Back in 2001 when I was a Starbucks marketer, I read NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS. It literally changed my life. After taking the StrengthsFinder 1.0 test, from which the book was built upon, I was able to identify and fully understand my core talents applicable to the business world. Knowing these talent themes made it easer for me to focus my on-the-job efforts to maximizing my strengths and not trying to make my weaknesses less weak.
Maximizing one’s strengths and not trying to make one’s weaknesses less weak is the premise behind the StrengthsFinder approach. The core belief of this philosophy is, “You cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you are already are.”
Well … much has changed in my business life since 2001. I’m on my own now and earning a living through sharing business advice by way of speaking engagements and consulting assignments. So when the sequel to “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” called StrengthsFinder 2.0, was published earlier this year, I was interested to see if my talent themes had changed with the change in my career path.
As it turns out, my talent themes have changed as my career has changed. Take a look at the differences from my 2001 results with my 2007 results.
2001 StrengthsFinder results*:
IDEATION – having an active mind that is fascinated by ideas
STRATEGIC – the ability to sift through myriad options and fit the best one
INTELLECTION – an ongoing desire to think about problems and ideas
LEARNER – insatiable appetite to continue learning
MAXIMIZER – the ability to take something from good to great
* when my profession was Starbucks marketing manager
2007 StrengthsFinder results*:
FUTURISTIC – fascinated by the future and by inspiring others of futuristic visions
RELATOR – find satisfaction in sharing knowledge with people
ACTIVATOR – ability to turn ideas into action
* when my profession is speaker/consultant/author
What I find interesting (and fitting) is the addition of people components to my core talent themes. The “Futuristic,” “Relator,” and “Activator” strengths fit my current career path where I coach and inspire businesspeople to make ideas happen. But it’s not like I have lost the talents of “Strategic,” “Learner,” or Maximizer.” Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 says…
“If you have taken StrengthsFinder 1.0, and you decide to take the new version, you may find that a few of your top five themes are different than they were the first time.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand for your development is that if you do see a new theme in your top five, it was likely in your top 10 before. So you have not lost a theme, but instead now have the opportunity to see a theme or two that had been hiding just below the radar.”
Phew. I’m still able to claim being a strategic thinker, a learner, and a maxmizer as one of my talent themes. It’s just that other talent themes are more dominant in my current business life.
I’m curious if you have also experienced something similar by re-discovering your strengths. If so, let us know.