Understand Your Strengths


This morning I stumbled across an interesting article on Twitter from the Savvy Intern

It is Time: “Follow Your Passion” Must Retire as Career Advice

I found the topic somewhat compelling only really because the advice was absolutely contrary to what I’d been taught from successful people (like Steve Jobs in his commencement speech), professors and so on. I even heard the same advice from people who I knew that were deeply unhappy due to the fact that they had settled by staying in a role that didn’t align with their dreams or their gifts.

I know that I often have to put my ego on the back burner in my role. I think that one of the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn is how to separate which skills from how I value assigned value to myself as a person.

There were skills that were necessary for my role that I needed so that I could be effective at my job, but it did not devalue who I was a person even though it may have devalued many of my other skills.

And when you don’t use your skills you often find that you grow anxious and restless.  Paolo Coelho talks a lot about alignment of purpose and gifts in his book “The  Alchemist.” I don’t think Coelho would be proud of what I’ve done with my gifts.  But I did what was necessary to be able to earn a living and tried to make the most of what they’d give me permission to work with.

After reading this article, I realized that the sick feeling I experienced from acknowledging that I’d done exactly what the author recommended goes against all of the researched and scientifically backed evidence that doing things that don’t bring out the best in you more or less squander your gifts.  So I don’t know if that means I’ll be job hunting anytime soon.  There are many employers in this small little town, but I did think at the very least it would be wide to do a strengths assessment so I could reacquaint myself with those gifts and rekindle my relationship with them.  No offense to Gallup, but I just didn’t want to pay for a service that isn’t transparent about their evaluation methods before you pay them, so I opted for this free assessment and got the following results instead:

I don’t know about you, but when I read that I realize that I should be much more proud of the person I’ve become than I actually am.

I often feel guilty about not having stronger proficiency in my bottom 3, but I’m reluctant to take those on because I so frequently see people abuse it.  I’d been looking for ways to rephrase what I thought appeared to be weaknesses; too deferential, too analytical, too idealistic, too accommodating.  But I think it’s because I’m surrounded by people who view my strengths through that lens.  So I’m pretty excited to learn that these can be gifts and will be looking forward to really embracing these gifts.

Your Strengths are: (from highest to lowest)





Video explanation

1 Developer People strong in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements. 100 Click Me
2 Input People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information. 98 Click Me
3 Belief People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life. 96 Click Me
4 Conectedness People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason. 93 Click Me
5 Ideation People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena. 89 Click Me
6 Fairness People strong in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world fairly by setting up clear rules and adhering to them. 89 Click Me
7 Arranger People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity. 84 Click Me
8 Relator People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal. 82 Click Me
9 Activator People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient. 82 Click Me
10 Responsibility People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty. 82 Click Me
11 Restorative People strong in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. 82 Click Me
12 Individualization People strong 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. 82 Click Me
13 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. 82 Click Me
14 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. 80 Click Me
15 Empathy People strong in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations. 80 Click Me
16 Adaptability People strong in the Adaptability theme prefer to ‘go with the flow.’ They tend to be ‘now’ people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time. 78 Click Me
17 Maximizer People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb. 76 Click Me
18 Discipline People strong in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create. 76 Click Me
19 Communication People strong in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters. 76 Click Me
20 Woo People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person. 73 Click Me
21 Futuristic People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future. 73 Click Me
22 Intellection People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions. 71 Click Me
23 Significance People strong in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized. 71 Click Me
24 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. 71 Click Me
25 Harmony People strong in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement. 69 Click Me
26 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. 69 Click Me
27 Focus People strong in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act. 67 Click Me
28 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. 67 Click Me
29 Positivity People strong in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. 64 Click Me
30 Includer People strong in the Inclusiveness theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them. 62 Click Me
31 Context People strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history. 62 Click Me
32 Command People strong in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions. 56 Click Me
33 Self-Assurance People strong in the Self-assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right. 56 Click Me
34 Competition People strong in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests. 56 Click Me


  1. Update – Here are my 2018 strengths finder results

    1: Judgment
    Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to
    conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all
    evidence fairly.

    2: Curiosity
    Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics
    fascinating; exploring and discovering.

    3: Humor
    Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side;
    making (not necessarily telling) jokes.

    4: Creativity
    Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes
    artistic achievement but is not limited to it.

    5: Love of learning
    Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or
    formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the
    tendency to add systematically to what one knows.

    6: Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence
    Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various
    domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

    7: Honesty
    Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in
    a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and

    8: Perspective
    Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that
    make sense to oneself/others.

    9: Bravery
    Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right
    even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical
    bravery but is not limited to it.

    10: Prudence
    Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things
    that might later be regretted.

    11: Fairness
    Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting
    feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.

    12: Kindness
    Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.

    13: Perseverance
    Finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles;
    “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks.

    14: Social intelligence
    Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit
    into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.

    15: Teamwork
    Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s

    16: Forgiveness
    Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting others’ shortcomings; giving people
    a second chance; not being vengeful.

    17: Hope
    Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future
    is something that can be brought about.

    18: Leadership
    Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same
    time maintain good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing
    that they happen.

    19: Gratitude
    Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express

    20: Humility
    Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more
    special than one is.

    21: Self-Regulation
    Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and

    22: Zest
    Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or
    halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.

    23: Spirituality
    Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe;
    knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of
    life that shape conduct and provide comfort.

    24: Love
    Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are
    reciprocated; being close to people.

    ~me, from the future (2018)

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