Our entire team ... Communications, Web, IT ... is going through Marcus Buckingham's 'Now, Discover Your Strengths' book. We've only gone through the first 4 chapters, but it's already been pretty eye opening. Last week each of us took the online Strengths Finder assessment which is designed to measure your talents/potential strengths across 34 categories and report your top 5.
Now before I reveal what it said about me, here's something I've found interesting. Before this, I've never taken a single personality or similar assessment. How can that be!? You'd think being a Physics/Education major I would have encountered something in my education classes ... nada. How did I get into and through grad school, again with a Physics/Education bent, without ever doing the Meyers Briggs?? Oh well.
So what did the assessment reveal about me? Well, much of it pegs me. My wife read the results and said, "yup, that sounds like you." One of my talents was kinda surprising, and one talent I thought for sure I'd have didn't show in the top 5 ... hmmm.
So for what it's worth, here's the brief version of my top 5 raw talents in order from strongest ...
Learner - People strong 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. This is certainly me, but I'm surprised it's at the top.
Deliberative - People strong in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles. Oh man, this is sooo me! This drives certain people, like my wife, totally bonkers at times :-)
Analytical - People strong in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation. Hmm, no surprise here. I would have thought this would have been higher though.
Achiever - People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive. Totally me again.
Context - People strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history. This is the puzzler of the five. If you read the full blown description of context it does fit me to a certain point ... perhaps more than I yet realize so I'm not writing it off as incorrect. It's certainly sparked my curiosity.
Now, after looking at all 34 possible talent areas I'm VERY surprised that this one didn't make my list:
Strategic - People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues. Come on! How did this not make my top 5?! I enjoy strategic stuff and have been told I'm pretty good at it. I'll have to assume this is number 6 on my list ... though it will bug me not knowing. Perhaps I'll find a way to take the test again someday and vindicate my strategic talents :-)
I really think having this info is going to be a big plus for our team ... but I'll save that for a later post. Next objectives/chapters are about taking these talents and cultivating them into strength areas ... should be interesting.