Developing Self-Awareness: Strengthsfinder 2.0

Yesterday I announced the start of a new mini-series here on the blog. For the rest of the week, I’ll be taking different personality tests that I believe are great for building better self-awareness. At the end of the week, I’ll put together a final wrap-up post talking about how to apply your own results to your entrepreneurial career. To start us off, let’s look at one of the most widely acclaimed personality tests: Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Gallup.

What is it?

Strengthsfinder is somewhat unique among the other tests I’ve selected. This test is less about your personality and more about understanding your proficiency in specific soft skills. It’s a great way to understand what you do best, and what kind of role would be best suited to you within an organization. It’s also extremely useful when it comes time to choosing a partner or co-founder. By understanding what your good at — and awful at — you can find a business partner who complements your abilities.

Why did I choose it?

From an accuracy standpoint, this test has some great data backing it up. The test bases its conclusions on over 10 million data points. What’s more, when you take the test you only have 20 seconds to answer the questions, meaning you answer from your gut— no time to second guess yourself.

The test is frequently recommended by entrepreneurs and used by many business leaders— including myself. Truth be told, this isn’t the first time I’ve taken the test. Near the beginning of my career, I used it to get an idea of my strengths, as well as where the team at MaxCDN are especially skilled. We actually require that anyone filling a key role here, take the test as part of their onboarding process. As a business owner it’s hugely important to have a big picture view of your team’s strengths and this test is a great way to do that.

Finally, I chose this test because I think the practicality of it is very powerful. Other tests that give you a “feel” for your personality are great, but with Strengthsfinder the results are very straightforward and can be applied quite practically. Taking it, you can quickly take action and reorganize your efforts around what you’re best at it.

What did I get?

The test results are returned as your top five “strengths”. These are the five areas of your personality where you really shine. The idea, is to use these strengths to inform your decisions about work, life, and relationships. Here are my top five:

  1. Activator
  2. Harmony
  3. Includer
  4. Positivity
  5. Connectedness

(Click the links to watch videos that explain each strength.)

We’ll delve deeper into what these mean next week when we have all our data points. I’ll explain a little about how these results have guided me, and where your own results might influence you.

What did you get?

You can take the Strengthsfinder test over on Gallup’s website. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the test. Send me an email, or write a comment below. How do you feel about the results?

I’m a serial entrepreneur and I write about things I have learned along the way. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and executives to find success and harmony in business and in life.

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