Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Give Me Strength

Yesterday I completed my read of Now, Discover Your Strengths (Strengths Finder) by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton.  The book also includes an on-line test and printout designed to provide my top five strengths.  I found the book, and the accompanying test, to be elucidating and spot on.  I asked my wife to read my analysis and comment on the accuracy of it, and she concurred.  So . . .

Interesting that "Achiever" was my top strength.  According to the analysis, I'm a person who gets things done, and I am quite comfortable working on many tasks at once.  Operative words here were "prolific" and "hard-working".  And another of my strengths--which was not actually in the book:  "Consistency".  I seem to operate equally well, even consistently well, through high levels of adversity or low ebbs of ease.  My strengths analysis revealed that I hold to a course or goal and stick to it regardless.

There were other strengths, too, but these intrigued me.  Especially when it comes to writing.  Through the years I've had a number of editors tell me, "I can count on you to deliver the goods on deadline" or "I like the fact that you write every day and you never waver from your routines and disciplines."

Naturally, these strengths also have their drawbacks.  As my wife points out, I can be boring.  A relaxing Friday night for me would be producing 2000 words of new material.  A productive morning would be rising at 4 a.m. to write for three hours before I go to the gym.  I am stretching my comfort zone when I have to go to Walmart and purchase a new box of floppy disks (which are, by the way, increasingly difficult to find). And when I go on vacation I make it a point to write essays and have, on occasion, even garnered a writing assignment to work on while "relaxing".  I have also been known to go on vacation and work up an entire year's worth of sermon themes and topics.  In essence, these "strengths" can drive my wife bonkers.

I would recommend this book to any organization's staff.  I think it would be fun, and perceptive, to have this type of information about everyone in an organization.  It would help people to understand each other, and to appreciate the diversity of strengths that make an organization run effectively.  Everybody has strengths and these should be utilized to their fullest.

My wife is going to take this test, too.  But I already know what her strengths are!  Her analysis will reveal that she is "at ease around boring men" and "patient with idiots" and "receptive to the hideous ideas of men with bad cooking skills."   

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