StrengthsFinder Online: An Overview

Too often we waste our time trying to fix our weaknesses. Instead, we should maximize our strengths!

In a study of effective CEOs, Gallup discovered that the most effective leaders didn’t have the same strengths, but they all effectively used the strengths they had.

Strength=consistent near perfect performance in an activity and is made up of a combo between talent, knowledge, and skills.  The assessment shows talents (we have naturally occurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior), but we still need to add knowledge and skills.

To excel=maximizing strengths not fixing weaknesses.

Two right assumptions:

  1. Each person’s talents are enduring and unique.
  2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of greatest strength.

There are 33 million possible combinations of  the top 5 Strengths.

In retaking the assessment, there is a correlation of .89 (perfect would be 1.0)

Reasons for Doubting Your Results:

  1. May have been told this particular strength was a weakness.
  2. The strength may be so natural you don’t notice.
  3. Some are not used to talking about strengths.
  4. May not be used to the terminology.

In Strengths-Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, Tom Rath and Barry Conchie break down the 34 strengths in the following categories:

Executing Themes (also known as striving or motivating themes, “working harder”):

  • Achiever: self-starter; competes with self
  • Arranger: able to juggle many variables at once
  • Belief: unchangeable core values which guide
  • Consistency (Fairness): clear rules; consistent treatment of others
  • Deliberative (Cautiousness): serious care in making decisions
  • Discipline: creates structure, order, routine; breaks long term goals into small do-able goals
  • Focus: able to block out anything not connected to their goal
  • Responsibility: dependable, sense of duty, “yes” means “yes”
  • Restorative: likes to fix relationships and situations, comes up with solutions to problems

Influencing Themes (impacting people):

  • Activator: gets ideas done; bias for action in face of ambiguity
  • Command: challenge and confront, persuasion and presence
  • Communication: effective at putting thoughts into words
  • Competition: driven to win; measures progress by others’ performance
  • Maximizer (Varsity): capitalize on strengths & see how things should be orchestrated
  • Self-Assurance (Self-Efficacy): confidence in abilities and judgments, bounce back
  • Significance (Desire): seeks recognition, “I’ve got to make a difference”
  • Woo: love challenge of “winning others over” and networking

Relationship Building (assisting people):

  • Adaptability (Flow): spontaneous; flexible; focused on the present
  • Connectedness (Spirituality): sees a reason and link between everything
  • Developer: multiplier of human potential, sees even little progress
  • Empathy: able to “get inside someone’s skin” and feel their emotion or pain
  • Harmony (Agreeableness):  seeks common ground and consensus and work to resolve conflict
  • Includer (Inclusiveness):  awareness of those on the outside and brings them in
  • Individualization (Individualized Perception):  see people as individuals rather than stereotypes
  • Positivity (Stimulator):  spots lowly and encourages; contagious enthusiasm
  • Relator: gets to know people at a deeper level

Strategic Thinking Themes (“working smarter”):

  • Analytical: able to see problems, delay action to gather more facts
  • Context (Past): passion for understanding history and how to learn from the past
  • Futuristic: passion for creating the future
  • Ideation: brainstormers, able to come up with lots of ideas
  • Input: collectors of ideas and information
  • Intellection: processors and thinkers
  • Learner: continuous improvement desired through new information
  • Strategic: creates a step-by-step process from A to Z

Above, I have included some of the original names for the strengths in parentheses plus a short description I’ve used in my introductions with teams in business, non-profit organizations, and in schools.

To take the assessment, you can purchase StrengthsFinder 2.0 or go to

This link has more explanation for helping people determine a direction for their education plus access to the original assessment for $10:

What are your strengths? How can you maximize your strengths and the strengths of others?

Showing 2 comments
  • John Williford

    Hey guys! Here’s what I got on my most recent StrengthsFinder:

    Communication, Positivity, Empathy, and Adaptability are usually up there at the top, as I’m extremely extraverted and love to hang out with a group of people. This time Input showed up at the top, which makes sense as I’m usually reading random books about history or interested in something obscure like the Pinochet Regime and how it effected Chile (maybe so I can find some kind of universal truth in there that I could use to teach or spark interest in others?).

    I find that maximizing strengths are an effective way to navigate whatever it is we’re doing. I had the lucky opportunity to test this out last week, as my church decided to start Men’s groups each morning in the coffee shop. They asked if I could find leaders who could lead these groups, and I was able to establish men could lead through the week in a few days. I didn’t find it that hard, but I realized that it was probably my strengths showing through. As a side note, I also began to think about the possibility that I’m a Catalyst (as opposed to a Pastor) in terms of the 3 ministry roles we talked about in class. This shines even more true as I’m not concerned in micromanaging the groups I started, I’m just excited that they’re starting!

    – John

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