Book Review: StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Tom Rath)

During a recent safari to Barnes & Noble, on the hunt for a fresh crop of reading material, I was incredibly pleased to discover that one of my all-time favorite books — Now, Discover Your Strengths — had been complemented with a brand-new sequel, appropriately titled StrengthsFinder 2.0.

For those unfamiliar with the original StrengthsFinder publication, which continues to be a best seller even to this day, the book revolves around a personality assessment that was developed a number of years ago based on research from The Gallup Organization.  Upon buying the Now, Discover Your Strengths book, readers are given a unique access code that allows them to log into the Gallup website, complete the on-line assessment, and learn what their top five “talents” are (out of 34 possibilities) and how these gifts/strengths can be applied to full effect in their work and life.  What’s more, the book itself contains some powerful insights and wake-up calls with regard to how the U.S. culture, in general, tends to focus more on trying to overcome an individual’s weaknesses as opposed to celebrating and capitalizing on their innate strengths, instead.

Now fast forward to 2007, and here’s this handy little companion book that not only allows you to log in and complete the assessment, as well, but contains the latest thinking about the StrengthsFinder concept and how to apply one’s results for maximum effectiveness.  On this latter note, the book not only contains a handy “digest” of all 34 strength descriptions, but also provides specific “ideas for action” around each strength that can help people nurture their talents.  Additionally, on the StrengthsFinder 2.0 website, there are a number of new report options available — and the authors claim that the individual assessment results are now customized to a much deeper degree than those from the original book.

All in all, we believe that this book (and its prequel) are fantastic investments for anybody interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to reach their full potential — and that it offers rich intellectual dividends both for those going through the StrengthsFinder methodology for the first time, as well as for veteran users of the tool.  And on a surprising note, the author of the book even claims that the results measured by the assessment aren’t actually “strengths” after all, but something else entirely.  As to what this may be, we wont spoil the suspense — you’ll just have to buy the book if you want to find out!

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