Do You Know Your Greatest Strength or Potential?

During a time when I was kicking back, I had opportunity to read a few books.  One of them, which I’ve meant to read for a while, was Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.  My attention to the book was spurred by a marketing mentor who swears by it.  I now know why!

For anyone who may be considering a career change, who’s looking for work, or who wants to focus on what they CAN do, Strengthsfinder 2.0 is a great read.  Rath’s idea is that so many books marketed today focus on overcoming your weaknesses, however one of the biggest problems in Corporate America is they are not emotionally engaged in what they do.  This factor alone drains people and leaves them unproductive, inefficient, leads to poor performance and frustration and drained.  Instead, Rath believes you should focus on your strengths and how to leverage them to promote yourself, excel in your work place and thrive.  His idea is backed by proven research with viable results.

The first section of the book explains Rath’s premise and how he established it.  In the Preface, Rath states, “people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general” (italics from Rath for emphasis).  He makes an excellent point that so many people in the workplace are disengaged emotionally from their job for various reasons.  Emotionally disengaged workers are unhappy and can create issues that work against both the employee and employer.  Managers who focus on workers’ strengths, encourage and help build them, create a happier, more satisfied team that becomes a greater value add making the manager shine while his/her team produces.  It becomes a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.

Following the first section, you take an online quiz (which is free after buying the book) that helps analyze your specific strengths.  You get a report that provides data you can store and/or reference at a later time.  This can be an eye-opener for some people; you might find you are stronger in an area you didn’t expect!

After this quiz, you return to the second section of the book to read about the attributes of your specific strengths.  This may provide a foundation on which you can focus your work-related tasks, job search, or business plans and marketing strategies as an entrepreneur.  Moreover, it may give better understanding as to why one thing doesn’t always work while something else always excites you.

I recommend this book to all my clients.  It’s an inexpensive investment, found at most bookstores, and becomes a reference tool for all facets of one’s life.  One of Rath’s biggest points in the book is that people need to be emotionally and mentally engaged in what they do.  Finding and using one’s strengths helps achieve this goal.

“Our natural talents and passions — the things we truly love to do — last for a lifetime.  But all too often, our talents go untapped. … Every human being has talents that are just waiting to be uncovered.” — Tom Rath, Strengthsfinder 2.0