Why Strengths Are More Important Than Weaknesses


My results from the Strengths Finder 2.0 test and why it matters.


Last week, I took the Strength Finder 2.0 test to discover my top 5 talents and how I could use them to improve my personal and career development.  


These were my results


1) Individualization - Intrigued with the unique qualities of each person.  They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. 

2) Empathy - Can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situations.

3) Relator - Enjoys close relationships with others.  They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

4) Restorative - Is adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. 

5) Arranger - Can organize, but also have a flexibility that complements this ability.  They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity. 


Why it matters


I recently joined Tradecraft, a 12-week personal accelerator program designed to train people to succeed in traction roles at high-growth startups. Before my first day of curriculum, I was encouraged to read the book Strength Finders 2.0 and take their test. From the reading, I learned that "people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies." It may seem obvious that our potential lies more in our strengths than our weaknesses yet, in practice, we seem not to take advantage of this fact. 

The reality is that we often tend to focus more on improving our weaknesses.  

Actually, this should come as no surprise. Overcoming deficits is part of our cultural narrative. We celebrate stories of the underdog, who triumph by conquering their weaknesses and beat the odds and often overlook stories of those who succeed by capitalizing on their innate talents.  

Although the former story may be more compelling, focusing on improving weaknesses can only benefit one so much.  

In my own life, I can think of instances in which I spent time focusing trying to overcome weaknesses and garnered little benefit. Trying to become a "coder" is one example. Entering the techworld, I had ambitions of becoming a junior developer. Although programming was never one of my strong suits, I wanted to learn to program and devoted all my free time over the course of eight months to realizing that goal.  I completed online tutorials, attended hackathons, and took an in-person course and by the end of it, I had learned some HTML, CSS, and Javascript, but later realized no matter how hard I tried to force it, being a full-time developer wasn't for me.  I wasn't playing to my strengths.  

Beginning at Tradecraft, it will be as crucial as ever to use my time wisely and compliment my innate potential. I'm interested to see how my talents in the themes of individualization, empathy, relator, restorative, and arranger will propel me during this journey.

I'm excited to further develop not who I want to be, but instead, who I already am. 

Take the test for yourself and find out what your top 5 strengths are here