What I Learned About Myself Through StrengthsFinder 2.0

A lot has been said about focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding this to be true.

Especially after I discovered my strengths from the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test.

What Is StrengthsFinder 2.0?

Put simply, StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a test that will help you uncover your strengths and talents. Through a series of questions you’ll be given the results of a 30+ minute test that will lay out the areas you most likely excel in.

Tom Rath originally worked with Dr. Donald Clifton to create the StrengthsFinder test. In 2007, Rath and the researchers at Gallop revised the test and created StrengthsFinders 2.0.

How StrengthsFinder 2.0 Helps You

Every leader knows they have strengths and weaknesses. But do they really know what those are? Or are they guessing and doing their best to work in their strengths area?

With StrengthsFinder 2.0, Rath and Gallop hope to bridge the gap between thinking you know and actually knowing.

After the test, you’re presented with the results and your strengths are laid out in front of you. Easy to see and easy to begin studying.

You also receive a breakdown of each strength and what that strength really means.

Sometimes you’ll be surprised with what you learn and other times you’ll nod your head saying “I knew this. I knew it all along.”

I think every one of us could use that reinforcement, especially during times of frustration. To have information in front of us that confirms what we already know.

After the test, you’ll receive:

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide

Strengths Insight Guide (Brief)

Action-Planning Guide

Certificate Creator

Once you discover your strengths, you’ll be able to form a plan on how to actively pursue areas that rely on your strengths. You’ll also see areas that you can delegate to those who are stronger than you in those areas.

What StrengthsFinders 2.0 Told Me About Myself

After I took the test, I realized Rath and his team had done an excellent job in assessing the strengths of those that are willing to take the test. Each strength had me nodding and saying “That’s me.”

So, what did StrengthsFinders 2.0 say about me? What are my strengths?

Here’s my results:

Includer – This means I tend to be inclusive of others, have an awareness of those who feel left out, and I try to include them. My thoughts is that this is a fairly accurate description of how I treat others. I tend to include everyone and make them feel welcome.

Adaptability – Adapters tend to go with the flow and are NOW people. We tend to take things one day at a time and are okay with that. (This helps me understand why I struggle with planning and setting goals. While I know those are important, I tend to go with the flow.)

Activator – Those with the Activator theme tend to be able to move their thoughts into actions, often are impatient. Honestly, I think this is my weakest area and the impatient part doesn’t fit well.

Ideation – People who fall into the Ideation label are fascinated by ideas and can see how ideas and actions fit together in the grand scheme of things. This theme fits well. I’m able to find connections with things many people are not able to. Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy but the idea of being an Ideation person makes sense.

Woo – Wooers find enjoyment in the challenge of meeting new people and forming new connections. They love to bring new people into their circles of influence. And I’ve got to say, this last one is especially true of me. I love to mingle and meet new people when I’m in large groups.

The StrengthsFinder 2.0 test confirmed quite a few themes I knew I had going for me. And it also challenged me with one I don’t think really fits me. Maybe, as I study myself more, I’ll discover the theme of Activator to be more true than I do at this time.

If you want to discover your strengths, check out StrengthsFinders 2.0. You can purchase a copy from Amazon by clicking HERE.

Question: Have you taken the StrengthsFinders 2.0 test? If so, what were your strengths? If not, how could discovering your strengths help you in your leadership? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Joe, I love the StrengthsFinder 2.0 – here are my top 5:
    COMMUNICATION – Find it easy to put thoughts into words – good conversationalist & presenter
    IDEATION – fascinated by ideas
    INTELLECTION – Introspective and appreciate intellectual discussion
    DEVELOPER – recognize and cultivate potential in others
    HARMONY – look for consensus, don’t enjoy conflict – seek areas of agreement

    • I can definitely see you being strong in communication Jon. From your comments and blog posts, you’re doing a great job!

  • We have been using StrengthFinder within our department for about five years now. All new hires complete the test and their strengths are recorded onto a spreadsheet that is then circulated amongst the group. For me, my top five are:


    • Awesome Bill. Have you seen StrengthsFinders creates a stronger team?

      • I see it a little more granular in the sense I’m ensuring the individuals on the team are using their strengths. For example, I transitioned someone a few years back from a lead position to a training position. She thrives in the new position and is much more engaged as a team member – (which of course makes the entire team stronger.)

  • Love that book. I hated one of my strengths at first until I started walking in it and that is significance. I didn’t like what it was saying about me:) well it’s true so what do you do…walk it out I guess:)

    • Zech, why didn’t you like Significance at first? Did you think it meant you were focused on being recognized as significant?

  • paulawhidden

    When I first took the test I felt frustrated with the results, but I stuck the list up on a board near my computer to look at each day. Over time I realized they were spot on. The next step involved deciding what I should do with that information.


    • Paula, I’ve heard others who were frustrated by the results at first too. It’s interesting how a test can make us realize what we truly do.

  • Tests offer a great opportunity for leaders to reconsider how we use our strengths. In my mind the important part of a test is neither the test itself nor the results but rather how we use the results. How we reflect upon our strengths as well as weaknesses from the test and how much we are able to put into practice afterwards.

    • Soren, you’ve hit on a great point. We can do every test under the sun but if we don’t utilize the results we’ve gained nothing.

      How do you begin to use the results from a test such as StrengthsFinders 2.0?

      • I have used my results working on developing leadership teams. I think diverse teams preform better. By comparing results we are able to identify our strengths, our weaknesses and maybe even sources of disagreement. If team members are too similar the tests might also give an idea about what to look for in a new candidate.

  • I hear so many good things that I’ll have to try it brother!

    • You’ve got to Kimanzi. While you’re rocking it out right now, StrengthsFinders 2.0 can help you lock down your strengths and help you narrow your focus even more!

  • My husband and I, along with our adult kids all did Strength Finders. It’s been an awesome tool for us as we decide who should be responsible for things (or not) and why some of us react or value certain actions/reactions.

    Our daughter and daughter-in-love and I all share empathy. Our son and my husband share futuristic. My husband and I share strategic and connectedness. It’s fascinating once you have a “picture” to see and words to share with each other…

    Mine are:


    ( the intellection was a big ah-hah for my family because it explained why I need to be alone so much. 😉

    • Thanks for sharing your strengths Lori. I’m glad you’ve been able to use the StrengthsFinders results to help you and your family. It’s a great tool for that as well.

      What’s one way you’ve used your top strengths in your life?

  • Hello Joe,

    My top strengths include: Maximizer, Learner, Individualization, Achiever, and Input. Here is a post I wrote a while ago explaining each of those areas http://danblackonleadership.info/archives/476?preview=true&preview_id=476&preview_nonce=eb4dc2a9b0

    A strengths test can allow anyone to find or clarify their personal strengths. I recommend this one to people all the time. Great thoughts!

    • I can see how you’d be a Maximizer and Learner Dan. You’re always trying to maximize the possibilities of others and always on a pathway of learning. Keep at it!

    • that is you to a “T”!

  • Brian Smith – Reformed Control

    I haven’t tried Strengths – but read the book. I use a DISC assessment tool in the majority of my workshops to help the participants understand their behavioral style. But more importantly it helps them understand the people they are working and interacting with. If you understand how someone likes to communicate, interact, likes to manage and likes to be managed – and you communicate and interact with them in a style that they like – chances are they will be more receptive. Thanks for sharing Joe.

    • Brian, I’ve heard great things about DISC as well. That’s one assessment I haven’t gotten around to taking. In the end, it’s not the test that matters it’s discovering how you’re wired and the best way to use it.

      If you do decide to try StrengthsFinders 2.0, come on back and share the results.

  • Jennifer Radke

    Joe, Great post. I have completed many assessments like this over the years and used a few for hiring or team building as well. For the most part, I love the awareness that they can bring to you about yourself and your team. They have helped me to communicate differently with individuals that have varying strengths. However, I am also think that some of these assessments look at who you are at the core, and don’t necessarily take into account how you process during different situations. Like Paula, I was a little frustrated with my list at first…but know that these are strengths I hold at my core. Some days I am just better at bringing other things to light.

    Mine are:
    and Command

  • I haven’t taken this test yet. I’ve taken a few other tests like MBIT and DISC which have been helpful in identifying my personality and leadership style. I can see how the StrengthFinders2.0 test could help to refine my leadership. I’ll have to check it out.

    • Jon, I think you’ll really like what you find out about yourself through StrengthsFinders 2.0.

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