Showing posts from April, 2018

Developer: Medium Rare

My StrengthsFinder story begins in late 2013 when my boss quite casually introduced the book to me at a going away party for one of my own direct reports.  Truth be told, I am not big on going away parties.  Perhaps is is because Context (looking back to the past) is one of my lowest talent themes.  Don't get me wrong, I respect retirement celebrations and can endure a party for someone moving out of state.  However, celebrating the departure of someone who deliberately leaves the company after only a few years of service for their own local greener pastures is not my thing.

What I realize, now 5 years later, is that this casual recommendation of StrengthsFinder in that crowded bar may not have been that casual at all.  As many of us have heard before, studies show that when an employee leaves a company, they are often leaving their manager and not their organization.

The relationship between manager and team member is critical to optimize engagement and minimize turnover.  Engag…

Consistency: Consistent Sea

I was recently on vacation and taking a walk down a beautiful Florida beach.I say “on-vacation”, but my wheels hardly ever stop turning and I was thinking about which talent theme to feature in my next post.With Achiever as my #5 signature talent, I set a goal to review all 34 StrengthsFinder themes this year within The Strengths Zone weekly blog.  

Then I saw it.
From the distance, the object looked like a piece of driftwood that was covered in barnacles.Perhaps it was in the sea for a long period of time and marine crustaceans attached to it like ornaments on a Christmas tree.As I got closer, I saw that the driftwood was actually covered in carefully placed sea shells.People had placed them repeatedly on branches and crevasses.Some actually wrote-on or decorated their shells with markers.
While the tradition was likely started by someone leveraging an Ideation talent, it continued and persevered through wind, rain, tides and even a hurricane.Beachgoers established a set of social norm…

Discipline: Routine Advantages

Today is the day I have been looking forward to.  Another start to a fitness challenge at work.  History tells me that the best way for me to focus on weight loss and shed a few pounds before the summer is to participate in one of these competitions. I credit my Achiever talent theme (#5) which provides me the drive to achieve any goal.  Did I mention I have been in a several of these competitions before?  While my Achiever is constantly in full-gear, Discipline is another matter entirely.
For me, Discipline is what the folks at Gallup StrengthsFinder would call a "non-talent"; ranking at #31 out of 34 talent themes.   I am not alone.  In fact, Discipline is one of the rarest talent themes to appear in any top 5 ranking.  Many more Americans have Adaptability (see "Omaha" blog") than Discipline.  We'd rather go with the flow and manage life as it comes than live a life with plan and structure.  That includes eating whatever is available (Adaptability) ver…

Individualization: The Magic of Legilimency

In the world of Harry Potter, Legilimins is a magic spell that let's the caster see into the mind of another person.  If wizardry is not your thing, there is one StrengthsFinder talent theme that you can conjure up to identify the hidden talents and unique qualities of other people. 

This spell - I mean talent theme - is Individualization.

Instead of casting spells, people with Individualization talents know instinctively how to cast great teams.  They know that the secret to highly productive and engaged teams is to appreciate the unique qualities of every individual and find ways to position different people to do what they naturally do best.

The Individualization talent theme lends itself to building and maintaining solid professional relationships both internally and externally.  A person with this talent wants to treat and approach people in ways that are relevant and meaningful.  They seek to understand before being understood.  Uncovering client needs, both those of your …