In 2000, Don Clifton and I wrote Now, Discover Your Strengths, which introduced the world to the Strengthsfinder Assessment.

About a decade later, and in honor of the late Don Clifton who, next to my father, was the wisest, most influential figure in my life, I wrote another book that introduced the world to the next-generation Strengths assessment: StandOut.  Over 10 million people have taken these assessments which makes me, as a researcher who is so passionate about changing the world of work through identifying and leveraging an individual’s unique strengths, super proud.

And now about a decade later (older, grayer, and I’d like to think wiser) I am finally doing something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time: Bring strengths to students, parents & teachers. Help us create an assessment for students to understand and leverage their strengths. Click To Tweet

So I decided to design a psychometric instrument – a strengths assessment – for students between the ages of 13 and 18 to help them discover, name, and then apply their unique strengths. I’m taking the existing StandOut assessment and rewriting it to make it specific and applicable to a student’s experience. And thanks to my industrious Director of Research, Dr. Mary Hayes, we’ve been able to complete the first phase of this project over the holidays.

Now – and this is where I need your help – I need about a thousand students to take this new assessment by February 29th so we can validate it against the original. Once the assessment is final and validated, we will put it into a mobile technology platform with the help of the ADP Research Institute and give it away to students around the world.

I want to start there: to give students valuable data on themselves and their strengths, then help them make sense of that data and how they can individually apply it in school and in life. Too many students leave school without any sense of what they can give the world – and I want every young person to know they have something unique to contribute.

StandOut Student is underway, and I’m looking for people to join me on the ground floor. We will build up together.


I should probably mention – the first 100 people to sign up will be invited to exclusive events with me to discuss making change in this space.  Hope to see you there.

For my fellow data geeks, you can read about our Psychometric Process and Technical Whitepaper here.