When you focus on your values, you develop a strong sense of self, which in turn benefits your life in a number of other ways (e.g. communication, confidence, and performance just to name a few). The more you know and understand about yourself, the better chance you have to know and understand others. Further, since long before John Donne so famously wrote “No man [or woman] is an island,” we’ve had a fundamental need for companionship, cooperation, collaboration, fellowship, and teamwork.

I’m excited to develop a community here, through the written word. Comment on the things you know about yourself in the space below. Get started right now. I’ll be checking in at regular intervals to keep the discussion going.

I know many people who will read this will want structure and rules. That’s not necessarily in the spirit of my request, but I can provide some pointers. You see, I’m just as interested to read subjective and opinionated comments, as I am more objective and scientific ones. Your comment can be formal or informal, based on data or based on imagination. Here’s my best direction in to avoid ambiguity: tell me about yourself as it relates to your professional life. What are you working on? What are you good at? What do you rely upon to do your best work?

I’m going to talk a lot about self-assessment tools I’ve found in my non-fiction reading, but I don’t want that to unnecessarily limit the conversation. Of course, those who have taken Myers-Briggs (Keirsey), DiSC, StrengthsFinder, Colors Training, or any other such tests are encouraged to share. I highly recommend behavioral-based tests for their quality (reliability and validity), and as of today, I’m not benefiting directly from endorsing any of these. The Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is one of my favorites, and I’ll publish another post specifically on that some day soon.

Today, I want to leave you with my results from The Motivators Assessment, a great tool with tons of great research behind it, from Adrian Gostick and Chestor Elton. You might be familiar with this smart duo, from their best-selling books The Carrot Principle and All In, among others. This assessment is provided when you purchase a copy of What Motivates Me or go to their website,, and purchase a code there.

The results are nicely organized into five categories: The 5 Identities. Four of my top seven motivators are found in the Thinkers category (Creativity, Impact, Learning, and Variety). Two are in the Achievers category (Challenge and Problem-Solving), and my number one is found in the Caregivers category (Family). I certainly have other motivators in the Builders and Reward-Driven categories, but any motivator in the top seven is considered a core driver (the most important). The 23 total workplace motivators are what resulted from over 850,000 survey respondents.

Next week, I’ll begin shifting the focus from values and identifiers to skills and strengths. I’ll continue to share my results from assessments like this one, but I’ll also start telling you a little bit more about not taking these too far — especially the assessments that are trait-based (hint… those are not going to tell you how well you can lead nor are they going to line up very well with performance). Let’s help one another produce exceptional creations, and share the resources that make it easier to maintain the highest quality (work smarter, not harder!). So: What are you working on? What are you good at? What do you rely upon to do your best work?

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