Today I want to share with you around Strength Finders. How I use it personally, within the business and how you can use it in your own life.
About three years ago I became a Strengths Finders certified coach. Within our business we are super passionate about helping everybody in our circle reach their full potential. We had used a number of other development tools until we found Strength Finders. This program not only helps you to understand your personality and talents, as well as your teammates, but also provides a pathway forward to grow and lean in to becoming your best self.
Strengths is all about talent. It’s called Strength Finder but it’s really a talent finder. According to Gallup there are 34 themes of talent and once you have completed the Strength Finder assessment it ranks your talents from 1 to 34. Your top ten talents are considered your dominate talents. Talents ranked 11 to 24 are called supporting talents and the remaining 10 are your lesser talents.
These lower ranked talents are not called weaknesses. This is because any talent used in a destructive way becomes a weakness. This includes talents in both your top and bottom ten.
I want to focus on weakness fixing. This is what we often do during development, we find out where you are strong and where you are weak. If you were to receive a report card with an A, B and a C you would most likely focus your attention on developing the subject or skill you got the C in. Strength Finder flips this idea on its head. The program first focuses on further developing your areas of strength. It does not completely ignore your lower talents, but it focuses in on those higher ranking.
Think for a moment about LeBron James and Lionel Messi. Here we have in my opinion the greatest basketball and soccer players on earth right now. Both guys are incredibly talented athletes, but what if we put LeBron on a soccer field and Messi on a basketball court. They might be incredibly talented at what they do but they’re not all-around athletes, complete athletes or perfect athletes. They’ve both put a lot of hard work and effort into developing their particular talents. They have used these talents in a particular part of the field or court and have become great in that area.
Let’s think about Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, both incredible business people. They may all be largely successful but they each do business in a different way. If we were to put Oprah in Bill’s business she would struggle, she doesn’t have the same talents that Bill does. If we were to put Bill on the Oprah show, it would be a very interesting episode because Bill doesn’t have the same capacity. Both Bill and Oprah have become incredibly strong in the natural areas of talent that they have. Neither of them are well rounded and could do what the other does with the same level of success.
Let’s put this into the political realm for a moment. I’m going to use Donald Trump as the example because he’s someone most of us would know. I believe some of his Strength Finders talents are self-assurance, significance and command and would most likely be in his top 10. All three of these make him very influential and charismatic, where people actually want to follow him. Like every strength these can be overextended. Too much self-assurance can become arrogant, overconfident, and self-sufficient. Someone with too much command can become a bossy dictator. A person with significance can becomes an attention hound or a showboat. I’m not putting any of those things onto Donald Trump, what I’m trying to say is that no matter what talent you have and how good you are at it there’s a constructive and destructive side.
I don’t believe there is a perfect politician or perfect person. I have never worked for a perfect company or had a perfect boss. I work for my parents and work alongside my siblings and so I want to share with you how we have found ways to work together through this Strength Finder assessment.
One of the challenges that strengths has significantly helped me with is working alongside my brothers and sister on the management team of our company. Strengths has given me tools and a language to understand and appreciate the different talents of my siblings. The ways we approach challenges and decision making differently from each other.
I now have a better understanding of what an arrogant jerk I can be when I expect to my siblings to think and act like me.
We still have our frustrating moments, although we are far more graceful and more willing to compromise as we partner together. Now that we have a far better appreciation for each other’s differences.
Here is a link to the Gallup Strengths website to investigate this more if you wish: