Discover Grow Marketing

The Fascination Advantage

Last summer (2014), I discovered Sally Hogshead's How to Fascinate book and analysis through the many podcasts I listen to. I couldn't NOT look into it. Like I've said, I think it's a lot of fun to take these tests.

In fact, it's the results from The Fascination Advantage that prompted me to go back and start looking at other tests and to even retake the MBTI in September. Why? I was intrigued and wanted to explore the validity and reliability of this new way of assessing personality traits.

The Fascination Advantage Explained

The terms used and the structure of the report can be a bit confusing because the labels are new, but as I've reviewed the results and watched some of her videos explaining the system it started to make sense.

The Fascination Advantage emerged from Sally Hogshead's interest in learning what makes people fascinating.

The basic marketing message to promote The Fascination Advantage system is that MBTI, StrengthsFinder® and DISC explain “how you see the world.” The Fascination Advantage is supposed to reveal “how the world sees you.” I'm not sure that's exactly what it reveals, since “you” are the one answering the questions, not your colleagues, peers or friends. Despite that limitation The Fascination Advantage does provide a new way of looking at personality styles, strengths and communication preferences

Here's my plain English explanation of the The Fascination Advantage: You answer a series of questions about preferences and how you would handle or relate to a situation. These questions identify certain personality characteristics and traits.

Advantages & Archetypes

Based on your responses, your dominant personality traits and communication styles are classified into themes called “Advantages.” Your results reveal a dominant Advantage and a secondary Advantage. When you operate and communicate in ways that are consistent with your Advantages you're more comfortable, more influential, more “fascinating” to the rest of the world.

When you pair your dominant Advantage and secondary Advantage on a matrix you get a an Archetype. The Archetype is supposed to reveal “how the world sees you.”

The system is designed to provide keywords you can use to explain your dominant and secondary personality traits and modes of communication to the rest of the world. Essentially, these keywords are the adjectives you can use in personal branding and showing how you add value and contribute when you're being true to yourself.

In other words, you might say that your Fascination Advantage is tied to your authenticity, to being authentically who you are, not trying to be something else.

My Fascination Advantage Results

I took the Fascination Advantage assessment twice over the course of 6-8 weeks, using two different codes and email addresses and got nearly identical results.

In both versions, my results placed me in the Trendsetter Archetype, which is a combination of Innovation as the primary advantage and Prestige as the secondary advantage.

Innovation was my strongest advantage, with a 20% “score” both times.

Prestige was also my strongest secondary advantage in both assessments, but there was a bit of variation in the Prestige score. July results: Prestige was 18%, while in late August Prestige was reported as 19%. The late August version, also reported the Mystique “Advantage” at 19% with a caveat that a tie-breaker question put me into the Prestige category for the secondary Advantage.

So, I think it's pretty clear that the ranking of my Advantages in this system would fall like this:

  • Innovation
  • Prestige
  • Mystique

Now, what do these labels mean? I'll cover that in my next post.

Have you taken The Fascination Advantage assessment? If yes, what are your thoughts  about it? Are your results consistent with your MBTI and StrengthsFinder results?


The Enterprising Artistic Adventurer

Somehow I managed to hold onto an old computer printout of the results from a college orientation vocational interests assessment, the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory.

I ran across it recently in a folder where I'd stored all my old test scores, transcripts and similar documentation as I embarked on this exercise to compare the results of a plethora of assessments measuring my strengths, interests and advantages. I hadn't looked at this printout in decades. I really can't believe I still have it. [Actually, I'm not surprised—I'm one of those “Know Thyself” types.]

The paper is yellowed and faded now, but the “themes” where I scored the highest back in 1980 are similar to the adjectives that I've been assigned in more recent assessments.

On the surface, I could easily see consistencies between my Strengths Finder 2.0 scores, Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage profile and the results from this old SCII measurement taken when I was 17 years old and about start college.

The apparent similarities sent me off to learn more about the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory and precisely how the themes are defined and described.

My Strong Interest Inventory Results

Circa 1980. The test was known in those days as the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory or SCII.

General Occupational Themes

The SCII classifies responses into six General Occupational Themes. These themes are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

The General Occupational Themes where I scored the highest were:

Enterprising (58, high score)

Artistic (61, moderately high score)

Since the printout had no definitional key to explain what these themes meant, I went looking online and found this helpful guide that explains the General Occupational Themes in the SCII.


“The extreme types have a great facility with words, which they put to effective use in selling, dominating, and leading; frequently they are in sales. They see themselves as energetic, enthusiastic, adventurous, self-confident, and dominant. They like social tasks where they can take control. They don’t like prolonged mental effort in solving problems. The[y] like power, status, and material wealth, and working in expensive places. Some typical jobs include business executive, buyer, hotel manager, industrial relations consultant, political campaigner, realtor, and television producer.” [Emphasis mine.]


“These people like to work in artistic settings where there are many opportunities for self-expression. They have little interest in problems that are highly structured or that require gross physical effort. They describe themselves as independent, original, unconventional, expressive and tense. The like jobs such as artist, author, cartoonist, composer, singer, dramatic coach, etc.” [Emphasis mine.]

SII Hexagon Enterprising Focus


What’s most interesting is to consider what it means that the Enterprising and Artistic themes are on opposite sides of the hexagon. According to the UCF site

“….most people are more than one type, but it’s rare to have people similar to opposite points.”

Once again, I'm outside the box. Not easily pigeonholed.

Basic Interest Scale

The SCII Basic Interest Scale is used to cluster various interests into the six General Occupational Themes.

My highest match on the Basic Interest Scale was in Adventure, which falls within the Realistic theme.

This is interesting because I only had an average score for the Realistic theme, which is mostly aligned with people who work outdoors in construction or military. But the Realistic theme description also encompasses activities associated with nature and general physical strength.

Taking into account my interest then (and now) for nature, running, and simply being outdoors, it's no surprise that my responses yielded a high interest in Adventure.

The Enterprising Theme includes several interests where I scored highly: public speaking, law and politics. I was definitely attuned to all three of those in 1980. Of course, I became a lawyer and I’ve always loved public speaking.

As might be expected I scored high match with an interest in writing in the Artistic theme cluster. More interesting is how well I matched up with music/dramatics/art in terms of the basic interest scales. Same value as for Adventure. I was active in band in high school and interested in theatre and drama (even though I never was in drama classes–no time due to other courses I had to take).

Strong-Cambell Interest Inventory results from 1980

Occupational Scales

In terms of specific occupational similarities, my SCII responses in 1980 correlated very highly with females working as advertising executives, lawyers, life insurance agents, and accountants.

I also had high similarities with various types of teachers, flight attendants and army officers. I suspect the latter two correlated due to my Adventure score.

It’s intriguing to see the correlation with female advertising executives in light of how I’ve evolved into the realm of social media marketing and strategic communication outside of politics and law.

What's Next?

Although I’m not absolutely certain, I think I may have taken the SCII again in 1996, or perhaps some type of assessment more suited for mid-career evaluations. I know I did some type of assessment around the time I decided to take the GRE and consider more graduate education. But those results aren't in my folder, so I may not find them any time soon.

Any, I’m having a lot of fun with this self-exploration project and can’t wait to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s almost like I’m assembly the building blocks for some type of memoir about my life.

Discover. [Be]Inspire[d]. Grow. Shine.

Have you ever taken the SCII? Did you find the results to be consistent with your perceived interests and strengths? Have you ever compared those results to your MBTI assessment?

Do you think these types of assessments are fun?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own experiences with interests, strengths and related types of tests.