One of the best treatises on working from your strengths is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. Their simple but powerful thesis is: the best way to break the barriers in your career and be satisfied in your job is to work from your strengths.

In your performance review, when your manager tells you to work on your weaknesses–perhaps you don’t show enough empathy–that manager is distracting you and adding to your potential failure.

Buckingham and Clifton make the point that your time is much better spent improving your strengths.

Buckingham and Clifton identified 34 different strength themes. Once you take the assessment and have your strengths identified, you begin to understand your behaviors that people observe about you that may be hidden from your own eyes.

My strengths are:

#1 Focus – This trait makes it imperative for me to have a clear focus every day. I need to know where I am going and what I am going to accomplish. At the end of the day, I need to be able to check several things off the list.

#2 Achiever – This trait gives me unending drive and energy. Fortunately or unfortunately, it permits me to work long hours without burning out.

#3 Significance – This trait is a little unsettling to me. Significance means I need be significant in the eyes of other people. I need to be recognized and heard. The unsettling part is the need to be validated by others.

#4 Responsibility – Every world of the Strengths description fit me. This trait forces me to take psychological ownership for anything I commit to and whether large or small, I feel emotionally bound to follow through to completion. My good name depends on it.

#5 Learner – This one surprised me but as I looked at my career and the satisfaction I get from researching, I understood myself better.

I teach a program that combines 4-quadrant personalities with the Strengths Finder themes. The program gives you deep insight into your behaviors and the behaviors of those you work with.

View the Depuzzler and Strengths Finder Program on Karla’s Web site.

Have you taken the Strengths Finder? If so, what is your experience with it. Leave your comments below.

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