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Strengths Finder 2.0

My desire for personal development has led to an interest in taking assessments that help me improve. If you share my interest in self-improvement, you might want to take the StrengthsFinder Assessment. Tom Rath published a book called Strengths Finder 2.0, which helps you identify your top 5 strengths and then shows you how to fully develop them. There are 34 strength themes in all.

You determine your top 5 strengths by looking at 177 paired descriptions and then choosing which one sounds most like you. When you buy the book, you will find a unique access code in the back. Then you go to, enter the code, and take the assessment. The test takes about 30 minutes.

I took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment today. I had taken the assessment over 10 years ago and wondered if the results would have changed. Interestingly, 4 out of 5 of my top strengths were the same. Only Competition dropped off and was replaced by Intellection. Given the changes I’ve made in my life since I last took the assessment, that one change makes sense.

When you take the assessment, you will receive a report that describes each of your top 5 strengths, an action-planning guide, and a certificate listing your strengths. To give you an idea of what you’ll discover, I’m including my top strengths and notes regarding each strength below. Maybe you’ll recognize one or more of these strengths in yourself. If not, there are 29 more themes that may apply to you.

My Notes from Strengths Finder 2.0 – Including my Top 5 Strengths

My Top 5 Strengths:
1. Input
2. Learner
3. Achiever
4. Intellection
5. Significance


Theme: You have a craving to know more, and you collect and archive all kinds of information
• You are inquisitive. Yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. Your mind is open and absorbent
• You may collect information – words, facts, books and quotations – or you may collect tangible objects
• You often lose yourself in a book. You continually expand your sphere of knowledge by reading
• Look for jobs in which you are charged with acquiring new information each day, such as teaching, research, or journalism.
• Devise a system to store and easily locate information. This can be as simple as using files or as sophisticated as a computer database
• You are naturally a repository of facts, data, and ideas. Don’t be afraid to position yourself as an expert
• Remember that you must be more than just a collector of information. You’ll need to leverage this knowledge and turn it into action. Identify the facts and data that would be most valuable to others, and use this information to their advantage
• Identify your areas of specialization and actively seek more information about them
• Schedule time to read books and articles that stimulate you


Theme: You have a strong desire to learn and want to continuously improve
• You prefer having quiet time to mull over ideas as well as read and examine interesting topics
• You like to engage in adult learning experiences: yoga, painting, dance, graduate classes…
• You thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on projects and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one
• Develop ways to track the progress of your learning (e.g. read 5 books on the subject or make 3 presentations on it)
• Be a catalyst for change
• Because you are not threatened by unfamiliar information, you might excel in a consulting role in which you are paid to go into new situations and pick up new competencies or languages quickly
• Honor your desire to learn. Take advantage of adult educational opportunities in your community. Discipline yourself to sign up for at least one new academic or adult learning course each year


Theme: You have a great deal of stamina, work hard, and enjoy being busy and productive
• Diligence, persistence, and concentration are distinguishing traits of yours
• You devote your full attention to immediate tasks and challenges
• Attach timelines and measurement to goals so that effort leads to defined progress and tangible outcomes
• Continue your education by attaining certifications in your specialty in addition to attending conferences and other programs
• Take advantage of your self-motivation by setting challenging goals
• Count personal achievements in your scoring system…this will help you direct your achiever talents towards family and friends in addition to work
• The prospect of what lies ahead is more motivating to you than what has been completed, so launch initiatives and new projects


Theme: You are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions
• You like to think and to ponder what you’ve read, seen, or heard
• You have new ideas whirling around in your head much of the time
• You’re very interested in solving problems, conceiving new concepts, and designing plans
• You frequently collect as much information as you can by reading
• Consider beginning or continuing your studies in philosophy, literature, or psychology. You enjoy subjects that stimulate your thinking
• List your ideas in a notebook or computer
• Deliberately build relationships with people you consider to be “big thinkers”
• Take time to write. Writing might be the best way for you to crystallize and integrate your thoughts


Theme: You are independent and want to be recognized
• You want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring
• You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others with these qualities
• It is important to you that your work be both invigorating and challenging. You want it to be a vital expression of who you are
• You encourage people to excel
• Make a list of the goals, achievements, and qualifications you crave. Post the list where you’ll see it every day and use it to inspire yourself
• Whatever your focus, you keep pulling upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional
• Choose work in which you can determine your own tasks and actions. You enjoy the independence
• Your reputation is important, so tend to it. For example, identify and earn a designation that will add to your credibility, write an article that will give you visibility, or volunteer to speak in front of a group who will appreciate your achievements
• You will perform best when your performance is visible. Look for opportunities that put you on center stage. Stay away from roles that hide you behind the scenes
• Leading crucial teams or significant projects brings out your best. Your greatest motivation may come when the stakes are at their highest

If you get Strengths Finder 2.0 and take the assessment, please share your top 5 strengths in the comments.

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