Cheap way to find your strengths

Want to improve yourself, your work, your family?  Stop focusing your limited improvement time on your weaknesses.  Spend the bulk of that time on your strengths.

If you don’t know what your strengths are, you should find out.  And, finding out has never been cheaper.

For less than the price of a movie ticket (and popcorn), and for less than the time to watch the movie, you can learn your top five strengths.

How?

Buy Strengths Finder 2.0 (less than $14 at Amazon.com) and take the online test with the code in the back of the book (less than one hour to log in and complete the test).  You’ll learn why you should focus on your strengths and gain a detailed report of your top five strengths with hints and tips for how to develop your strengths or partner with others to improve your overall performance, in work and in life.

Learning my strengths changed my life.  Since I first took the test in 2005, I’ve put my energy into practicing my strengths.  I’ve selected work assignments based on whether or not the work would play to my strengths.  I’ve chosen my extra curricular activities to play to my strengths too (e.g., this blog).  And, I’ve never been happier.  I can honestly say that every day–at work and at home–I have an opportunity to do what I do best.

According to Gallup’s research, less than a third of us claim we have an opportunity to do what we do best every day.   I wasn’t in that third until I worked at it.  You can be there if you’ll work at it too.

If you’re wondering, here’s my top five strengths:

  • Maximizer
  • Strategic
  • Arranger
  • Learner
  • Activator

If you’ve already taken the test, or when you do, consider stopping back here and posting your strengths.  I’d love to learn how knowing your strengths has changed your work or your life.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

4 thoughts on “Cheap way to find your strengths

  • January 1, 2010 at 4:51 am
    Permalink

    Like many strategies for being effective, playing to your strengths must be applied with some caution. Almost all strengths, if applied to “excess” (sorry, no specific definition), can be debilitating and possibly derail your career. As an example, you can read the list of twenty bad habits provided by Marshall Goldsmith at http://www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com/docs/books/Marshall%20Goldsmith%20-%2020%20Bad%20Habits.pdf

    In my personal case, I try to make sure I can at least be effective in areas that are not my strengths and I frequently solicit feedback about my performance so I can be more aware of my weaknesses. There are some things you may not be good at doing that you need to have basic competence at, especially as you get into positions of more responsibility and influence.

  • January 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    Great link. Goldsmith’s book is on my to-read list.

    You’re right to offer a warning about strengths taken to excess. That’s a good top limit warning.

    Every trait it seems can be mapped on a continuum with the trailing ends at top and bottom producing the worst results. Too much focus on weakness drags down the soul. Too much focus on strengths hollows out the capability.

    Often training is only offered to improve weaknesses, and performance appraisals often gloss over strengths moving straight to weaknesses.

    “All in moderation” would be a good slogan to start with. That means we need to add a lot more discussion and focus on strengths just to get us to even with discussion and focus on weaknesses.

  • January 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm
    Permalink

    These strengths don’t really come as a surprise, but rather reassuring me of what I already know about myself.

    Input
    Learning
    Intellection
    Context
    Connectedness

  • Pingback: Introduction to Cynefin « Engine For Change

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *