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?


    Atlassian Events!

    Last week was a full week of extra-curricular events at the Atlassian office in San Francisco.  One of the great things about working for this company is that there always seems to be something fun that part of (or the entire team) is taking part in.

    JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

    About 20 members of the Atlassian team participated in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge.  The event is a 5KM race in downtown San Francisco that is geared specifically to corporate teams in the Bay Area.  Check out the photo of our team below!

    This isn’t the first time Atlassian has entered the race, as I believe we’ve participated a few years past.  Last year we actually one the Best T-Shirt Competition but unfortunately did not this year.  That being said I love our shirts!  Not only is it another great shirt to add to my growing Atlassian wardobe, but they’re also made from organic cotton and printed with earth-friendly ink.  Win!

    It was a cloudy evening for the race but that didn’t stop nearly 6500+ people from participating.  Teams from larger companies like Genentech, VMware and SalesForce definitely dwarfed our small Atlassian team.  The race started and finished just south of the Embarcadero, completing a loop around AT&T Park.  I was excited to finally be able to check out McCovey Cove where the San Francisco Giants infamous Splash Hits into the water occur.

    It was an awesome race and I’m looking forward to next years event!

    Atlassian EOFY Event - The Go Game

    The following day was our EOFY (End of Financial Year) event which was kept a secret to the entire staff.  The only things we received were some really cool Atlassian windbreakers and instructions to meet up at Washington Square Park by 1:00 PM.

    What ensued was an epic Amazing Race style competition between the entire staff!  We were split into 8 different colored teams and proceeded to explore North Beach for clues, challenges and contests to try to come out on top of the competition.  And guess what, our team did!  See a picture of team yellow (cleverly named The Golden Showers) below:

    The event was put on by The Go Game, a company that specializes in team building events such as the one we had that day.  It was organized really well, with each team needing to take photos/videos and complete challenges via mobile phones.  At the end of the event all teams met up at the Bocce Cafe and photos and videos were voted on to determine the winner.

    Personally it was a great way for me to explore a part of the city that I have yet to see.  I would recommend this activity to any company that’s looking to have a great team building exercise that’s also super fun at the same time!

    Shameless Plug

    I’ve mentioned this in a few other posts as well, but Atlassian is hiring!  We’re trying to ramp up our San Francisco team as we’ve got lots of work ahead of us in the next few years, and lots of capital to back our awesome plan!  If these events seem like something you’d like to do as part of your work then why not submit your resume!?