A Generative Application of StrengthsFinder: For Self and Others

I love making reports! What types of reports do you function in the most?” I said and asked enthusiastically. My dad and I were 30 minutes into a two-hour road trip and both of our inner-nerds were in full gear. We had just discovered that we both used a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool called Salesforce in our jobs. My dad is a Systems Engineer and at the time I was an Admissions Counselor at a Twin Cities University. Clearly, our application of Salesforce was very different, yet we were both strangely interested in the other’s use of this CRM.

It didn’t surprise me that my dad liked using a system such as Salesforce. Growing up my dad was the ultimate handyman. He fixed our cars, our plumbing, our phones; if anything broke or wasn’t working I always went straight to my dad. I still do! If he didn’t know how to fix something, he read a manual or looked it up on Google.

It wasn’t until this winter that he finally took the StrengthsFinder assessment. My mom and I were able to guess three of his top five Themes of Strength. We were positive he had Input, Learner, and Intellection, and we weren’t surprised to see Harmony and Developer as the other two. Although my Strengths are quite different than my dad’s, it is interesting that we both thrived using the same computer program.

Finding my Niche

I have now been a part of the Leadership Vision team for six months. My first month here I was asked to look into purchasing a CRM for us to use. That was it. That was the only instruction I received.

When given any task, I want to know,

  1. how to do it and do it well (Achiever),
  2. what exactly is expected of me (Discipline),
  3. how well I did it based on those parameters (Competition).

Once I understand those three things, my Focus latches on and I’m off and running. If I don’t understand those three things, I ask questions until I feel like they have been clarified.

I consulted with Carrie, and Joseph to get more guidance on what exactly had been assigned to me. I began by asking a lot of questions, like,

  • What do we currently use to track client interactions?
  • What do we want and need to be able to do?
  • What types of reports do we want to be able to create?
  • What’s our budget?
  • When do we want to implement it?

And many others. The questions were endless, but they provided me a framework that my Focus was able to latch on to. Off I went to find the perfect CRM for our company.

After a few months of research, I landed on Salesforce. As mentioned, I was previously a User of Salesforce, but at Leadership Vision, I am the System Administrator. “I feel like I have so much power!” I jokingly told Carrie after spending hours watching training videos, customizing our Salesforce platform, and creating a manual for the other Leadership Vision Salesforce Users. I intrinsically crave structure (Discipline) and I am now functioning in a virtual system that provides structure for our whole team.

For a Strength to be a Strength

One of the things we believe at Leadership Vision is that for a Strength to be a Strength, it needs to be generative not only to ourselves, but also to others. If we only leverage our Strengths in a way that benefits us but is degenerative to others, we are not functioning to our fullest potential within that specific Theme.

Editor’s note (Nathan): everything I have read so far sounds like torture… I have no patience for watching training videos. I just want to know as quickly as possible how to do something well (Maximizer). I HIGHLY VALUE having someone like Steph on our team who has the Strengths she does, and is applying them to something so important for us.

Researching, choosing, and implementing a CRM is not something that everyone would be excited about. For me, it was a process of discovering how I can use my Strengths to better our whole team. I enjoy systems, don’t mind repetitive tasks, have a desire to learn exactly how to perform a process, and can concentrate for hours on learning a new platform – these are all things that allowed me to not only be successful at onboarding Salesforce for our team, but brought me joy as well.

On top of it all, my Individualization was able to kick in as I’ve heard feedback and needs specific to each consultant functioning in Salesforce. “What can I do to make them, as an individual, more successful” is a question I constantly ask myself in relation to this new tool.

Your Generative Application of StrengthsFinder

Which of your Strengths are generative to yourself and others? Which of your Themes are not generative to others? How can you change that?