Sunday, July 8, 2007

Find Your Strengths 2.0

Back in June Chris Brogan mentioned a book and a test called Strength Finder 2.0. The test and the book sounded interesting and I'd been meaning to get some books so I bought it, and about 7 other books at the same time.

Saturday I read the book, and although it was interesting I didn't entirely agree with it. Instead of saying "You cannot be anything you want to be - but you can be a whole lot more of what you are." (p.9) I would argue that if you have a dream you should pursue it, but you will get there a whole lot faster if you leverage your strengths.

That said, knowing ones strengths is useful, thus the popularity of various personality tests such as the Meyers Briggs test, and obviously the Strength Finder test as well. Today I took the test and I found the questions fascinating. The items they chose to compare were interesting, some being very disparate in my mind "I like to be alone vs. I like to be with people" to some seeming to be more how you feel about certain words "I like to be liked vs. I like to be adored". I found watching my reactions, and trying to quickly select the choice was interesting.

That said, I found that the results were not at all surprising to me. Perhaps this comes from the fact that I've been working on trying to analyze myself and determine my strengths and how I would sell myself, as "I do good stuff" isn't a real wower when trying to promote oneself or even introducing oneself in a new community. Or it could just be that I'm good at recognizing strengths?

So on to the results, my strengths are:

People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

What I found interesting is that all of the strengths seem to deal with seeing patterns and connections and building on them. (In learning I build on patterns as well). But again, that isn't something that surprised me. I enjoy finding patterns and seeing the different ways that things can be put together. One thing that would be interesting is to see how strongly I scored in the other areas, but then this probably would be contrary to the stated purpose of helping people focus on their strengths.

Anyway, if you are interested in taking the test you can order the book over at (or pick it up/order it at your favorite bookstore.)


Laura Athavale Fitton said...

Nice Goldie, and thanks for the reminder that I want to try that book out too. It will be interesting to compare notes on the results. Kudos on your self-awareness :-)

Chris Brogan said...

What I haven't found is a matrix that shows how you and I could complement each other. What I learned about myself is that I can only carry ideas so far. I'm not the closer. I'm the spark.

I have to read yours again, and read mine, and figure out where this puts me in context of you. : )