Improving Your Strengths? This Gen X Weighs In

image001Guest Blog by: Scott Suckow

StrengthsFinder 2.0 was based on Gallup’s 40-year study of human strengths,
with 34 of the most common talents developed to help people discover and
describe these talents. The concept is easy. You gain more by focusing on
your strengths than on overcoming your weaknesses. StrengthsFinder
describes Strength as this equation: Talent (a natural way of thinking,
feeling or behaving) multiplied by Investment (time spent practicing,
developing your skills, and building your knowledge base) equals Strength
(the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance).

I was introduced to StrengthsFinder when I began to serve on a national
advisory board for a global pharmaceutical company. Our initiative was to
advise how to best support and educate healthcare advocates at local, state,
national and global levels. The board is comprised of leaders from
different generations, geographic areas and chronic disease categories. The
board decided we should take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment to better
know each other, identify strength gaps in the board’s composition and use
individual strengths as a guide when forming smaller working committees.

My assessment was right on! WOO (Winning Others Over) was my number one
strength, followed by Positivity, Communication, Arranger and Strategic.

It was intriguing to see everyone’s strengths. All different — though we
are all leaders in our field. As my fellow board members shared theirs,
they also indicated how, at their individual organizations, they had
surrounded themselves with individuals having complementary skills. Even
though their teams were not built intentionally using strengths, they
instinctively understood the value for their organizations in having a
balanced staff with different strengths. StrengthFinders gave them proof.

It was also clear that our inventory of the board’s strengths indicated that
we had some gaps which could be addressed as we recruited new members.
These gaps made sense. Bringing on someone with the Empathy strength could
move our discussion from process to a greater understanding of the impact on
those we serve. The Discipline strength could bring focus to the board when
it gets lost in philosophical conversations and help move it to more
actionable steps. The Arranger strength could move the discussion of the
board into action steps. It was clear that our board could be more
effective in forming working committees with a mix of strengths for better
outcomes.

If you have not done a StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, this Gen X highly
recommends it. Whether for your staff, for the cross functional team you
are building or for evaluating the potential effectiveness of a volunteer
board or committee that you are apart of. Talent x Investment = Strength.