StrengthsFinder 2.0 Book Review

Earlier this year we read StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. It was encouraged by Kelsey's boss to help us evaluate how we can better work in our strengths.

It's an interesting idea. Haven't we always been told that we can do anything we want if we put our mind to it? If we just try a little harder, we could be a insert dream here?

StrengthsFinder 2.0 challenges this notion. Take this example, for instance:

...Consider the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, the 23-year-old groundskeeper at Notre Dame's stadium, who was the protagonist of the 1993 movie Rudy. At just 5'6" and 165 pounds, this young man clearly didn't posses the physical ability to play big-time college football, but he had ample "heart."

Rudy worked tirelessly to gain admission to Notre Dame so he could play football there. Eventually, after being rejected three times, he was accepted at Notre Dame and soon thereafter earned a spot on the football team's practice squad.

For two years, Rudy took a beating in daily practices, but he was never allowed to join his team on the sidelines. Then, after trying as hard as he could for two seasons, Rudy was finally invited to suit up for the final game of his senior year. In the last moments of this game, with a Notre Dame victory safely in hand, Rudy's teammates lobbied their coach to put him in the game. In the final seconds, the coach sent Rudy in for a single play--and he tackled the opposing team's quarterback.

...While Rudy's perseverance is admirable, in the end, he played a few seconds of college football and made a single tackle...after thousands of hours of practicing.

This story definitely puts a new spin on that movie. Makes me feel like I've been dooped all these years into thinking I can will my way to being a rockstar. Quite opposite, this book helped me realize that in order to be the best that I can be, I need to work in my strengths.

Workplace aside, it's helped Kelsey and I reach a new level of communication and understand each other on a whole nother level. It put a new perspective on our duty roster and why each of likes/dislikes to do certain tasks. And we have tried to apply what we know about each other to how we manage this blog and juggle the responsibilities of being parents.

While the book is insightful, the assessment is the juice that makes it zing! You get an access code when you purchase the book to take an online assessment. You only have 20 seconds to answer each question to ensure that you don't over-think it. Then they send you a personalized PDF of your top five strengths and a three-part breakdown:

  1. Awareness: A brief description of your top five strengths, personalized insights that describe what makes you stand out from others with the same strengths, and questions to answer to increase your awareness of your talents.
  2. Application: Ten ideas for action for each of your top five strengths, and questions to help you apply your talents.
  3. Achievement: Examples of what each of your top five strengths "sounds like" and steps for you to take to help you leverage your talents for achievement.

Our StrengthsFinder Results


  1. Futuristic. Inspired by the future and what could be. Inspires others with visions of the future.
  2. Strategic. Creates alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  3. Responsibility. Takes psychological ownership of what they say they will do. Committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
  4. Focus. Takes direction, follows through and makes the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
  5. Relator. Enjoys close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.


  1. Harmony. Looks for consensus. Doesn't enjoy conflict; rather, seeks areas of agreement.
  2. Connectedness. Has faith in the links between all things. Believes there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
  3. Positivity. Has an enthusiasm that is contagious. Is upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
  4. Intellection. Characterized by intellectual activity. Is introspective and appreciates intellectual discussions.
  5. Maximizer. Focuses on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. Seeks to transform something strong into something superb.

What We Learned

  • If Eric says he is going to do something, he will do it.
  • Kelsey has an aversion to upsetting the status quo. So when my futuristic/strategic strengths come at her with new and crazy ideas, she puts up a wall, as this causes conflict to her harmony.
  • Eric loves to create new ideas and influence his future.
  • While I strive to will things to happen with focus, Kelsey's contentedness would rather let the chips fall as they may.
  • Kelsey's maximizer strength comes in handy when writing for this blog. I can write a really good post, but she often maximizes these into awesomeness.
While you may ask, "How are they married, they couldn't be more different?", that's where we see beauty. We fully accept each other for who we are and, by communicating, we can better understand who each other is.

If you have been looking to discover your own talents, strengths and abilities, this is a great tool. We totally recommend checking this out so that you, too, can discover your strengths and start applying them to your life.

We would love to hear about your experience with StrengthsFinder, and, if you take the assessment, leave a comment and let us know what your strengths are.


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