Thoughts and ramblings on tech, media, culture, and food. Plus some other stuff, I'm sure.

The Strategic Strength

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting about my top 5 StrengthsFinder Strengths: Futuristic, Strategic, Responsibility, Restorative, and Competition.

The second StrengthsFinder strength in my Signature Themes is the Strategic strength. In practice this strength manifests itself in decision-making and planning. People with the Strategic strength are generally able to visualize every possible path to an end-goal and choose the most efficient one. Often times this happens in an instant.

I share the Strategic strength with Jessica and when we were first married we would find ourselves planning two separate routes through the grocery store. We had to try to stop this kind of thinking, but not before having a few good laughs about it.

Gallup says that this isn't a trait that can be learned, people are just born with it. I'm not sure what I think about that, but I do believe this is a talent that some develop (or maybe just have) naturally, and that others do not.

Those with the Strategic strength are also known for their ability to create alternative ways to proceed. This can be at a roadblock in a project, or in planning a new process. "Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues."

This is really accurate of my nature. And when combined with my own first strength of Futuristic, I am able to not only see and pass on the vision of what could be, but explain the best way to get there and achieve goals. "Perhaps your imagination is stimulated when you collaborate — that is, team — with future-oriented thinkers." Well... I am my own "future-oriented thinker".

I know this all might sound boastful, but I am extremely confident in my ability to do these. When paired with my fourth strength of Restorative, I also often find myself taking on projects that need fixing just so I can figure out the best way.

In these things I tend to have selective listening as well. The insights paper explains it as,

Perhaps few things take you by surprise. Why? You might study several options or craft innovative solutions that short-circuit problems before they arise. It’s very likely that you may pay attention to some of the things going on around you. Perhaps you listen, quiz people, read, or take notes. As you accumulate information, you might disregard what is unrelated, and pay heed to what seems important. Sometimes the more you reflect on what you know, certain problems reveal themselves, and eventually some solutions start taking shape in your mind. Then you try to select the best plan from your list of options. Instinctively, you might spot some emerging trends or problems others fail to notice. 

If you know me, you've probably noticed a few of these things. I am truly not surprised by much. If I'm told an outcome I usually can see exactly what processes might have brought about the result. And if I am faced with an emergency I almost always have a solution right away or develop one with a little more information.

If you have worked with me you have most likely heard me talk about past experiences, trying to apply what I have learned to the task at hand. You have probably also heard me speak really fast through all the options and select the best one. It's comes naturally but I am sure could be annoying to others.

Professionally I have written detailed proposals for complicated technical projects. As I write this, in fact, I am in the middle of planning and executing the redesign of my university's internal site. This is the result of several proposals and plans I've floated over the past two years and, at least partially, my ability to excite others with my vision-casting.

Strategic is probably my second favourite strength in my Top 5. I enjoy solving problems and have proven myself to be pretty good at it. It's a skill I continue to cultivate and improve.

Want to find out about your strengths? Pick up the book.