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In Review: The Surprising Things that Happened this Year

Today is July 1, which means it’s now the second half of 2020. This year isn’t going the way we thought it would when it started. But we thought it worthwhile to look back at the first half of the year and then look forward to what's coming.


Although this year has been really hard for a number of reasons, there were good leaps forward. Thanks for sticking with us.

This year we:

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Even Talents Need to Grow: Growth Practices for the 34 Strengths

34 strengths strengths Jun 23, 2020

Even talents need to grow. This thesis flies in the face of folks who want it easy. Unfortunately, there are many people who take a talent assessment, glance at the results, think "I knew I was good at this," then toss the results in the trash because now their talents are confirmed.

They think they've "done the talent assessment" and have a handle on their talents.

Just the Beginning

But an assessment is only the beginning. A talent assessment merely reveals areas of talent; it shines the...

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My Little Secret About Personality Assessments

I’ve been pushing a few personality assessments lately. Specifically, Strengths and the Enneagram. But here’s my little secret…it’s not really about the assessments. It's about The Four Pursuits. Here's what I mean by that.

Sure, I enjoy connecting with you over learning opportunities like:

But these opportunities are a...

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Comparison of Strengths and the Enneagram

The great author Annie Dillard wrote, “You were made and set here to give voice to this—to your own astonishment.” We have several of her books at our creek-side cabin, particularly because she writes of her own creek with such intricate detail and breathless joy that you feel you want to participate in the fellowship of the creek with her.

And so we do, and many lines from her writings stick with me. One of them is the above. She suggests, even urges us to give voice to...

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More Questions on Strengths and the Enneagram

enneagram strengths Apr 28, 2020

Lots of people have been asking us questions about Strengths and the Enneagram.

Some came from our introductory webinar on the intersection of both tools. Some came from our next-level webinar on taking a deeper dive. Some came from our Enneagram workshop. Some will come from our Strengths workshop. Either way, they're good questions.

(If you have a question, you can submit one the bottom of this page.)

If you had one tool to use first, which one would you choose and why?

I would use...

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How the 34 Strengths Deal with Stress

34 strengths strengths Apr 21, 2020

We recently did a weeklong series of webinars on the topic of managing stress. We looked at four different approaches to managing stress because each one offers something distinctive—Coaching Approach, Strengths Approach, Enneagram Approach, and Christian Approach.

In this post, we’ll talk about the Strengths Approach. By the way, if you want to watch any of the recorded videos, click on the words above. When taking a Strengths Approach, you can ask three questions:

  • What are my...
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How STRONG of a Leader are You?

In today’s uncertain times, strong leadership is more critical than ever. Dealing with factors like a changing workplace, fears and doubts of team members, unpredictable customer behavior, and financial concerns can impact teams negatively. But the strong leader was made for times like this.

Using the acronym S-T-R-O-N-G, let’s look at the four core needs of followers and the three things strong leaders do. If you’re a leader, consider how you will meet your follower’s...

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Using Your Strengths to Succeed During Uncertain Times

34 strengths strengths Mar 18, 2020

In times of change and uncertainty like our world is facing, you have internal resources to help you succeed—your talents and strengths. They were made for times like this!

What I love about strengths is that they’re utterly practical. Your strengths are your best means for producing the outcomes you desire, and so the idea is this—identify your intended outcomes, then select the talents to get you there, then aim those talents toward your outcomes.

You’ll be even more...

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34 Strengths and Shortfalls

34 strengths strengths Mar 01, 2020

A goal of the strengths journey is to turn your talents into strengths. While strengths hold great power, underdeveloped or overused talents may become limitations. And so a strength ends up becoming a shortfall. Here’s what I mean.

One of my top ten talent themes is communication. I can put thoughts into words, help ideas to be understood, and consider what will be valuable to the audience. When my communication theme is working this way, it’s very helpful.

However, when the same...

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Growth Questions for the 34 Strengths

It’s a journey to grow your talents into strengths. Just because you find your talents doesn’t mean they’re that useful yet. You must develop them into strengths. This doesn’t happen automatically; it takes focus and effort.

For example, one of my talents is "being responsible"—I naturally take ownership of what has been entrusted to me, and I can be counted upon to deliver. Sounds great…but it comes with shortfalls:

  • I can be really quick to say yes
  • I can...
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