StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0

StrengthsFinder 2.0

3.7 167
by Tom Rath

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Chances are, you don’t. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced StrengthsFinder in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book ignited a global conversation,

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Chances are, you don’t. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced StrengthsFinder in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions discover their top five talents.

In StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular online assessment. With hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, StrengthsFinder 2.0 will change the way you look at yourself — and the world — forever.

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY IN STRENGTHSFINDER 2.0 (using the access code included with each book):

The StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, fine-tuned to be faster and more accurate

A Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide featuring: a customized version of your top five theme report; 50 Ideas for Action for building on your top five themes; and a strengths-based action plan for setting goals

And much more on the StrengthsFinder 2.0 website: A strengths community area; resources, activities, and discussion guides; a strengths screensaver; and a program for creating display cards of your top five themes

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Product Details

Gallup Press
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4.90(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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The Path of Most Resistance

At its fundamentally flawed core, the aim of almost any learning program is to help us become who we are not. If you don’t have natural talent with numbers, you’re still forced to spend time in that area to attain a degree. If you’re not very empathic, you get sent to a course designed to infuse empathy into your personality. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths.

This is quite apparent in the way we create icons out of people who struggle to overcome a lack of natural talent. 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 possess 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.

It was a dramatic moment and, of course, Rudy became an instant hero. Fans chanted his name and carried him off the field. Ruettiger was later invited to the White House, where he met President Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, and football legend Joe Montana. 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.

The inspirational nature of this story actually masks a significant problem: Overcoming deficits is an essential part of the fabric of our culture. Our books, movies, and folklore are filled with stories of the underdog who beats one-in-a-million odds. And this leads us to celebrate those who triumph over their lack of natural ability even more than we recognize those who capitalize on their innate talents. As a result, millions of people see these heroes as being the epitome of the American Dream and set their sights on conquering major challenges. Unfortunately, this is taking the path of most resistance.

A Misguided Maxim?
“You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough.”

Like most people, I embraced this maxim at a young age. Along with thousands of other kids, I spent a good chunk of my childhood trying to be the next Michael Jordan. Every day, I practiced shooting hoops for three to four hours. I went to basketball camps each summer and tried in every way possible to be a great player. No matter how hard I worked at it, though, becoming an NBA star simply wasn’t in the cards for me. After giving 100% of my effort for more than five years, I couldn’t even make the junior varsity team.

Embracing the “You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” maxim isn’t something we outgrow. Similar scenarios play out in the workplace every day. A star salesperson thinks she can be a great sales manager with enough effort. She interviews other managers to gain insight, reads every book on management she can find, and stays late every night trying to get the job done — at the expense of her family and even her health. Then, a few years into the job, she realizes that she doesn’t have the natural talent to develop other people. Not only is this a waste of her time, but chances are, she could have increased her contribution even more if she had stayed in the sales role — a role in which she naturally excelled. Yet if we want additional income, status, or responsibility, most organizational hierarchies force us into a very different role — instead of allowing for an entire career of progression within a specific role that fits our talents.

What’s even more disheartening is the way our fixation on deficits affects young people in the home and classroom. In every culture we have studied, the overwhelming majority of parents (77% in the United States) think that a student’s lowest grades deserve the most time and attention. Parents and teachers reward excellence with apathy instead of investing more time in the areas where a child has the most potential for greatness.

The reality is that a person who has always struggled with numbers is unlikely to be a great accountant or statistician. And the person without much natural empathy will never be able to comfort an agitated customer in the warm and sincere way that the great empathizers can. Even the legendary Michael Jordan, who embodied the power of raw talent on a basketball court, could not become, well, the “Michael Jordan” of golf or baseball, no matter how hard he tried.

This might sound like a heretical point of view, especially for those of us who grew up believing the essential American myth that we could become anything we wanted. Yet it’s clear from Gallup’s research that each person has greater potential for success in specific areas, and the key to human development is building on who you already are.

The following real-life example from Gallup’s economic development work in Puebla, Mexico, provides a basic yet powerful illustration of what can happen when people focus on their natural talents.

Hector had always been known as a great shoemaker. In fact, customers from such far-off places as France claimed that Hector made the best shoes in the world. Yet for years, he had been frustrated with his small shoemaking business. Although Hector knew he was capable of making hundreds of shoes per week, he was averaging just 30 pairs. When a friend asked him why, Hector explained that while he was great at producing shoes, he was a poor salesman — and terrible when it came to collecting payments. Yet he spent most of his time working in these areas of weakness.

So, Hector’s friend introduced him to Sergio, a natural salesman and marketer. Just as Hector was known for his craftsmanship, Sergio could close deals and sell. Given the way their strengths complemented one another, Hector and Sergio decided to work together. A year later, this strengths-based duo was producing, selling, and collecting payment for more than 100 pairs of shoes per week — a more than threefold increase.

While this story may seem simplistic, in many cases, aligning yourself with the right task can be this easy. When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the “You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” maxim might be more accurate:

You cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you already are.

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StrengthsFinder 2.0 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
Oscar_Aguilar More than 1 year ago
Strengths Finder 2.0 is the follow up to Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book includes a revamped version of the StrengthsFinder test that shows you not just what your top five strengths are, but also how you rank in the rest of the 34 strengths from Clifton's model. The new book is light on content (very light) but the test is a substantial improvement. Here's how the book is set up: StrengthsFinder: The Next Generation (A short introduction explaining the need for the enhanced edition of the test based upon new thinking and research in strengths psychology) I: Finding Your Strengths (A 30-page overview of strengths psychology and how the Gallup system works) II: Applying Your Strengths (150 pages outlining each of the 34 themes including what people with that strength look like, how to manage them, and ideas for action if you have that strength). The StrengthsFinder (If you haven't taken it before, the code to take the test is provided in a packet inside the book. You actually have to buy the book to take the test) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another book I really enjoyed that follows the SF 2.0 format. Obviously, that test measures emotional intelligence (EQ), but Emotional Intelligence 2.0 has a unique format where the test tells you which of the book's 66 strategies will increase your EQ the most.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A couple of years ago I took the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment in my workplace. I found the output of the assessment to be very valuable, as one might expect. I especially found the sections on applying strengths in academics, relationships, study techniques and career quite beneficial. Recently, to help my son 'soar with his strengths', I purchased version 2.0. While the assessment outputs the same 34 themes, it has, as my wife put it, decended into feel-good, vague, pyscho-babble. Maybe it's just the way the report is laid out now, but the 2.0 version doesn't seem to be as concise and targeted as version 1.0. Maybe newer isn't always better.
Marquito More than 1 year ago
What a disappointment this book was. The topic is wonderful; the idea of finding out what you are strong at is an eye opening journey. I recommend "Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Buckingham to find out about yourself. This book promises to build on Buckingham's book, but it fails miserably: it's a watered-down version; for example, Buckingham's book covers in great detail how we are formed by our environment. This merely glosses over the topic; in fact, I felt like most of the book was copied and pasted: it's like a "Cliff Notes" version of "Now, Discover Your Strengths." The online test is almost the same for both books, e.g., they are both from Gallup. So, boooo Tom Rath. I read this book in one hour (after reading the other), and I felt cheated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book "Now Discover Your Strengths" because I felt the premise was important and the exploration was innovative. When I took the online assessment, I was surprised by the results. They didn't seem to fit my strengths. I bought this book, as I was curious to read the results of the feedback from the first book and how it was presented. I found little new. The assessment however, was much improved, and this time, I related to two of the top five strengths. I recommend this book because of the improvemed assessment. I definitely recommend the "Optimal thinking online assessment" to learn about your dominant level of thinking and patterns of thinking and how to optimize communication with others. Do both!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book and assessment so accurate and helpful. You have to understand the book is good for only one assessment and when you take it - answer from your heart - not what you think is best - that will give you the most accurate results. My husband took it as well and we shared our results - helped me to understand why he does some things that I don't get! Our adult kids took as well and it was a great insite into who they are as individuals. So don't take it if you are determined to have it come out a certain way or you don't want to open with yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had purchased "Now, Discover Your Strengths," by Buckingham & Clifton earlier this summer and found it helpful in pinpointing my top five strengths. Like many other individuals, I discovered strengths that were so natural that I had often overlooked them in my career. It was also a wonderful re-enforcement tool in what I had done in my career. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased "Strenths Finder 2.0," by Tom Rath and discovered a new strength that was listed as #2, which had not been on my original list. This particular strength seemed more natural than one that was on my original list of strengths (Buckingham & Clifton). This book has become a good source and reference book in discovering and understanding my strenghts. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is wondering what to do next in their career or out of a job and looking for some guidance moving forward with other insights or possibilities for career development.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I feel scammed: You can only take the online assessment which determines your 'Top Five' one time. This is not clearly spelled out in the book or the website. If you want to take it again, you have to buy another book and get a second 'Access Code'.The book itself is just a short intro followed by a list of the '34 Themes' with little blurbs of explanation - not useful unless you take the assessment which I took without giving it much thought, foolishly thinking I'd just take it again later. My results are not at all accurate (spouse of 22 years agrees). I do think that if you take the test and get valid results, the supporting materials and suggestions to maximize your strengths are quite impressive but I'm really frustrated by the way the authors have chosen to limit access to the test.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StrengthsFinder 2.0 is another useful tool. However, if you are in any position of leadership it would be better to buy "Strengths Based Leadership" because you'll get the same info PLUS some additional info that is worthwhile. On the negative. I wish these guys would offer the ability to take the assessment without having to buy the book every time you want to take it. I mean come on - it is ridiculous to have to buy two books so that both my husband and I can get a StrengthsFinder assessment.
pastor121 More than 1 year ago
One of the most helpful things about StrengthFinder 2.0 is that it helped me to know myself better. I have always suspected my strengths, but seeing it on paper, helped me to be able to focus in a whole new way. I find myself daily thinking, "That is an evidence of my strength." It has been so helpful to me that I bought seven other copies for people that are close to me so that they can learn about themselves as well. It is a great resource for teams that are seeking to work together at a higher level. We used it for a staff retreat, making a game of guessing what each person's strengths were. It has helped us greatly in knowing how to work together. I highly recommend this book.
Graceful-Words More than 1 year ago
No one is immune to the road of self-discovery. This is not the road less traveled. Strength Finders 2.0 is a great tool to help manage to process of self-awareness. This book is a great resource to help you not only to identify your strengths, but to also give you practical explanations and applications. Strength Finders 2.0 also has a companion website where you will answer questions used to compile a personal profile of your most dominant assets. Both the book and the website give an in depth perspective, so that you are not left with just some vague appeasing titles. More importantly, this book is not about becoming a new person, it is about revealing who you already are and acknowledging things undiscovered and untapped.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is unreal how accurate the assessment is. We are using it in my place of employment as a training tool and doing a workshop on it. I can't wait to see what my co-workers strengths are and how they compare or relate to mine. I had my husband take the test too and his strengths were dead on. It helped me to stop and reflect on the things I know about him that are sometimes a bother to me, but they are part of who he is, and they are what makes him great. A nice reminder of things that made me fall in love with him in the first place. Thanks for focusing on what makes us great instead of what makes us weak. As humans that is the course we usually take... focusing on weaknesses. This book is a refreshing change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my work and I must say, this is one of the most relevant and economic books! We usually focus on our weakness as one of the objectives to work on throughout the year but this book focuses on the strength, which is rather refreshing. You will also be given an access code to actually find your strengths, followed by action plans which gives you a good idea on how to reinforce those strengths. It is really an easy reading book. You'll read the first 30 pages or so (big font) and the rest is the descriptions on each strengths. Happy reading~
KimUT More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Great book. My work gave me a training session on my strengths. . . As soon as I got home from work, I went to Barnes and Noble to buy one for my husband so I could see what his strengths were.This was actually me 2nd time to take the test. The first time was four years ago. The book is accurate, my strengths stayed the same!
Lvromance1 More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book for anyone that is searching for a true objective view of what makes them tick and shine. After I took the test I realized that I took all of my strengths for granted. I really never considered them as strengths. I now know what I like and why I like something. It is not that this was new information to me, but now I look at my work and interactions with other people and know what I can do and cannot do to be more effective. I leave the rest of the actions to those that are good at them. I highly recommend getting the people you are close with at work and home this book. I have and it has been helpful and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very informative, and the survey helped me learn a little more about myself. Since it focuses on strengths, I used it to compliment other personality profiles that I've taken in the past.
DaraT More than 1 year ago
Thie book is really a great read for managers who want to know how to make their employees engaged and satisfied with their jobs. I would reccomend other reads to supplement the information in the book. Essentially the premise is based on positive psychology, and says that if we focus on what we are good at rather than focusing on the negatives, we can truly become great. However, I have seen managers go the other way with this book and use it to focus on the strengths someone does not possess rather than those they do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Strengths Finder 2.0 is the follow up to Gallups Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book includes a revamped version of the test that shows you not just what your top five strengths are, but also how you rank in the rest of the 34 strengths from Clifton's model. The new book is light on content (very light) but the test is a substantial improvement. If you haven't taken it before, the code to take the test is provided in a packet inside the book (you actually have to buy the book to take the test). I've enjoyed two other books recently that include a code to let you take an online test. One is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book (has fascinating stories and research as well) and the other is The Personality Code (kind of like the strengths but also focused on overcoming your weaknesses and avoiding clashes with your personality's anti-type).
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a professional Human Resource developer, I have designed and implemented curriculum for the development of leaders, supervisors, managers, and executives. All of these supervisors are involved in professional endeavors. They are aware they have talents. It is a variety of situations that challenge them in their use of their talents. Usually, these talented people also know, no one working for them will honestly comment on their perceptions of those talents. If they do comment it is in a heat of anger or a splash of praise, not usually in an honest evaluation for formative purposes. In fact, most supervisors do not solicit nor value subordinate evaluations. Therein lies the value of 'Strength Finders.' It allows the supervisor / executive to honestly do a self evaluation by applying an objective criterion. It is useful, used, and helpful to motivate self - managed change. Thus, using the 'Strength Finder' a supervisor can honestly participate in their own honest evaluation. It's value is given the weight of the participant not some external evaluator. It is an evaluation interpreted by the participant, too. It truly stands on what the participant puts into the evaluation process for self awareness and development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MBarbagallo More than 1 year ago
It is not the book (Although it is very similar to "Now Discover Your Strengths"). I was supposed to receive a code to the Strength finder 2.0 site. Barnes and Nobel have yet to supply the code after 5 weeks of discussion with support. They say it needs to come from the publisher. That may be true, but my credit card statement say "Sale to Barnes and Noble" so in my mind they are responsible.
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