My StrengthsFinder Results. Part 5 of 5 – Developer

This is part five of a five part series. 

I’ve covered the first four parts of this "personality profile" over the last week.  I enjoyed taking the test, and I have enjoyed really thinking about the results. 

First, I wish they would have told me what my five "worst points" were as well as telling me what I am good at.  But that being said, of the five top attributes this test claims I have, the fifth is by far the one I am most interested in, and most proud of.

I love to teach.  If the profession had more flexible hours, paid better, and didn’t require teaching credentials then I might well be a teacher 🙂

So I am happy to discuss the fifth attribute with you:  Developer.

This isn’t like a computer programmer type of developer – what they mean is "people-developer".

So let’s jump in.

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow.

I enjoy teaching people how to learn.  That seems like a simple thing, but it seems to be lacking in many of our schools, and most of our companies.  How do you teach people to learn?  It depends.  On the person, the timing, the subject, etc.  Recently one of my blog readers (who I have never met) decided they wanted to host their own WordPress blog – on their own server.  I helped them get started.  I didn’t do a hell of a lot – except to get this person over the initial hump of  just getting started.  A month later they are managing their blog and their server quite well – even upgrading the database without assistance.  I didn’t teach them to upgrade the database – I helped them get to the point where they could learn how to upgrade the database.

And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction.

This is exactly what my old Chief Petty Officer would have called, "It don’t get no better than this".  When you see someone learn something new, and they first really get it – it is almost magical.  Over the years my kids have had a lot of great teachers – and every one of them taught for this one moment.  The money they needed to live – but it was this single moment of time – this opening of the mind to something completely foreign – this is what they did.  This is why they put up with crappy pay, an inferior social status, unruly children, and overwhelming bureaucratic bullshit.

That one student, in that one moment, makes it all worth it to them.  It is their payday. 

I feel the same way anytime I help someone – and the feeling is so damn rewarding that I am willing to spend a lot of time and money trying to achieve it again, and again.  It is, simply, my drug of choice.

Finally, since this is part five of five, I need to give you an overall impression of how accurately this tool described me.  And if I found it to be of any value.

I think the attributes that the report shows are something I want very much to deserve – I don’t think I have yet.  In some ways I feel as if this tool just picked what it thought I most wanted to be like, and not what I actually am like.  But I have had a lot of discussions about this series so far – with people that do know me.  They tell me that this is me.  Well, hell’s bells – if I am really being perceived that way I am an extremely good actor!

But these things are all important to me – and they are things I have worked on over the years.  When I was in sales I found it easy to sell people – on me.  I didn’t sell my product – I sold them my word, my personality, and my promise. 

I learned this by traveling with my father who was an on the road salesman.  Many of my summers were spent on the back roads of South Texas, traveling from one of my father’s customers to another.  Most considered him a friend.

My father build a network of friends that bought things from him.  And he taught me a hell of a lot about people that I didn’t realize he was teaching to me.

So in all, this little "test" has caused me to look deeper into my own motivations.  To realize that what I really love to do is help people get better at what they are doing.  To see that "Aha!" moment – and to quietly take my little slice of pleasure from it.

And then wait for the next "Aha" moment.

It’s damn fulfilling.

Developer

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.