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Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Thoughts on "Now Discover Your Strengths"

I love the series from Marcus Buckingham's "First Break All the Rules" and "Now, Discover Your Strengths". I bought the "The One Thing You Need to Know" but hasn't read it yet and plan to buy the "Go Put Your Strengths To Work".

I like the premise of the book "Now discover Your Strength" because it validates, reinforces and empowers the old management adage "Capitalize on People's strengths". I say empower because before this book, I found no other tool of its kind that allows managers to assess the strengths of their employees and gives them advice on how to best use these strengths to good use.

The big bonus is the StrengthsFinder Tool access code at the end of the book that allows the readers to identify their signature themes that they can focus on strengthening. The tool was developed by Gallup and there are 34 signature themes measured. The report gives the top five signature themes. Knowing your other signature themes though will cost you more, which is always the case in many online personality inventory tools.

In case you are interested to know, here are my signature themes and how I thought I was able to make full use of them.

Ideation
The report says that I'm fascinated with ideas and I agree. I love 'em, I can't get enough of them. My personal mantra has always been to grab an idea and runaway with it. As an HR Consultant and as a Manager, I am inspired by the challenges that I face everyday to create or find new ideas to use.

Strategic
The first sentence in my report says that "The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route." It says that I see where others see only complexities. It allows me to see around the corner by playing out possible scenarios. I don't think this an intelligence but a way of thinking. I notice how I tend to think this way most of the times.

Maximizer
And this is why I am a recruiter and a trainer. I like finding talents. When I interview candidates, I see their potentials. I am often not motivated to work with people who do not have the essential ingredients to succeed in their jobs. I love to do customized training because it allows me to put together a program that will address the need for polishing people's potentials. The maximizer theme I think is not about achieving perfection, it's about achieving full potential.

Communication
And this is why I blog and why I am a Toastmaster. I just have to quote this part of the report because it is oh, so me!

"You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors (See Metaphors by Ed)."

Activator
This is why I thought being a maximizer doesn't mean pursuing perfection. I am not a perfectionist, I'm very far from it. I believe in getting things done and making improvements along the way. I'm not ashamed of my mistakes or failure. I'm proud of what I'm able to do no matter how imperfect they are. I guess I need people who are able to help me by pointing out areas of improvement so I can work on them.

If the expanded report is not too pricey for a cheapskate like me, I'm sure I would appreciate knowing how I scored in the other themes so I know where to stop wasting my time and focus on where my talents can actually be put into good use.

One of my staffs took the test as well and I appreciate the information because I am given a back story on his actions. It helps me understand how he works and how he can contribute more to the team.

As a conclusion, the book was a good read and the tool is very helpful. I strongly recommend that you explore it.

2 comments:

  1. In my organization, we have already started doing the Strengths Development program. It was well received by the middle managers. However, the whole point of totally maximizing one's strengths instead of weaknesses seem to puzzle most of the top management members. We are continuously researching for more ways to introduce the program to the organization as it can be an effective to empower and retain our top-performing employees.

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  2. Wow Mcrhon, that's great news! Are you using the Strengthsfinder concept? I'd be very interested to know more about how you are doing it. My understanding of the concept of maximizing the strengths doesn't mean not addressing the weaknesses. I think it basically means capitalizing on the strengths and addressing the weaknesses so that they are able to perform at a decent level using those themes. It means don't make so much effort turning weaknesses into strengths, just get them to acceptable levels. More focus shoul be given at getting the most of the persons' strengths.

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