Now, Discover Your Strengths (2001)

Three Revolutionary Tools

  1. Understanding how to distinguish your natural talents from your strengths (strengths = talents + knowledge + skills)
  2. A system to identify dominant talents
  3. A common language to decide your talents


Knowledge Types

  1. Factual
  2. Experimental


Transformation is actually acceptance of things that can never be transformed – talents.  We don’t change; we simply refocus our talents and refocus our lives around them.  We become more self-aware.


Talent is any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.


Skills determine if you can do something, whereas talents reveal how well and often you do it.


Talent clues – yearnings, rapid learning, eurekas, satisfactions (positive activities that bring you strength and satisfaction)


34 Themes

Achiever – constant need for achievement

Analytical – prove it

Arranger – the conductor

Belief – core values are enduring

Command – taking charge

Communication – explain, describe, host, speak, write

Competition – rooted in comparison

Connectedness – we are related and part of something larger

Context – looking back to understand the present

Deliberative – life is a minefield

Developer – everyone is a work in progress

Discipline – the world needs to be predictable

Empathy – understanding the emotions of others

Fairness – rules are clear with equality

Focus – constantly recalibrating

Ideation – intrigued by ideas

Inclusiveness – stretch the circle wider

Intellection – the passion to think

Learner – the process of learning

Maximizer – focus on excellence

Positivity – always on the lookout for the positive

Relator – comfortable with intimacy

Responsibility – psychological commitment to being dependable

Restorative – solving problems

Self – Assurance – self- confident

Significance – desire to be recognized

Strategic – what if, select, strike

WOO – winning others over


Obstacles to Building Strengths

  • Fear of weakness (Jung – criticism can help only when there is something to be built)
  • Fear of failure (building on your strengths is about responsibility, not ego)
  • Fear of one’s true self (when will I be found out?)


Are you really living your life?


Weakness = anything that gets in the way of excellent performance.  Is the weakness a skills weakness, a knowledge weakness, or a talent weakness?


Managing talents weakness strategies:

  1. Get a little better at it
  2. Design a support system
  3. Use your strongest themes to overwhelm your weakness
  4. Find a partner
  5. Just stop doing it


Themes don’t dictate field or role.


Managing strengths (pp. 177 – 210)


Building a strengths-based organization – talents are enduring and unique and the greatest room for growth is in the area of the greatest strength.

  • Spend time and money to get the right people in the first place
  • Focus on performance outcomes rather than style
  • Focus training on strengths
  • Help people develop their career with out necessarily going up the ladder


Strengths-based selection system

  1. Build around an instrument that measures talent
  2. Calibrate instrument and best performers
  3. Teach everyone the language
  4. Build a theme profile for the company
  5. Study the links between talent and subsequent performance


Strengths-based management system

  1. The person’s data-based input on the business
  2. The person’s impact on internal/external customers
  3. The person’s impact on fellow employees (top 12 p. 232)


Strengths-based career development

  1. Build more ladders
  2. Give people the incentive to climb the ladders

Comments are closed.