Intro to Strengths

Back in 2001, the StrenghtsFinder book was all the rage in business & ministry , much like today’s Good to Great. It was based on the desire to start a global conversation about what’s right with people. Tom Rath, one of the founders, said this:

“We were tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses. Society’s relentless focus on people’s shortcomings had turned into a global obsession. What’s more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.”

I took the StrenghtsFinder assessment my final semester in seminary and then again I took it for work a couple of weeks ago because I am preparing to facilitate this program at my company. The results were slightly different and as someone who over-analyzes everything, I’ve found that very curious and am processing it here in public because that’s what people do these days.

Here are my 5 Themes now:

1. Intellection – People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by theirintellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

2. Strategic – 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.

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

4. Input – People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Oftenthey like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

5. Individualization – 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.

I like these themes. I think they accurately describe me. The difference between these themes and the themes I got before is that last time I had Activator and Command instead of Strategic and Individualization. Let me give you the descriptions of those two themes:

Activator – People who are especially talented in the Activator theme are impatient for action. “When can we start?” is a recurring question in their lives. They believe that action is the best device for learning.

Command – People who are especially talented in the Command theme take charge and feel no discomfort imposing their views on others. People are drawn toward those who take a stand and ask them to move in a certain direction.

Now, I know that those of you who know me even a little think that I probably should have scored higher on those Activator & Command ones this time around. But I really think that age & experience have softened them into Strategic and Individualization. Not at all to judge the Activator Command types. I’m so there. For me, those have mellowed and I’m much more interested in thoughtful action and hearing people’s stories, learning who they are and then placing them in the correct spot,  rather than deciding, actin and bossing. But I do still really like bossing.


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