Strategic Planning Personality Profiles
I recently took a personality profile test called the Clifton StrengthsFinder. This test measures the presence of talent in 34 categories called "themes." These themes were determined by The Gallup Organization as those that most consistently predict outstanding performance. The greater the presence of a theme of talent within a person, the more likely that person is to spontaneously exhibit those talents in day-to-day behaviors. Focusing on naturally powerful talents helps people use them as the foundation of strengths and enjoy personal and career success through consistent and highly regarded performance.
As I scanned the names and descriptions of the 34 skills that the test measured, I wondered if there are consistent profiles for strategic planners, enterprise architects, and IT executives.
A few of the profiles names that resonated with me were “Analytical”, “Arranger”, “Deliberative”, “Futuristic”, “Input” and “Strategic”. A few terms that didn’t seem to match included “Command”, “Competition” and “Restorative”. Then I took the test. Below are my top five themes of talent, ranked in the order revealed by my responses to the Clifton StrengthsFinder.
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
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.
What surprised me most was the listing of Maximizer. Taking something good and making it great seems like a great skill to have. I now work with CEOs of numerous technology companies, and love helping them take good ideas and polish them into game changers. But that skill also explains why there are many things that I just can't get excited about. Apparently meritocracy is bad news for me. I won't invest time in things that are just “OK”.
What does my profile say about my interest and aptitude in Strategic Planning? I think I am in really good shape. “Strategic” was my #1 skill, and combined with “Futuristic” and “Ideation”, I am someone who really can succeed on thinking about novel approaches to the future. Add in “Activator” – and I might even get a few things done.
What about you? I’d love to hear from our readers. Have you taken StrengthsFinder? If so, what were your top 5 strengths and what surprised you? If you have not taken it, you can learn more and take the test at: http://strengths.gallup.com