Do you know your strengths?

14 10 2009


I’m obsessed with business books. At a book store, if I’m not swayed by cookbooks, I’m sure to be pilfering through anything related to business, management, entrepreneurship, etc. So when I was last at the bookstore, Tom Rath’s “Strengths Finder 2.0” became the latest addition to my book pile.

I’ve read a lot about other business successes, what makes people successful, and the like. But I had never really thought about my own strengths. I think I’ve been spending the majority of my time trying to improve on what I know is not my strength. And that is pretty much the premise of the book – invest your energy in developing your strengths instead of making the correction of your deficiencies a priority. This right away sounds positive. I jumped right in.

The theory behind the book is genius. Recognize peoples’ strengths, develop them, and build successful teams by knowing each member’s strengths. I wrote about engaging employees a little bit ago, and this book further complements that theory. When a manager recognizes and focuses on an employee’s strengths, the employee’s satisfaction in their job shoots through the roof. Who wouldn’t want happy employees who utilize their strengths to contribute to the success of a business?

How do you find your strengths? Well, there is a convenient and easy-to-use website that walks you through an online personal assessment (about 30 minutes), which does not ask about your knowledge. If you bought the book, it should have a unique access code in the back to grant you access to the assessment upon registering. If not, their site walks you through the registration process otherwise. Thereafter, the site gives you a report of your top five strength themes, what they mean, and an action plan for developing them. And the book serves as a great reference guide. I found out that my strengths include the following five themes:

  • Individualization
  • Arranger
  • Relator
  • Achiever
  • Futuristic

As the book mentions, most successful people start with a dominant talent, and then adds skills, knowledge, and practice to the mix. And when they do this, the raw talent serves as a multiplier. So why wouldn’t we all want to know our dominant talents as early as possible? After all, “every human being has talents that are just waiting to be uncovered.”

Go forth, discover, and enhance your talents. After all, the assessment measures your strengths – the results are guaranteed to be positive. Enjoy the ride and take pride in knowing that going in the right direction is within your grasp.

Photo courtesy of Goal Geek.



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