The Strengths Revolution made famous by Don Clifton, Marcus Buckingham, and the Gallup Organization has taken aim at redefining the original “StrengthsFinder Assessment Tool“. Led by Tom Rath of the Gallup Organization, the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 was recently released. As I left on my business trip, I grabbed this small book out of my bookshelf, threw it in my briefcase, and vowed to read it on the plane. I began it at the airport and I could not put it down. I have taken the “StrengthFinder 1.0 assessment tool” and loved it. I have recommended it to several people encouraging them to take the journey to understand who they are better.
I had forgotten the startling statistics that only 1% of managers manage their personnel in the employees strength zone. In addition, 40% of managers completely ignore their employees and don't provide any form of coaching. These startling statistics explain why people who are not working within their strengths zone are 6x more likely to be disengaged in their current job.
This begs the question, how do we as employees and managers help each other grow and develop in our strengths zones? I don't know the answer. My first guess or observation would be to assess everyone in your department in order to help them work in their areas of interests. For me, personal development has always been a foundation of who I am – I am a life-long learner (both formally and informally). My personal development is centered in the following three areas:
- Strengths, Spiritual Gifts, Discipleship, Mentorship, Coaching
- Business and Workplace Development
My bookshelf reflects these core areas as well as general people development and biographies. In addition to reading, I have employed a Life Coach and Assessment Tools such as StrengthsFinder and Myers-Briggs. These tools are in my toolbox and everyday I spend some time browsing through blogs or reading up on one of the above topics.
Finding the passion of each employee and helping them discover if they are in the right job is important for any manager, because if a person's talents and gifts are being misguided then they are not living up to their true potential. There is probably no doubt that they are excelling in their current position, but it might be more the result of hard work then a combination of natural talent and hard work which is something that Rath points out in the book.
I encourage you to explore the following resources for more information on the strengths movement or for personal development:
- Now, Discover Your Strengths – Don Clifton, Marcus Buckingham
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Tom Rath
- Go Put Your Strengths to Work – Marcus Buckingham
- Vital Friends – Tom Rath
- How Full Is Your Bucket – Don Clifton, Tom Rath
- Talent Is Never Enough – John C. Maxwell
- The 360 Degree Leader – John C. Maxwell
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