-- situation map
-- assessments


Strengthsfinder shines more brightly as a team building tool than a self assessment tool. It also represents a mind set that I fundamentally agree with. Play to your strengths, know your weaknesses, ask for help.

I don't have any first hand knowledge, but I think this is the precise reason that IDEO looks for "T" shaped people. A team is best made up of people with strengths, and where weakness are overcome by the skill sets of other team members.


Adaptability - "You are quite comfortable letting the day’s events and people’s demands determine what really deserves your attention. By nature, you may trust you can deal with whatever happens. Perhaps you rely on your core values to sustain you in the face of uncertainty. The principles by which you live might permit you to accept life’s unexpected and unpredictable occurrences. It’s very likely that you now and then picture events or situations you might find yourself facing in the coming months, years, or decades. Sometimes you consider ways you might react when these circumstances materialize."

I would completely agree that one of my primary strengths is adaptability. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Montana. That's a pretty good metaphor for the rest of my life. The most recent example...I'm a machinist and welder with a freshly minted MBA. Go figure.

Strategic - "You trust your talents, knowledge, and skills to identify problems. You consider numerous solutions before you pinpoint the most appropriate course of action. Questions and answers materialize without a lot of effort on your part. Driven by your talents, you pay close attention to what is going on around you. You listen. You quiz people. You ask questions.

The more you reflect on what you know, the more problems begin to reveal themselves, and eventually solutions start taking shape in your mind.Because of your strengths, you examine the past. You discover why things happened. This permits you to foresee the future. You study humankind’s story to identify subtle nuances, recurring sequences of events, and predictable human behavior.

Generating clever, resourceful, inventive, and original alternatives, you can offer solutions to age-old problems. Chances are good that you notice that multiple solutions to nagging problems automatically pop into your mind. You usually study each option from many different angles. After carefully evaluating the entire situation, you likely choose the alternative that makes the most sense."

I really lucked out on this one since I'm interested in the practice of design strategy. This outlook is really the foundation of my world view. The reason I like to have as many experiences as possible is to understand as much as possible. My favorite thing is when one experience transfers to an apparently unrelated discipline. What can metal work tell you about people management? Ask me some time.

Input - "By nature, you put yourself in the middle of mentally stimulating conversations. You want to gather new ideas, discover new approaches, hear about new theories, consider new concepts, or apply new technologies. Often you are one of the early discoverers of innovations. Others can lag behind if they wish, but you consistently acquire knowledge. You exhibit little need to know precisely where all this information ultimately will lead you. You routinely deepen your understanding through conversations, the media, the Internet, books, or classes. You resist spending the majority of your time on topics that are not in line with your natural abilities. Instead, you choose to take advantage of your talents — and by doing so, you consistently produce topnotch results."

Okay, I admit it. I'm an addicted to learning. Remember the movie Short Circuit? "Number 5 needs input!" If I can't teach myself I take a class. If I'm not learning I get bored immediately. That's why I like design...and life.

Achiever - "It’s very likely that you normally toil for hours to produce topnotch results. Being the very best at something is quite important to you. You have little, if any, tolerance for mediocrity, especially about the things that matter most to you. Driven by your talents, you have the extra energy to work hard whenever you are acquiring information to broaden your base of knowledge. You desire to deepen your understanding of various topics, opportunities, problems, solutions, situations, events, or people. Chances are good that you devote your full attention to immediate tasks and challenges. This explains why you give yourself plenty of time to comprehend what you read on the printed page or the computer screen. Diligence, persistence, and concentration are three of your distinguishing traits. Instinctively, you often draw newcomers or strangers into various groups, conversations, or activities. Making all
kinds of individuals feel like they belong is one way you choose to measure your success.

I'm much less of a perfectionist than I used to be. I've been untraining myself for years and I'm a lot happier for it. However, I still take pride in the quality of my work and I especially enjoy doing something well that I've never done before. That is certainly a guilty pleasure.

Ideation - "You are probably known for your strength in taking apart ideas, objects, processes, or data. You methodically examine how the individual parts function or fail to function as well as how the pieces link or fail to link to one another. It’s very likely that you routinely contrive innovative ideas. The art of invention stimulates your mind. You likely spring from one original thought to an entirely different one. You usually find unique ways to link two or more concepts. Driven by your talents, you are concerned
about what individuals think of you. You want them to recognize your ability to involve all kinds of people in groups or activities. Knowing others are watching and judging you
probably is highly motivating. Chances are good that you may have more innovative concepts to suggest to the group than some of your teammates. Perhaps you use methodical reasoning to explain your proposals and present your ideas."

I take ideas apart just like a mechanical device. Then I study it, see what's broken or poorly designed, throw out all the junk, make some better parts, then put the thing back together.

You can't possibly know how something works by just looking at it or reading a book about it. You have to get dirty and beat up your knuckles if you really want to get to the insight. For me, coming up with ideas isn't about creativity, it's about blending learning, observation, and old fashioned hard work.

  Personal Assessments


Copyright © 2010 by Jason Hui