Strengths Finder 2.0 – This was such an interesting book!

Strengths Finder 2.0

My GM recently asked the Marketing Team to read the book Strengths Finder 2.0, after reading the book and doing the online exercise I found the results to be truly remarkable and very accurate! Below is the summary of the results:

My Top 5 Strengths

1 Futuristic
2 Achiever
3 Learner
4 Self-Assurance
5 Ideation
These 5 “Themes” are what the book and exercise identified as my core strengths. I have to say they are very accurate and each one is clearly visible in my life and career. Below is a more detailed description of each Theme.
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.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
By nature, you are typically enthused about what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Your ability to think about the future naturally feeds your desire to be the very best. Instinctively, you are energized by your plans for the coming months, years, or decades. Bringing your ideas to life is an exciting proposition for you. You sense you have the power to transform whatever you think is possible into tangible outcomes. Because of your strengths, you treasure the one-on-one conversations you have with visionary thinkers. Their ideas can force you to expand on your plans for the future. Chances are good that you frequently share your vision about the coming years or decades with other forward-looking thinkers. You cannot refrain from talking about all the things human beings can create or accomplish in the future. Driven by your talents, you are a visionary thinker. Your vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades often impel you to move into action.
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you probably work diligently, persevering to the very end. You are gratified when people tell others you are a competent, trustworthy, and accomplished individual. Instinctively, you probably expend a lot of energy to hold back your tears. You worry that individuals will think poorly of you when they see you cry. It’s very likely that you place a premium on acquiring various kinds of knowledge and skills. You see definite links between your hard work and your accelerated growth as a person or as a professional. Chances are good that you probably have a reputation for working hours and hours when the assignment adds special meaning to your work, studies, or life in general. Driven by your talents, you might want to be the very best in certain fields or activities. Maybe you realize that excellence is the result of not only hard work, but also of top quality materials and people. This partially explains why you devote yourself to some activities but not to others.
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you might place a high value on seeking and gathering specific kinds of information. Perhaps your need to be informed motivates you to acquire knowledge so you are as smart as you want to be about certain subjects. Chances are good that you may appreciate opportunities to acquire knowledge, gain skills, or experience new things. Perhaps you refuse to let your mind grow dull by being complacent — that is, smug or self-satisfied. By nature, you probably register for the most difficult rather than the easiest classes. You likely take courses from teachers who have a reputation for being tough and demanding. You ordinarily have great faith in your ability to earn the top grade in these instructional situations. It’s very likely that you may thirst for new ideas and knowledge. Sometimes you dive into your reading with abandon. Other times you lose yourself in a book. Maybe you pore over the thoughts contained in its pages for long stretches of time. Why? You might want to absorb as much information as you can. Driven by your talents, you have little difficulty giving intense effort to projects, problems, or opportunities that capture and keep your attention.
People who are especially talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
Because of your strengths, you are likely to be a team member in some cases and the team leader in other instances. The role you play probably reflect the demands of the current situation. Instinctively, you seem willing to take chances. You frequently venture into unknown territory when that can make the difference between capturing first place and finishing in second or third place. It’s very likely that you like advancing on your own. You enjoy defying the odds. You find limited satisfaction in pursuing the easiest, the most popular, or the accepted course of action. Driven by your talents, you occasionally adopt a practical, factual, or unemotional position on certain issues. Maybe you refrain from becoming sentimental about certain people and their problems. Chances are good that you are attracted to difficult and challenging endeavors. You are not inclined to look for the easy way out. You are bold. You take risks. You dare to stretch your mind. You test the limits of your abilities in ways that timid individuals would not attempt.
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
Your Personalized Strengths Insights
What makes you stand out?
By nature, you sometimes break certain types of daily, weekly, monthly, or annual activities into their basic parts. Now and then, you examine these separately and in relation to one another. Perhaps you devise labor-saving ways to perform some repetitive tasks. Once you have explained your systems to others, you might expect everyone to use them for the common good. Periodically you are frustrated by individuals who insist on doing things their way or the old way. Maybe you can predict with some accuracy how their resistance will jeopardize the group’s overall effectiveness or efficiency. Chances are good that you tune in to people and figure out what they are saying and thinking about you. You are acutely aware of how individuals regard you. You probably curry — that is, try to win — the favor of some and seek to impress others. It’s very likely that you generate ideas quickly. You draw clever linkages between facts, events, people, problems, or solutions. You present others with numerous options at a pace some find dizzying. Your innovative thinking tends to foster ongoing dialogue between and among the group’s participants. Instinctively, you enjoy spending time with possibility thinkers. This is often the case when they present intriguing ideas that no one else has considered. You enjoy exploring the fascinating frontiers of medicine, politics, fashion, renewable energy sources, humanitarian aid, or the arts. Driven by your talents, you are acutely aware of how your teammates perceive your abilities. You can sense what they think of you as a person. These insights many times allow you to earn their confidence so you can contribute even more to the group’s success.
Final Thoughts:
After reading Strengths Finder 2.0 I feel that I have a better sense of myself, the book didn’t really identify new things for me but it really helped to solidify core values and strengths that I already knew existed within me. What really shocked me was that after filling out aprox 170 questions, the answers were analyzed and processed to come up with the top 5 themes and boy were they right! I guess after millions of interviews, 10s of millions of data points, and tons of research the team at Gallup has this processed nailed down to a science. Kudos to them! They definitely get a strong recommendation from me, and I’m looking forward to “Future” developments from the team, I definitely want to continue to “Learn” so I can “Achieve” my goals and develop new creative “Ideas” for new things to come! 🙂

Social Media ROI

Brian Solis is the leading expert on all things Social Media, check out what he has to say about Social Media ROI.

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My good friend Olivier Blanchard recently released his new book, Social Media ROI, Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. As he was nearing its completion, he asked if I would write the foreword and to be honest, I was flattered. I agreed to do so under one condition, that I get the opportunity to share the foreword with you here. Long story short, here we are. The book is extremely helpful and carries the endorsements of those I also respect including Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Geoff Livingston, and Kyle Lacy.

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ROI Doesn’t Stand for Return on Ignorance

I’m often asked, what’s the ROI of social media? To which I answer, you can’t measure what it is you do not value or know to value.

Sounds simple enough. But, the truth is, determining value is not an easy process. But then again, whoever said using social media effectively in business was easy…is wrong.

As in anything in business, the ability to tie activity to the business values is critical. If we are to commit time, resources, and budget to social networks our investments must be justified. Indeed, social media strategies must prove long-term value and contribution to the bottom line in order to evolve into a pillar of business success. But, how do you measure something when best practices, case studies, and answers in general are elusive? We are struggling to prove the merit of an important ingredient in the future success of business because precedents have yet to be written or tested.

While many companies are already investing in social media, the reality is that most are done without the ability to demonstrate any return on investment. The truth is that you cannot succeed in anything if success is never defined. The good news is that success is definable and attainable. It just takes a little work…well, honestly, a lot of work to tie intended outcomes to the “R” (return) in ROI. And, even though social media, as a platform and series of channels, is inexpensive or free to host a presence, time and resources still carry fixed costs. To that end, if we enhance our presences or apply greater resources, the investment goes up exponentially. It comes down to the old adage, “time is money.”

Everything starts with the end in mind.

uccess is not a prescription. There isn’t one way to excel or measure progress. But, that’s the point. We must first design outcomes into the equation. What do we want to accomplish? What’s the return we seek? Are we trying to sell, change, drive, cause, or inspire something specific? Are we reducing customer problems as measured by inbound volume, open tickets, public discourse? Are we trying to shift sentiment to a more positive state that increases referrals as a result?

Success requires definition based on intentions, goals, and mutual value…across the organization from the top down, bottom up, inside out and outside in. Success is defined departmentally and also at the brand level. And, success is tied to desirable actions and outcomes. And, as we’ve already established, it’s impossible to measure the ROI for something if we haven’t first established the R (Return) or the I (Investment). No amount of new acronyms will change this yet we see new terms introduced as if we’ve already given up on defining ROI; Return on Engagement (ROE), Return on Participation (ROP), Return on Listening (ROL), Return on Fluid Listening (ROFL – yes it’s a joke), Return on ignorance (The new ROI). In the end, everything carries cost and effect.

The debate over ROI is only going to gain in importance. But, that’s where we need to go in order to gain the support we need to expand our investment in social media. You’re in good hands though. Olivier Blanchard is indeed one of the few who can help. Here, he has written a comprehensive guide that will help you at every step from planning to program integration to management to measurement.

Thanks to Olivier, you’ll find the answers to your questions and also answers to the questions that you didn’t know to ask.

As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. The success of all things social media is up to you to define, quite literally.

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