The creepy ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath

What I love most about my new workplace: lunch! Everyday, at around 11:00 AM, someone from the carinderia in front of our “building” will go upstairs and pass around a sheet of paper with the day’s menu written on it. At first, I did not know that payment can be done at the end of the week as I reached out for my wallet last Monday. It turned out that we can opt to pay at the end of the week or even at the end of the month. When I was given my receipt today, I was so surprised to see that the total was just Php 285! That was almost the price of our dinner for two days in Makati.

My lunch bill for the whole week

Anyway, during our team meeting last Tuesday with our executive director, he mentioned about a book written by Tom Rath and how creepily accurate and helpful it was in determining people’s strengths. I immediately wrote the title on my notebook and made a mental note to look and download it online once in front of my PC. However, as the book has a unique code that can be used to access an online test to assess a person’s strength, there was no use downloading one.

Coming in the office this morning, I have noticed that my colleagues were already reading their copies of the book and they were already done with the online test. These copies were delivered in our headquarters yesterday by somebody from National Bookstore (the books cost Php 899 each), and I only began reading the first two pages, then jumped immediately to the page with the access code.

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

After scratching the protective foil, it revealed a 10-digit alphanumeric code, which I immediately used to log-in on the assessment page. It gave the familiar instructions I usually see on self-tests like this available online, but it also gave a caveat of the approximate time needed to answer all 130 or 135 questions (i.e. 35 minutes). The questions were familiar as well, and honestly, I already had an inkling of what to choose because it was more or less second nature for me. But at times, there were really boggling questions, in which both things in the item describe me well, or neither of them do. Anyway, the instructions were clear: one should choose instinctively to avoid excessive introspection and the item will skip to the next if there was no answer within 20 seconds.

Strengths Finder's unique access codeAfter what seemed to be forever (just kidding), the page refreshed and revealed the following:

1) Ideation
2) Command
3) Activator
4) Maximizer
5) Futuristic
I then consulted the book because it has a description of all the indicators. The test also generates two reports, a brief and a full one, containing descriptions as well as an overall assessment. Here are snippets in the brief report:
IDEATION – People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
COMMAND – People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
ACTIVATOR – People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
MAXIMIZER –  People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
FUTURISTIC – People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Creepy, indeed. I have a rough estimate of how stubborn I am, but this book has actually given a more optimistic view of that particular trait. LOL We were asked to share the results to the rest of the team, but I was actually not looking forward to do it. Reading each and every detailed description in the book made me feel inwardly embarrassed because I definitely come off as slightly domineering. But since the whole point of buying each a copy was to look at each others’ strengths, I had no choice but to comply.
My first week was not that eventful, with lots of reading activities and orientation. But I suspect that things will be different next week, as I see the last two people who started a week or two before me, were really busy with their respective tasks. I’m not the type who will shy away from these responsibilities, though. I definitely love the challenges of the new role and I’m really thankful that I get to be in a position where I am expected to give a significant input. =)



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