It’s the beginning of the year, and what better time to reassess or remind ourselves of our personal strengths, and how we’re going to capitalize on them both personally and professionally? Years ago, I had the pleasure of reading Gallup’s StrengthsFinder book, which spent months on the NY Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. After reading the book, I proceeded to take the strengths assessment, which is a “test” that assigns top personality themes based on responses to a set of questions. (If you haven’t taken this test, I highly recommend it — it’s fun and very enlightening!)
Being the hard-charging, “Type A+,” demanding, over-achiever that I am, I expected my result to yield a top theme of “Achiever,” or “Self Assurance,” or “Competition.” However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my top theme is “Individualization,” which according to StrengthsFinder is defined as:
“People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.”
Wow! I can really relate to this, and it’s exactly what I’m charged with here at Lionbridge. In fact, if Lionbridge were to take a Corporate version of the StrengthsFinder (new product idea for Gallup!), I’m willing to bet that Lionbridge’s top theme might also be “Individualization.”
I see “Individualizaton” in action every day at Lionbridge as we engage clients in conversations around content development, global social media, global internet search, localization, and multilingual chat. Lionbridge has a unique gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. A few examples:
– Partnering with the world’s largest search engine company to solve complex needs related to global search and content relevancy
– Replicating an automotive assembly production environment to deliver a “just-in-time” technical documentation solution
– Employing a multi-continent localization solution to take advantage of working hours across the U.S., Europe, and Asia
– Facilitating software pilot projects to help leading-edge technology giants test brand-new globalization communication
These programs are successful in part due to “Individualization,” and the unique qualities that clients and Lionbridge bring and collectively optimize.
During a recent trip to Asia, I lived “Individualization” as I bonded with coworkers, laughed with clients, haggled with shopkeepers, and navigated cities with my poorly pronounced “Xie Xie.” “Individualization.” It’s one of the attributes that makes Lionbridge special, and it’s no coincidence that our customized solutions speak directly to this.
Wouldn’t it be great if world leaders were to better understand and live “Individualization?”
In the meantime, I’d love to know your top theme. Take the StrengthFinders test and drop me a line! I’m predicting a lot of “Individualization” out there!
Allison McDougall, Vice President Emerging Business, blogs about individualization, an important quality for Lionbridge and our customers as we work together to solve business challenges.