Assessing your Strengths – Eric’s Story

Enneagram DiagramI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates.

Now that you’ve created a compelling vision of your future, it is time to move to the next step in becoming an innovative leader and successful college student – analyzing your situation and strengths.

In this section you will take several assessments to identify what you do well and where you can improve. As you discover your strengths and weaknesses, it is important that you focus 80% of your effort on maximizing your strengths and 20% of your effort on improving weaknesses.

By combining your vision with an understanding of current abilities, performance, and personality type, you will become more aware of strengths, weaknesses and how others see you. The assessment data should help you determine the space between your current state and your vision. Some of them will require you to spend money,

Assessment Tools

You will be using a combination of assessment tools to get a broad range of knowledge about how you see yourself and how others see you. You will be assessing your personality type, developmental perspective, resilience, competency, and organizational vibrancy. All of these assessments are scientifically designed and validated. I’ve taken all of these and I can assure you that they are helpful.

Personality Type: Enneagram

Once you understand your personality type, it will be easier to take the other assessments. For this, we recommend the Enneagram assessment. Their website has a free version of the assessment, but I used the $10 version for maximum results.

  • My top personality type was Type 9 – the Peacemaker: easy-going, receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent. I scored a 24 for this type.
  • I also scored 20 for both the Achiever and Individualist types.

Developmental Perspective: DEV:Q

The DEV:Q assessment is an objective summary of how you will most likely perform in a group/organization settings (helping you define where you will best fit right now). The first part of your score shows how you approach decision-making and the second part of your score shows the current role you are likely to play in a group culture. The assessment can be found at When coming across a new job, task, or group assignment, the DEV:Q score is a great predictor of how you can maximize success based on your skills and values. After you take the assessment, take a really close look at your score, because the scoring scale is probably unlike anything you’ve ever used.

  • I scored a 34:5. The 34 means I am a “technician”, or that I like to take a methodical approach to decision-making, meaning that I try to be 100% sure of what I want to do before I make a final decision. The 5 in my score shows I’m a “collaborator”, meaning that I prefer job roles that involve group partnership, or sharing responsibility.

Resilience: Metcalf & Associates’ Assessment Tool

Resilience is a highly underestimated factor in becoming successful. Mental toughness is what prevents you from quitting. Metcalf & Associates developed an assessment tool to help determine and increase your resilience. It considers physical, mental, emotional, and interpersonal behaviors. It is free, and you can find it by clicking here.

  • My scores for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Interpersonal were 28/35, 42/50, 36/40 and 33/35.

Competency Assessment: Clifton StrengthsFinder

Further identifying your strengths is important for becoming successful. The Clifton StrengthsFinder assesses your top five “themes” and puts them into four domains of leadership strength (executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking). You must purchase the Strengths-Based Leadership book to get the access code to take the assessment. The assessment provides you with an in-depth analysis of your top five “themes”, or strengths. I received pages and pages of information about how to effectively work with my strengths.

  • My top five themes are: Strategic, Achiever, Competition, Learner and Focus

Organizational Vibrancy: ISC Experience of Relational Abundance Survey

Vibrancy refers to the positive feelings associated with places we love to go, conversations we love to have, and people whose presence we enjoy. This assessment will allow you to describe the vibrancy you feel in any group or organization you choose. It really looks at both the organizations in which you work and your preferences. Click here to access the free vibrancy assessment. By identifying how vibrant your group is, you see where you are strong and where you can improve. For my survey, I chose the Ohio State varsity fencing team, of which I am a member.

  • After the assessment, my experience of this group was described as “an experience of your own fullest potential, being seen and supported by another, in a group that collaborates together, where the source of creativity is everywhere, and you are able to translate what you imagine into reality.” It says that our group has the ability to accomplish any task we imagine within our field. “You might ask yourself and the group, ‘is this the best we can do?’”
  • The assessment provided me with much more detailed advice about how my group can improve.

This marks the end of my assessment scores. In the next post I will synthesize all of these scores using an analysis tool called a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. This tool will help me put all of the scores together and begin to figure out how to use this information.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

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