Innovation as a Strength

I recently joined a committee where the leader asked every member to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment by Gallup. The assessment measures you across 34 themes to help identify your top 5 strengths or talents. The main benefit of this, as they describe it on their website: “Gallup research proves that people succeed when they focus on what they do best. When they identify their talents and develop them into strengths, people are more productive, perform better, and are more engaged.” It sounds simple enough: recognize what you are best at, work on tasks ideal for that skill, and maximize productivity and success.

The questions were all on a scale metric that asks you to rank where you see yourself between two statements. For example, choosing which you are more closely aligned with when presented sentences like “I want to be Famous” and “I want to be Rich” (*not an actual question from the assessment). Some are more straightforward than others, and on a few, neither answer felt right. I suppose those are the ones which are a little more insightful as to your true skill.

When all was said and done, Strategic landed at the top of my strengths list. The description of this trait (emphasis added):

By nature, you customarily pinpoint the core problems and identify the best solutions. You artfully and skillfully eliminate distractions. This helps people gain a clear understanding of what is happening and why it is happening. You frequently identify ways to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. Because of your strengths, you invent original ideas of your own. Your imagination is typically stimulated when you collaborate — that is, team up — with future-oriented thinkers. Chances are good that you automatically generate numerous ways to enhance, upgrade, revise, correct, or revamp a process, action plan, or itinerary. Your suggestions often influence how a project will unfold in the coming months, years, or decades. You tend to find fault with your own and even other people’s talents, skills, and/or knowledge. Fixing people or things ranks high on your favorite activities. Driven by your talents, you work diligently to invent alternative courses of action. You notice new as well as unusual configurations in facts, evidence, or data. Others, however, can see only separate, unrelated bits of information. You are fascinated by problems that puzzle, confound, or frustrate most people. It’s very likely that you are innovative, inventive, original, and resourceful. Your mind allows you to venture beyond the commonplace, the familiar, or the obvious. You entertain ideas about the best ways to reach a goal, increase productivity, or solve a problem. First, you think of alternatives. Then you choose the best option.

Couldn’t have said it better myself! After all, playing to that strength is almost exactly why I started a site about innovation and improving processes.

Interested in the StrengthsFinder? Just $10 to find out your top five.