synergy USA.
Strengths Coach Training: Core, Enhanced & Master Level.
Strengths-based Mentoring, Coaching & Consulting.
Strengths-based Organizational Development & Team Alignment.
As a faith-based organizational leader for 43 years, Joe has worked with leaders to develop strong communication skills, healthy collaboration, and creative outcomes that enhance the work of the organization.
Joe has a passion to see individuals and leadership teams work together to discover their greatest talents and maximize their opportunities. He uses his experience and training to build cohesive teams, develop strong managers, and unleash the power of innovation in the organizations he works with. Joe also works with individuals for life transition or career changes, future life planning, and in strengthening personal communication skills. Working with individuals for personal growth and development, he helps to strengthen one’s sense of purpose and possibilities.
With his wife, Ogla, Joe lives in Clovis, CA. They enjoy travelling and camping and they cherish time with family, including their three children and eight grandchildren.
Having been pastors for many years, a faith community is a vital part of their lives that continues to give them an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
Joe is certified and/or licensed in Clifton StrengthsFinder® and Conversational Intelligence® (C-IQ). Additional certifications include Equip2Equip, WBECS – World Business & Executive Coach Summit Group, VIA Character Strengths Coach and Consultant, MCORE Coach, Paterson LifePlan Facilitator and Strengths Synergy, SA. In addition to his pastoral and consulting experience, Joe has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist and as a Police Officer Reserve.
Ideation, Belief, Learner, Input, Futuristic, Strategic, Relator, Activator, Connectedness, Responsibility.
Strengths Coach Training -
Core & Enhanced Level.
Brad Anderson was first introduced to Strengths as he stepped into leadership and management roles within a growing and dynamic organisation in Cape Town in 2012.
Very quickly he realised how powerful this tool was in both accelerating his own personal growth and enhancing his effective management and development of the teams and people he led. His natural talent as an Arranger meant that he loved to carry multiple responsibilities and leadership roles within the organisation, and this gave him the opportunity to hone his use and understanding of Strengths in a variety of roles and functions.
His passion to influence both individuals towards a better self-awareness and effectiveness, and teams to greater cohesion and productivity, led him naturally into training other teams and managers around the Strengths tool.
His has worked out this passion for Strengths through personal Strengths-Based coaching, marriage enrichment, team development, and leadership training. His Communication and Positivity make him an engaging, energetic and dynamic trainer who always takes a personal interest in the people he is investing in.
He and his wife Anne live in Cape Town with their four children, and they would describe themselves currently as urban farmers, growing as much of their own food as they can.
Communication, Positivity, Woo, Arranger, Harmony, Belief, Connectedness, Maximizer, Responsibility, Developer.
Coach-centric Training & Mentoring
Nobantu Mpotulo is an Executive Coach, Process Facilitator and an Organizational Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience across public, private, higher education institutions and non-governmental sectors.
She is one of only 6% of coaches globally that holds the distinction of being a Master Coach (MCC) of the International Coach Federation (ICF) - the first black African to achieve that credit. She boasts varied international exposure having studied in South Africa and the UK and has been awarded two career development fellowships in the US under the auspices of USAID.
Nobantu is an Associate of Encompass LLC in the USA and Human Systems in the UK, and in South Africa she is an associate of Ernst and Young, Landelhani and Zenande Leadership Development and Strengths Synergy SA.
Nobantu has been coaching executives and teams for eight years in the public sector, private sector, NGOs and universities.
Her facilitation experience spans over 12 years. She developed a
twelve-month long accelerated leadership program for thirteen generals and senior management members of the Department of Defense in South Africa.
She received certification as an Investors in People Standard Trainer in 2004. Nobantu was a facilitator of Truth and Reconciliation Healing Workshops for victims and perpetrators of violence in South Africa. She was guest faculty in 2010 for the International Gestalt Organization and Systems Development. She facilitated a training program for Change Agents for a week in the Premier’s Office in the Eastern Cape. She has trained mentors/ mentees and coaches/ coachees in organizations in the financial, mining, and public sectors, and was a facilitator and group coach for candidates of the African Leadership Development Programme under the auspices of NEPAD and GIBS in 2010.
Nobantu has an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Durham University, UK, a B.A. in Personnel Management from University of Fort Hare, South Africa and a Post Graduate Diploma in HR Management from University of Johannesburg, South Africa.