“StrengthsFinder 2.0” by Tom Rath

A top seller in Amazon’s Psychology and Counseling category is Tom Rath‘s 2007 StrengthsFinder 2.0 from the Gallup organization. Among its readers have been many employees, in particular, who’ve either been encouraged to use this or have found it on their own.

How does this book, now 10 years old, keep going so strong? For one, it helps that its first incarnation (Now, Discover Your Strengths) with its Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment tool, was also a success.

For two, it makes big promises that many readers believe have been fulfilled. From the publisher: “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.”

The assessment is updated in the newer StrengthsFinder edition and when you get your results, says Rath, “instead of general descriptions of your top five talent themes, in 2.0, you get a talent profile so unique that you’re unlikely to share even a sentence with someone else.”

Some quotes from StrengthsFinder 2.0:

When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the “You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.

If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.

From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths.

The most successful people start with dominant talent—and then add skills, knowledge, and practice to the mix. When they do this, the raw talent actually serves as a multiplier.

Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving) × Investment (time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base) = Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance).

In addition to employment, education, and “life in general,” many individuals who’ve appreciated StrengthsFinder comment that it can help regarding relationship issues.

The StrengthsFinder approach does have its detractors, though, and one important criticism is that it hasn’t been peer-reviewed, meaning those outside the scope of Gallup have not been able to study or challenge it scientifically.

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