Strengths & Strategy Video 4: StrengthsFinder, part 2 – An Analytical Approach to Finding Your Strengths (Strength & Strategy Series)

In Business and Entrepreneurship, Featured by Cynthia Lou2 Comments

Are you starting to get clear on your talents and strengths?
Didja find some pesky, fruitless obsessions aka weaknesses?

As you know, I’m all about the positive use of the power of obsession – obsessing WITH my strengths is the fastest and most enjoyable way to grow and create. On the other hand, obsession over a weakness is self-esteem destroying and will send you crying in secret faster than you can say “bike race”. Not that I would know, ahem…

In the last video, we went on a journey of discovering our strengths, contemplating past experiences and looking for patterns of both joy (in our strengths) and frustration (in our weaknesses).

In this video, I talk about the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The book includes a code that allows you to take an online quiz that spits back your top 5 strengths out of 34 possible.

Before we dive straight into the details of this video and this book, here’s a bit of history on StrengthsFinder, and Soar with Your Strengths by Donald Clifton (the book I referenced for videos 3 and 5).

Donald Clifton is hailed as the “Father of Strengths Psychology and the Grandfather of Positive Psychology”. He saw that most of our conversation and attitude was geared towards fixing the negative, and so set out to start celebrating the good qualities in people, our strengths. He realized that once a strength was identified, it was then typically ignored as our resources shifted to fixing weaknesses.

Clifton’s “Soar With Your Strengths” was published in 1995, a few years into his multi-decade partnership with the Gallup Organization, a research and analysis company. “Soar With Your Strengths” is the wild west, hands-on, how-to, self-study version of strengths finding that allows for a level of individualized nuance that 34 rigid categories of preset strengths can overlook.

Clifton partnered with Rath in 2000, and developed the original StrengthFinder test, which became StrengthsFinder 2.0.

The one-two punch of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Soar with Your Strengths allows you to delve more deeply into the discovering of your strengths with a two-pronged, multi-faceted approach – through free-form exercises, then through statistical analysis, dipping back and forth between the two, a right-brained/left-brained approach.

First, we explore.
Next, we look at some pre-set categories.
Then, we go back and plug in our analytical results into the exploration for an even deeper look into our strengths.

I believe it is important to have an understanding of how to find our own strengths, as we covered in video 3.

And I also understand that, while we are learning to fish, it’s nice to be given a few fishes to eat until we are masterful enough to catch all the fish our appetites desire, which is where StrengthsFinder comes in.

Just like astrology is something of a blanket analysis and generalization, StrengthsFinder will give you 5 categories to begin exploring and expanding on strengths. I believe your most powerful exploration and application of StrengthsFinder results is one that is absolutely custom to YOU.

If you decide to purchase the StrengthsFinder book and take the quiz, integrate your results with the explorations worksheet from Video 3.

Then, we’ll take our strengths discovery results into the last video and craft your unique strategy for using your strengths.

– Cynthia


  1. Yu-kai Chou

    Love your post. I got strengthfinder after a variety of my friends constantly raved about it….


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