Strengths Finder

I am currently engaged in a round of ministry-sponsored naval gazing in the form of the Gallup Strengths Finder survey. My strengths, as it turns out, are: strategic, context, responsibility, intellection, and belief. At the opposite end (of the 34 categories) are: discipline, positivity, achiever, woo, and includer.

No surprises there. But what I was surprised by a bit were some of the summary statements that explain my strengths. These include:


  • You discover why things happened. This permits you to foresee the future. (Want to know who will win the Super Bowl next year? I’m your guy.)
  • Generating clever, resourceful, inventive, and original alternatives, you can offer solutions to age-old problems. (With this and the ability to tell the future, I should be able to parlay my skills into a lucrative career.)
  • You present others with numerous options at a pace some find dizzying. (No wonder people are always falling down when I’m around!)
  • It’s very likely that you may be inclined to examine the basic elements of certain types of problems. (Like, “Will reusing hotel towels really save the planet?)
  • Instinctively, you sometimes know what has gone wrong. (I like to call it “life.”)
  • Perhaps you are not intimidated by an overwhelming amount of information. (Intimidated, no. Overwhelmed, yes.)
  • You might choose the best option after considering some of the prevailing circumstances, available resources, or desired outcomes. (Or I might not.)
  • You may see solutions before other people know there is a problem. (Why, oh why, won’t you listen to me people?)


  • By nature, you are inclined to read about major wars. (Really? By nature? I do read books on war from time to time, but I thought it was because I wanted to, not because I was driven to. I also occasionally read comic books and detective novels, and it totally missed those strengths. So there.)
  • Whenever you read about global conflicts, you feel impelled to collect more information. (Not true. One book on the Boer War is enough.)
  • It’s very likely that you might enjoy seminars, presentations, or programs that feature historic materials. (It’s very unlikely that I would enjoy a seminar, presentation, or program on any subject.)
  • Driven by your talents, you might feel discontent when you are blocked from acquiring knowledge of a historical nature. (One by one, they’re taking away all our rights!)
  • Perhaps you are intrigued by the varied philosophical views certain experts have concerning the causes of specific events or the behavior of particular historic figures. (How can that be a strength when I don’t even know what it means?)


  • Perhaps you follow your conscience when you need to distinguish right from wrong or excellence from mediocrity. (Perhaps I just wing it.)
  • Chances are good that you may reject the idea that telling a falsehood about something unimportant is acceptable. (So … I don’t lie?)
  • You harbor very few illusions about who you really are. (I AM inclined to read about major wars!)
  • Furthermore, you can openly acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings. This is apt to distinguish you from most people. (In other words, the fact that I admit my errors makes be a better person.)


  • Chances are that you try to collect straightforward and precise words. (Unlike the Strengths Finder folks.)
  • Sometimes your enthusiasm for language causes you to expand your vocabulary. (Duh. What else, exactly, is an enthusiasm for language?)
  • Acquiring sophisticated terminology may be play for you, not work. Perhaps an unexpected chance to use these words in real life gives you satisfaction. (Indubitably!)
  • Simply put: You rely less on emotion and more on logic to draw reasonable conclusions. (Hence, the five strengths at the bottom of my list. And is it possible to come to reasonable conclusions in some way other than logically?)
  • You have little need to be constantly surrounded by talkative people. (Little need but lots of opportunity.)
  • Generally your scrutiny of the printed word rather than your emotions, guides your decision-making process. (Which, I think, is a pretty important trait for an editor.)
  • Maybe you weigh the consequences of what you do, fail to do, or say. (Nah.)


  • It’s very likely that you may concede that monetary rewards, though important, are not a substitute for feeling content with your life. (If I must.)
  • You may or may not know what to do about the problem. Nonetheless, you might be aware of its existence when others are not. (If only people would listen to me!)
  • Because of your strengths, you want only the very best for your family. (Are there people with strengths who don’t want this?)
  • You are seldom taken by surprise. (I didn’t expect that!)
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