StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a self-help book written by Tom Rath and published by Gallup, of polling fame. The book itself is short but, by buying the book, you are granted entrance into the StrengthsFinder website, whereupon you can take a self-assessment test. The assessment test is the real value of the book. The test asks you various questions. When you finish the test, based on your answers, the website immediately gives you its results, meaning it tells you what your greatest personal strengths are among 34 strength traits that the book delineates. The results are given in a very positive manner such that anyone who takes the test and gets the results will feel good about themselves no matter what the results of the test are.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 has been a publishing and sales phenomenon as about 20 million copies of the book have been sold cumulatively since its initial publication in 2007, according to the Gallup website. I think this has to do with the desire of people to know more about themselves (as also shown in the rise in popularity of genetic testing through 23andme.com and the like) and with the positive way Gallup handles this assessment test. Brevity also helps. There have been oodles of self-help books published over the years, going back to How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie or even going back to The Bible. StrengthsFinder 2.0 has been out there and relevant longer than most.
The assessment test spits out your 5 greatest strengths out of 34. My 5 greatest strengths are:
- Ideation (coming up with ideas and presenting them)
- Relating to others
- Arranging or ordering things
I feel like, for me, the assessment test provided an accurate account of my strongest abilities. As you can see, they are general abilities and not specific to any field or discipline. You can take it the next step and think about what type of work you should get into given the strengths you have. However, for me it is useful to know that this self-assessment confirmed what I am good at.
If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend buying StrengthsFinder 2.0 and reading it and taking the test. The first step of financial planning is taking an assessment where you are financially with your life, and part of that is to understand yourself better. Your skills and personality can change over time (that’s why we go to College and work!) and so you should know where you’re at before you can know where you’re going. Sounds like a Bob Dylan lyric, but it is true. If you are thinking of jumping on the 23andme.com bandwagon and spitting into a cup and mailing it in, then you should also buy StrengthsFinder 2.0 and take the self-assessment test. It will help you make a financial plan that works for you.