I’ve been strangely attracted to several of the Gallup books. I started with First, Break All the Rules, which just had a really good title. Basically, they attempted to figure out what makes managers effective and employee’s satisfied by polling and surveys, which is about as scientific as you can get when studying people. One of the ideas is to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. They make some vague references to system of strengths, but don’t go into any detail.
The next book, Now, Discover Your Strengths addressed that area. Of course beyond the list of strengths and a code for the web based survey, it is largely exposition. Anyway, the survey results (the free-with-purchase version is pretty sparse on details):
Which is almost suspect for being so monotonously about information. But that doesn’t really surprise me much either. Of course there are lots of theories about identifying the difference in people. I take some confidence from the survey backing, as opposed to one person’s ‘professional opinion.’ Like scientific theories, one of the main tests is explanatory power, and this does explain a few things.
When reading the book, I picked up on Responsibility and Harmony (i.e., ‘can’t we all just get along?’) as two that might explain some of my recent doings. Since the cheap versoin doesn’t show the ranking beyond the top five I don’t know where they ranked. But Restorative (likes fixing problems) explains both.
It’s not so much that I like taking on responsibility; I usually don’t offer until it’s obvious nobody else is stepping forward – the most direct way to solve the problem is to do it myself. Of course, I’m probably not the best person to do most of these things, which is a nice clarification – if I can find someone better suited to the task, I will have better solved the problem, and can get on with my life.
Harmony is a simple matter of fixing discordant social situations.
Now I’m just left with the problem that work best with ideas and logic, whereas most of the activities I’m involved in, well, don’t.