StrengthsFinder - Then and Now

A few years ago at my previous gig our entire team did the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test.  Basically it’s a series of questions that you answer in under 10 seconds, and based on these questions the online test can pick out your top five strengths.  The book then provides further detail on how to execute on these strengths.

Back then my top strengths were as follows:

  • AdaptabilityPeople who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
  • Discipline - People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
  • EmpathyPeople who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
  • HarmonyPeople who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
  • ResponsibilityPeople who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

I found the experience really eye opening and I would agree with most of my strengths at the time.  Recently I moved into a new role at work which prompted me to read Strengths Based Leadership, which is based on the research that was done for the StrengthsFinder book.  The book came with another online test code, so I went ahead and did it again.  This time, my strengths were as follows:

  • AchieverPeople who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • ConsistencyPeople who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
  • DisciplinePeople who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
  • AnalyticalPeople who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
  • MaximizerPeople who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

Quite the difference!  I was actually pretty surprised by the results of my latest test.  Some things that I found interesting:

  • The only strength the carried over from my old test was Discipline.  I do pride myself in being very disciplined, but I was expecting at least a few more of my strengths to stay the same.
  • I've succeeded in my carrer quite a bit since my last test, which could be why Achiever has now appeared in the list.
  • Part of my success can be attributed to Consistency and an Analytical nature that I have, so I can see why they have now appeared in my list.
  • In a new role as a Team Lead, I’m really stoked to find that Maximizer is one of my strengths.  A real challenge for me going forward will be finding the way to get the best out of my team.
  • Adaptability, Consistency, Harmony and Responsibility are the items that weren’t on my list this time around.  Not to say that I’m not strong in these areas anymore, but I do believe that I’ve switched my focus as I’ve progressed in my career.

In all I found that doing the test again was a good exercise and I’m planning on doing it again in a few years.

Have you done StrengthsFinder multiple times?  Did you find that your strengths stayed the same, or did they change over time?

Dylan