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People’s Strengths

by Rick Baker
On Oct 19, 2010
StrengthsFinder* presents Strengths as…
Strengths = Talent Theme + Knowledge + Skills
If I understand StrengthsFinder properly then our top 5 Talent Themes do not confirm Strengths, rather, they confirm Potential Strengths.
To create Strengths we need to:
  1. understand our Talent Themes,
  2. gain Knowledge related to the Strength we desire, and
  3. take planned action aimed at developing Skills that allow us to illustrate our Strengths.
I think StrengthsFinder is directionally correct. It is a tool that should not be used in isolation. It should be used in conjunction with other tools and guides.
For example, our ability to exhibit Strengths is influenced by many factors including:
  • Interest…Are we interested in, or passionate about, the end-goal that is the motive driving our actions? A strong and well-grounded Interest increases the likelihood a Strength will be developed.
  • Situation…does the situation allow us to act in accordance with our Strength? As Haidt and the Heaths* explained to us, situations can be designed to promote action aligned with Strengths.
  • Self-Esteem…the higher the self-esteem, the better we feel about ourselves, the greater the likelihood our Strengths will be realized
  • Confidence…if we perceive we can be effective at the task, in the given situation, then the greater the likelihood our Strengths will be realized
  • Mood…we all have good days and bad days…our Strengths tend to shine during our good days
  1. Web link for StrengthsFinder
  2. Web link for Haidt
  3. Web link for Heath brothers

Comments (10) -

Randy Williamson Canada
10/22/2010 11:13:59 AM #

Rick - I like this thinking, and I'll get the book to understand it better.  

After I sold the last of my three businesses in 2003, after building them over a few years, and determined that I wasn't going to buy and build another, I spent almost 2 years thinking about what I would do with the second half of my working life.  I spent a long time thinking about firstly, what I VALUED in life and what I was especially INTERESTED in.

Only then did I start thinking about (a) what I felt PASSIONATE about and LOVED to do in business, (b) what I was GREAT at and had the SKILLS for, and (c) what I could be PAID for (not like a movie or sports star, but fairly, given what I might do). I quikcly realized that I had been lucky enough to always be doing something that met all three of these criteria, but that most people didn't.  Because I could choose to do anything that met criteria (a) and (b) without serious regard to criteria (c), I was able to choose something that fit my passion and skills, whioh would more likely lead to success (and fair compensation) than if I had focussed much on the compensation, which frankly is simply the result of the success.

While I realize that the process I used for me has been well described before, and probably is well laid out in the Strenghtfinder book, it's worth reiterating in as many forms as possible, to help others find their passions and strenghts, helping to ignite their spirit succeed in business and life.

Randy Williamson

Rick Baker Canada
10/23/2010 2:19:14 PM #

Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts and experiences, Randy.

When I read your comment, two things immediately came to mind:

-  StrengthsFinder 2.0: it briefly outlines the 'framework' and provides definitions of talent themes...and it includes a voucher for the on-line assessment. If you are looking for more details about the ‘framework’, the thinking behind StrengthsFinder, then you may want to buy one of more of the Marcus Buckingham books/CDs. Marcus does a good job of explaining how we can help ourselves and other people make best use of personal Strengths.

-  Your personal experience describes the life-experience of many ‘Activestors’…when (c) is no longer a driver we gain much more clarity about (a) and (b). And, when we have the Activestor spirit we want to help others with (a), (b), and (c).

FYI, here is how we defined Activestor: A person with both relevant experience and higher-net-worth who wants to invest both personal money and personal time to help people take businesses to much-higher levels of value.

Rick Baker Canada
1/8/2011 9:37:26 PM #

"If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance."

Abraham Lincoln

rick baker
12/27/2011 10:13:24 AM #

"A person can only perform from strength."

Peter Drucker

2/5/2012 2:10:34 PM #

"Lack of knowledge... that is the problem."

W. Edwards Deming

2/12/2012 6:49:23 PM #

"All growth comes from practice."

Robert Collier, 'The Secret of the Ages, (1926)

2/26/2012 10:18:57 AM #

"Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person."

R. Buckminster Fuller
American systems theorist, architect, engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist (1895-1983)

3/2/2012 10:50:19 PM #

“…knowledge cannot be separated from thought; every substitution of a better thought for a worse thought is a transforming agency which marks an important advance in knowledge.”

“Only the choosing of wise thoughts, and necessarily, the doing of wise deeds, leads to wisdom.”

“Wisdom cannot be found in books or travel, in learning or philosophy, it is acquired by practice only.”

James Allen
'Light on Life's Difficulties', (1912)

rick baker
4/20/2012 10:48:18 PM #

“Those who fail are, as a rule, those who are out of their places.”

Orison Swett Marden
‘Pushing to the Front’, (1911)

rick baker
4/23/2012 9:57:16 PM #

"Gaining a competitive advantage is like having a two-edged sword. One edge is internal - knowing what unique skills you bring to the table. The other is external and comes from gathering knowledge that makes it more likely you'll succeed."

Dr. Doug Hirschhorn
'8 Ways to Great', (2010)

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