Input: Utility Player

This 600 pound sphere and backdrop are made completely out of postage stamps!

During a recent trip to Omaha, I decided to make a quick stop in Boys Town.  Most people under the age of 50 or living outside of Nebraska might not be too familiar with this place which was made famous in a 1938 movie featuring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney.  Boys Town is a 900 acre facility which cares for children and families.  It has been operating for over 100 years and has satellite campuses in 12 locations throughout the United States.

Two fun facts I discovered about Boys Town.  First, their original logo sported a young boy carrying another on his back with the saying "He ain't heavy, Father, he's my brother".  That of course inspired a popular song by the Hollies.  The second fun fact is the ball of stamps.

Within the gift shop of Boys Town sits a 600 pound sphere made completely of stamps; 4,655,000 canceled stamps to be exact.  It was stuck together by the Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club starting in 1953 and completed in 1955.  It enjoys "Guinness" world record status.

So what do the world's largest ball of stamps and my snapshot of the same have to do with StrengthsFinder? Both are examples of collections, which in the end, had a useful purpose. Welcome to the utilitarian Talent Theme of Input.

You likely have a professional peer who occasionally (or frequently) shares news articles or blog posts which they found interesting and think you might find interesting and useful as well.  There is a good chance that person has Input as a dominant Talent Theme.  Input leads people to constantly acquire, compile and file things away.  Their pursuits keep their minds fresh.  They know that one day, some of the information or things they have gathered will prove valuable.  People with Input can facilitate growth and performance in others by sharing knowledge and resources which they naturally store.

Input is within the Top 5 Signature Talent Themes of 20% of people who have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment - which is nearing 19 million - and ranks as #6 out of 34 in overall frequency.

One of the best metaphors I have heard describing Input compares this Talent Theme to a sponge.  Just like a sponge, people with Input absorb things.  The purpose of a sponge is never to be a permanent container.  A sponge is meant to transport material (typically liquids) from one place to another.  People who optimize this talent "soak up" facts and information that provide the most utility for themselves and which can eventually be beneficial when shared with others.

Here are some ways for people with Input to facilitate growth and performance in the workplace;

* People with Input should focus their natural curiosity to research, share and archive information which is of interest to themselves, their manager and their team.

* People with Input love to be "in the know".  Pass along books, articles and papers to them and help to keep them posted on news that affects your organization or industry.

* People with Input should identify topics that interest them and then find subject matter experts withing the organization with whom they can share information and ideas with.

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    


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