In StandOut 2.0: assess your strengths, find your edge, win at work, Marcus Buckingham stresses the fact that everybody has a “genius” — a particular combination of strengths — that is innate but that is difficult to find out, to control and to employ. Our genius comes so naturally to us that it becomes the norm, the standard of behavior for everyone.
Furthermore, it is difficult to acknowledge our abilities and how unique we are. Society will not tell you your strengths but will deter you from being confident or different and will encourage you to fit the mould.
In that event, Gallup Inc’s StrengthsFinder has defined 34 “themes of talents” to help an individual evaluate their strengths and styles. Though there is an infinite amount of strengths and personality traits, Marcus Buckingham noticed recurring patterns within Gallup Inc’s 34 themes of talents. He then combined those 34 themes of talents and hundreds of other measurable themes into 9 powerful “Strength Roles” that will help you distinguish your strengths and take advantage of your edge. Each Strength Role can be assimilated to a “certain “personality,” a way of engaging with the world.”.
Below, are the 9 StandOut Strength Roles identified by Marcus Buckingham:
Advisor. You are a practical, concrete thinker who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems.
Connector. You are a catalyst. Your power lies in your craving to bring two people together to make something bigger and better than it is now.
Creator. You make sense of the world, pulling it apart, seeing a better configuration, and creating it.
Equalizer. You are a level-headed person whose power comes from keeping the world in balance, ethically and practically.
Influencer. You engage people directly and convince them to act. Your power is your persuasion.
Pioneer. You see the world as a friendly place where, around every corner, good things will happen. Your power comes from your optimism in the face of uncertainty.
Provider. You sense other people’s feelings, and you feel compelled to recognize these feelings, give them a voice, and act on them.
Stimulator. You are the host of other people’s emotions. You feel responsible for them, for turning them around, for elevating them.
Teacher. You are thrilled by the potential you see in each person. Your power comes from learning how to unleash it.
The StandOut assessment test, taken online and associated to this book, is designed to measure your propensity to a Strength Role, by posing a series of questions and analyzing your impulsive or instinctive responses. The test poses thirty-four questions that are mostly built around hypothetical stressful situations in the workplace, that are clocked and that require top of the mind responses among a set of possible good and defendable responses. Additionally, the questions are embedded with trigger words that will unknowingly stimulate you, captivate you and incite you towards a specific answer.
The analysis of your responses, ranking your 9 strengths roles in order of importance, is delivered in a report. Through the StandOut assessment test, you can discover and study which two top Strength Roles that you are naturally leaning towards.
Knowing your strengths, how to use them, where to use them, how to describe yourself, the impacts of your strengths on your career, your team and your leadership styles, how to look out for your pitfalls, will definitely give you an edge over everyone else in the workplace.
After identifying and understanding your strengths, it is necessary to improve them, to best translate them in order to properly employ them. It is necessary to build them. Marcus Buckingham lays down three lessons to do so:
- “Your genius is precise”. Stay in your strength zone and take advantage of it.
- “Remember who you are”. Remember your Strength Roles, apply them daily and hold on tight to them when people tell you otherwise or things don’t go your way.
- “Always sharpen your edge”. Better yourself within your strength zone.
StandOut 2.0: assess your strengths, find your edge, win at work is a very instructive book. I vehemently suggest it to people who are looking to identify or fortify their strengths, to people who feel like they have taken the wrong career path and to people who are not yet blossoming in the career path they appreciate.
While reading StandOut 2.0, on account of me possessing a career advice blog, I believed that I related the most to the Strength Roles of Advisor and Creator. However, according to the Standout assessment test, I fit the two top Strength Roles of Pioneer and Equalizer. In disbelief, I committed myself to read the entire report, including the piece about the ideal career advice that I should follow.
Below are my strengths roles by order of importance:
It turns out that:
- the StandOut assessment test is surprisingly accurate. The test report perfectly described my major personality traits. Throughout my education, training and career, I’ve been the one to jump on novelty and innovative projects.
- the StandOut assessment test has provided me with a positive twist on what I thought where personality flaws.
- the StandOut assessment test suggested career paths that I have already taken and am currently positioned at. It has equally confirmed to me that I am in the right career path but I stayed in the wrong workplace for the longest, which I figured out a few months before taking this test.
In conclusion, the StandOut assessment test will surprise you not only by challenging the ideas you have of your strengths but also by the accuracy of the results.
the StandOut assessment calculates your two leading strength roles, pinpoints what you can do to channel them, and describes your particular power when these top-two roles combine.
We each have specific areas where we consistently stand out, where we can do things, see things, understand things, and learn things better and faster than ten thousand other people can. When we find ourselves in these areas—our strengths “zone,” if you will—we are magnificent. Self-assured and flushed with success, we imagine we can do just about anything that we turn our minds to.
When you take a job that you never should have taken, when your boss doesn’t understand you, when your company downsizes you, or when you start to question whether you have anything of value to offer, the memory of your strengths will hold you in place, reorient you, and show you the way forward.