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My Top Five Strengths

The wisdom from successful people says that we should each focus on our own and each others top strengths. To help me identify my top strengths I read the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and took the online companion test.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 Gallup Press, 2007
Strengths Finder 2.0

My top 5 strengths are listed below, with summary quotes from the test results:

1. Relator
——–
“People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep
satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”

I do have many close relationships with friends, co-workers, and family members. I work to understand their hopes and dreams and to identify great goals that will help us all achieve our desires. There are times that this, as my number one strength, makes me feel a bit out-of-place, as I don’t particularly care about technology; I care about exploiting technology to deliver value to those I care about. Many “technologists” have a leaning towards technology over people (or at least equal fascination). I use this strength to my advantage at work by making sure I’m delivering software that people want and need, as opposed to simply building it to a specification.

2. Learner
——–
“People strong 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.”

I recorded the number of non-fiction books I studied during the year 2014. There are 68 listed on my spreadsheet which didn’t include Scouting and LDS scriptures. I have completed a master’s degree and I am proficient in 16 different programming languages, OK, yes, I think this strength applies…

3. Achiever
——–
“People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”

My typical weekly routine, that I enjoy, looks like this (with 168 hours per week):

  • 55-80 hours working, learning and studying
  • 10-15 hours of Church service
  • 5 hours exercise and studying (listening to educational books)
  • 48-55 hours sleeping and other self-maintenance tasks
  • 5-15 hours dating my wife
  • 5-15 hours raising my kids
  • 1-4 hours playing a game or reading some fiction

Yes, I do think this strength applies!

4. Ideation
——-
“People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.”

I keep a spreadsheet of my software ideas, business ideas, people solutions, as well as many OneNote notebooks and I have physical note books for ideas in all areas of my life: Work, Religion, Family, Roleplaying, Software Development, etc…

5. Analytical
——-
“People strong in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think
about all the factors that might affect a situation.”

A personal case study on this: After taking this strengths finder test, I decided it would be great if some of my close friends and family could take it without paying for the test. So, I devised a spreadsheet and a method for self-scoring and then helped my friends and family analyze their own strengths. This task also made use of my Relator strength (learning about close relationships and developing them further) and Ideation strength (helping them think of connections). I assume my continual use of spreadsheets to track projects completed, books read, food eaten, etc… fall under this strength as well…

Indeed, I am grateful to have the fortune of making use of my top talents!

I have written more in-depth posts each strength:

  1. Relator
  2. Learner
  3. Achiever
  4. Ideation
  5. Analytical

For more information about Strengths Finder see GALLUP Strengths Center

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