One of the main goals of the Buccino Leadership Institute is to raise the awareness each leader within the program has for their leadership style. Everyone is different and there is no one correct way to think about and practice leadership. However, knowing one's strengths and weaknesses can make leaders exponentially more effective. In pursuit of this goal, the Institute has given students access to many of the most competitive personality tests on the market. Freshman and sophomore students utilize EQI 2.0 and the DISC assessment to assess their leadership styles. For the Institute's first junior cohort, the StrengthsFinder 2.0 was selected as the assessment to further the students' self-knowledge.
The StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a test designed by Don Clifton to show leaders what different areas of their personality affect their communication style the most. There are 34 different themes such as responsibility, empathy, harmony, or learner that fall under a few categories of different sides of leadership. Each of these themes has balconies and basements that help leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses regarding the way their leadership style interacts with others. Balconies are the best parts of each theme and basements are some of the drawbacks that may come from each type of leadership style. For example, someone who is responsible may be well trusted and respected as a leader but may sometimes be overwhelmed and overinvolved. Understanding both the positives and drawbacks that come with an individual's leadership style is extremely important to improve upon that person's effectiveness as a leader.
After completing this assessment, the students met as a group with Dr. Price, the Associate Directors from the different schools in the Institute, and Leadership Coach Grace Calpus MPA, PCC. Grace was kind enough to join everyone and walk the students through guided reflection and breakout rooms. Grace started by asking everyone to articulate their individual goals and learning opportunities that hopefully would come from the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. Building on these goals from the start, students were paired off in breakout rooms to share their results and challenge each other on the basements they learned about doing the test. The StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a fantastic opportunity and learning experience for the junior students of the Buccino Leadership Institute and helped build on the skills learned during the first two years of developing leadership skills and adding another layer of self-analysis.