by Elizabeth Clarke
Employers across all industries consistently look for specific qualities and personality traits in the people they want to bring on their teams. Specific skills may be taught, but leadership qualities are natural and must be nurtured to grow and mature.
Knowing this, Meredith Rennier, Louisiana Christian University’s executive director of the Center for Calling & Career, is working with student navigators to discover and develop their God-given strengths.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, a best-selling book and now website, offers a 20-minute online behavioral assessment that allows students the chance to know where their natural strengths lie.
The quiz ranks the taker’s talents in 34 different areas and focuses on the top 5 personality traits with tips on how to hone in on those for future success.
Rennier said there’s a trend to include your Top 5 on your resume so potential employers will see it. She said her own top strength is #Harmony. People exceptionally talented in the harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict, rather, they seek areas of agreement.
“I was a bit surprised that #Harmony would be my number one strength, but after I think about the true definition of harmony, it is a fitting strength for me,” she said. “I love pulling together a team and making things happen. I have learned to appreciate others’ perspectives without conflict and still come to a middle ground that we all can agree on to accomplish a common goal. Seeing the ideas of others, though completely different from me, brings out my passion in a project.
“A lot of future employers are very familiar with it, and that’s why we are using it,” Rennier said.
“The goal is to build on their strengths and not focus on weaknesses.”
The rollout of this began this semester with the Peer Leadership class of 17, who will serve as the university’s navigators for the incoming freshmen class this fall.
“These student leaders will be mentoring and guiding their underclassmen in getting familiar with college, learning to manage their time and study habits, making new friends, and other areas of college life,” said President Rick Brewer, whose Strengthfinders number one strength is #Ideation.
“Not only do we want our incoming students to be successful, but we want our student leaders to develop their natural abilities to best fulfill the role that God has called them to do.
“StrengthsFinder 2.0 is directly aligned with the University’s Vision to Prepare Graduates and Transform Lives underscoring the relationship between human flourishing and learning, leading, and serving. A student’s Top 5 reveals the WHY behind the WHAT for experiential learning. And, it is this distinctive which makes an LCU education significantly pivotal equipping students for 21st Century leadership.”