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 weakness.”
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.”
What the student peer leaders had to say
Mallory Joseph, sophomore education major #Adaptability “I change my major often, which explains why I adapt really well. I also learned I’m a really good communicator.”
Kimberly Kiernan, sophomore elementary education major #Relator “I was very surprised by my #1, but I like to help. It revealed to me that I really am a people person. Even if don’t like to be the face of everything, I do like to help others achieve their goals.”
Korey Kincade, sophomore elementary education major #Developer “I kind of had a feeling I would get developer. I see the best in people and help build them up. I watch them and push them to be the best person they can be, so it makes sense.”
Misty Tanner, senior marketing major #Input “I’m not really surprised by my strengths because input is asking and being inquisitive and curious. I’m the kind of person that stays up to 2 a.m. watching “How It’s Made” videos. I can tell you how a tube of toothpaste is made if you want.”
Victoria Watson, sophomore journalism major #Developer “A developer is a person who recognizes and cultivates potential in others. This reinforced what I thought my strengths would be. I want to see others succeed and to help them get there.”
Media Release | Feb. 14, 2022 | Pineville, Louisiana Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of College Communications | Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org