Uncover Your Talents with StrengthsFinder 2.0

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

Chances are, you don't. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in 2001 which ignited a global conversation and helped millions to discover their top five talents.

In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you'll use it as a reference for decades.

Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself--and the world around you--forever.

Available exclusively in StrengthsFinder 2.0:
(using the unique access code included with each book)

* A new and upgraded edition of the StrengthsFinder assessment
* A personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide for applying your strengths in the next week, month, and year
* A more customized version of your top five theme report
* 50 Ideas for Action (10 strategies for building on each of your top five themes.

Are you on the right track? Do you wonder about why you love doing certain things and dislike others? Do you wonder why you react in certain ways? Are you looking for a better way to make right decisions, enjoy peace of mind, and live in harmony with others. This may be the book for you.

You will probably find no head-snapping revelations in this book if you have already read Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman's First, Break All the Rules and/or Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton's Now, Discover Your Strengths (especially the latter). Nor does Tom Rath claim to offer any. Rather, this is a new and upgraded edition of the Gallup organization's previous online test (StrengthsFinder 1.0) that enables those who take it to identify and measure their talents relative to "more than 5,000 new personalized Strengths Insights that we have discovered in recent years."

In Rath's two previously published books, How Full Is Your Bucket? co-authored with Donald O. Clifton and Vital Friends, he shares his own reactions to an abundance of research data which reveals the importance of two separate but related forces which have profound impact on the workplace: getting strengths in alignment with work to be done and then developing them even more with strategic delegation and close supervision.

This book/body of knowledge/tool does 2 things extremely well. First, for an investment of maybe an hour at minimum, and an additional few hours to explore the guidance and begin to consider the implications and choose new behaviors, etc. you get, in my opinion, the best single, and correct perspective about yourself than any combination of the other methods mentioned above, period. It is not just directionally correct, like a horoscope type paragraph that would be true for anyone who read it, but rather a set of desciptions of your strengths that just "nail it" and descibe you as you know yourself. It tells you about yourself in a way that you can understand, regardless of whether you or anyone who is around you has ever articulated it.

The stated goal is to help people do more of what they do well. The author's methods are designed to uncover our key talents via thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. The patterns are then categorized into 34 broad themes such as Achiever, Relator, and Ideation. The broad themes point to a person's natural talents, which can be further developed. One interesting aspect of the book is that it points out that no amount of training will help a person excel in an area of natural weakness. In fact, it stresses that we cannot do or be anything we choose since we are not good at everything. But if we figure out what our natural talents include and develop those, we can be extraordinary in those areas. The book emphasizes that in business, people enjoy their work and accomplish a lot more if they are doing something for which they have some natural talent.

"Strengths Finder 2.0" is an extension of "strengths" research begun more than forty years ago by the late `Father of Strengths Psychology," Dr. Donald Clifton of the Gallup Organization. For over 40 years, Clifton researched the natural patterns of thought, feeling, and action of two million people in more than 25 countries. The goal was to begin a conversation about what's right with people. The result is the Clifton "StrengthsFinder," a tool that reveals a person's top five themes of talent - one's "Signature Themes."

A "Strength" is the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a given activity. This ability is a powerful, productive combination of talent, skill, and knowledge. Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Unlike skills and knowledge, talents exist within you and cannot be acquired. We must first need to identify, affirm, and apply our unique mix of talents then apply them.

Clifton's research highlights folly of the widely used "weakness prevention" model - to be successful, we must "fix" our weaknesses. This thinking is wrong. Building a life around one's greatest natural abilities rather than trying to repair weaknesses is the path to success.