Book Review: Strengths Finder 2.0
I picked up this book after observing that it had been on the Amazon top 100 bestseller list for over 1000 days.
The premise of the book is based on the discovery by Gallup scientists that an individual’s potential grows when they apply themselves to developing their strengths instead of remedying their weaknesses.
The original book was published in 2001 and examined 34 possible talents. Apparently, the original version was intended for managers to help them identify the weaknesses and strengths of their employees in order to increase productivity. The updated version is intended for a much wider audience.
Many of us have grown up hearing “You can be anything you want to be, if you try hard enough.” This theme is played throughout life in so many ways from parents admonishing their children to raise the one low grade instead of emphasizing the subjects they did well in, to employees striving to move up into management simply to prove their versatility and enhance their resume.
The new maxim supplied by this book is “You cannot be anything you want to be but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”
The book suggests that if a person has a job in which they do not have the opportunity to use their strengths, they are six times less likely to be engaged on the job. Specifically, this means: they dread going to work, they do not contribute greatly to their employer and they are unlikely to be developing in personal growth.
In order to take the strength finder assessment, you are required to go to the website www.strengthsfinder.com and use the access code provided in the back of the book. Since I borrowed the book from the public library, the code was already used, so unfortunately I will have to go ahead and purchase the book (this is undeniably a good strategy for increasing book sales) in order to discover my talents.
After you take the online assessment, part two of the book (which takes up three-quarters of the book) describes ways you can apply your talents.
I think the book is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to maximize their personal potential. Just be aware that you have to purchase the book in order to use the access code (which can only be used once). This can be very inconvenient if more than one family member wants to take the assessment. It means you would have to buy more than one copy of the book. It also means that buying a used copy or borrowing the book from the public library is useless (which I found out).
I read some reviews of the book on Amazon.com and some buyers of the book reported that the online assessment only provides results for the top five potential talents of the testee. When these same individuals inquired about finding out how they ranked in the rest of the qualities, they were told they would have to pay $550. So it appears that the book and online assessment are a “hook” to get people to invest even further to discover their areas of strength.
Other than that, most of the readers seemed to find the results beneficial.
The 34 talents at a glance
achiever - the person who needs to accomplish something every day.
activator - always eager to get a project started.
adaptability - makes good use of present opportunities to get ahead.
analytical - analyzes the validity and practicality of ideas
arranger - able to juggle all variables in a complex situation to determine the best way to get things done.
belief - has core values that affect behavior, direction and priorities
command - naturally takes charge
communication - able to explain or describe ideas in a way that makes them come alive.
competition - thrives on competing with others
connectedness - focuses on the big picture, or how the job at hand will affect the future for everyone.
consistency - treats all people fairy and equally
context - studies the past to fully understand the present.
deliberative - analyzes risks carefully
developer - knows how to bring out the potential in others
discipline - the consummate planner and organizer
empathy - sensitive to others feelings
focus - keeps all eyes on the goal
futuristic - the dreamer
harmony - builds unity by finding common ground
ideation - seeks to understand why things are the way they are and how things are connected
includer - seeks to gain support and include as many people as possible
individualization - appreciates the differences in each person
input - collects information
intellection - likes to think
learner - loves to learn
maximizer - like to take someone or something from below average to
positivity - contains contagious enthusiasm and energy
relator - enjoys deep relationships
responsibility - conscientious about follow through and seeing tasks to
restorative - loves to solve problems
self-assurance - self-confidence in one’s abilities and judgments
significance - has the need to be appreciated and recognized
strategic - able to sort through the complexities of an issue and find the best route.
woo - winning over others, love meeting people and making friends.
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