Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now Discover Your Strengths

You know, the old Robert Heinlein "don't teach a pig to sing" saying? (Don't do it...It wastes your time and annoys the pig.)

There's a book called "Now Discover Your Strengths" that I've used in management training before. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, it has you take an online test that identifies what kinds of things you're naturally good at, then encourages you to work in a position that taps into those themes. Pretty smart stuff actually.

Tom's signature themes are: Analysis, Competition, Achievement, Context (learns from the past), and Ideation. Tom is a BANNER employee. His themes align perfectly with his job. He breathes his work. He's brilliant, rarely makes mistakes, incredibly productive and he always delivers more than you ask for. ALWAYS. He's the star show pony of young scientists. I'm biased, yes, but I've never heard anyone say anything but praise about Tom's work.

I'm adaptable, a good communicator, skilled at activating others to do things, competitive and very individualistic. I'm like the love child of a Jane Austen protagonist and Nicolas Cage's character, "Sailor" in Wild at Heart. Why I'm in charge of the family taxes, you got me. What I should really be is like Tom's agent. Well child actors have them...why not hydrologists?

For reasons that will soon be revealed, we've been watching a lot of Asian films lately. Battle Royal is about a class full of 9th graders who are captured by the Japanese government, put on a deserted island and instructed to fight each other till the death. Only the last one standing will be set free. Maybe it's crass....but doesn't it make you wonder what the signature themes of the winner were? Or is just someone with my themes who would wonder?

As for the book, after you take the online test (45 minutes or so), it will spit out a pamphlet for you on the "care and handling" of someone with your themes. It's a useful tool for understanding each other better, both at work and at home. And on fight-till-the-death islands, technically.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Finding your strengths and then applying these strengths in every area of your life is critical as each of us strives to reach our full potential.

    David M. Taylor