Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Strength's Finders Books

I have a series of books that have provided the most profound impact on the person that I am.
One of the books that has greatly influenced my approach in anything is the Strengths Finder books.

The major point of the book is to speak about an approach that comes from a position of strength rather than one of weakness. A variety of analogies are used, but the basic assertion is :
[any improvement effort should come from a place that works with your most dominant characheristics rather than trying to simultaneoously juggle changing yourself as well as driving a result]

In particular, the examples given cover management of people.
The book's format includes:
-The overall premise for the book
-The discussion of the 34 character categories
-Test for your current status
-Explaination for your results
-Suggestions how you can motivate yourself and how people can work with you (use case).

What makes me love this book so much is how this is applicable in so many different areas.
Example:  When I am crafting a marketing strategy:
-Establish an overall premise (what am I trying to achieve)
-Understand the different audiences and use cases(Categories)
-Find and establish position (understand the strengths and weaknesses of our position)
-Create a list of value propositions that assist in your overall message...
-Obtain suggestions and testing of concepts
-Go into Marketing Campaign Creation--

It's the understanding what our current value proposition (strengths) are that helps the messaging and consistency of the overall message goal.
If the things that are part of our current value proposition are in conflict with the message we are trying to convey-- then we have two choices.
1. Change the message
or depending on the importance of the message...
2. Change the mechanics to alter a value proposition.

It's far easier and more natural to work with a system, rather than try and make it do something it wasn't designed for. But if you want to change a system's function-- sometimes it's better to stop the system's functions and do the work required-- rather than try and change it on the fly. 

So, if you get a chance, check out the book and take the quiz.
I'd be interested to find out what anyone else thought of their results.

The Clifton StrengthsFinder For L.Swanland
As you may know, the Clifton StrengthsFinder measures the presence of talent in 34 categories called "themes." These themes were determined by Gallup as those that most consistently predict outstanding performance. The greater the presence of a theme of talent within a person, the more likely that person is to spontaneously exhibit those talents in day-to-day behaviors.Focusing on naturally powerful talents helps people use them as the foundation of strengths and enjoy personal, academic, and career success through consistent, near-perfect performance.

Below are my top five themes of talent, ranked in the order revealed by my responses to the Clifton StrengthsFinder.

How well do you think these themes describe me?
People who are especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.

People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

People who are especially talented 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.

People who are especially talented 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.

To learn more about the Clifton StrengthsFinder and how you can discover your top five themes, visit http://strengths.gallup.com

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