Sorting Strengths

All of the StrengthsFinder Talent Themes are sorted into Strengths Domains

"There’s nothing hidden in your head The Sorting Hat can’t see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be."

All devout Harry Potter fans will recognize this line from the Sorting Hat song which appeared in the first Harry Potter novel.  According to legend, students are sorted by their personality traits, their shared values and their wishes.

The students in each of the houses of Hogwarts all shared similar qualities.  For example, the Gryffindors were brave and courageous, while the Ravenclaws were smart and creative.  

If you are familiar with the series, each of the four houses competed based on their individual and combined talents.  Each house leveraged their unique qualities to build their brand and get things done.  However, no single house was dominant (did I mention Gryffindors can also be considered by some as arrogant?!?). 

In the final chapter, when everything is on the line and there is literally a battle for Hogwarts, all of the houses combine their talents to fight the dark forces and end up doing extraordinary things and winning the day.  

Like the four houses of Hogwarts, StrengthsFinder sorts Talent Themes into four primary domains. The Strategic Domain is for thinking, the Relationship Domain is for feeling, the Influencing Domain is for persuading and the Execution Domain is for doing.

Many people, like myself, have dominant Talent Themes residing in one of the four domains.  For example, 3 of my Top 5 themes are considered Strategic.  Others, have their Top 5 or all 34 dispersed evenly between all four domains.  

So is it better to be a well-rounded individual or a well-rounded team?

In the book Strengths Based Leadership, the authors identify that individuals need not be well-rounded, but teams should be.  As individuals, we know which tasks we can excel in and where we experience our "flow".

One piece of advice I provide team members just entering the workforce is to become a functional expert at something they enjoy.  Don't become a well-rounded circle but strive to become a star with sharper edges.  In his book Drive, Daniel Pink calls this functional expertise mastery.  

We need to be self-aware of the domains in which we have fewer talents and seek partners who have an abundance of talent in those areas.  As teams, the same is true.  Dominant domains can be leveraged as the competitive edge for a team while weaker domains should be considered a link in the chain worth strengthening through strategic partnerships.  

High-performing groups leverage the unique contributions of each team member and have an awareness of where they need to forge strength partnerships with others outside of their group to "sure-up" need areas.  Doing this, teams can do extraordinary things.  

I am currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  I'm an optimistic pace-setter fascinated by tomorrow.  In any situation, you can count on me to think outside the box and find the best way forward.  I prefer white-water rapids over data lakes and include Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst my signature talents.    Find me on Twitter @dpddonovan and Instagram @strengthszone  


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