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Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community Hardcover – October 10, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; 2nd edition (October 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595620028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595620026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the religious spinoff of Clifton's first coauthored bestseller, Now, Discover Your Strengths, which was aimed more squarely at the business world. The principles in both books are the same: individuals will be happier and more successful if they build on their strengths, rather than focusing on overcoming their weaknesses. The authors call for a "strengths revolution" in churches that will allow more congregants to feel they contribute by doing what they do best. If congregational leaders can identify members' strengths and assign tasks in harmony with those traits, they will enjoy a greater sense of connection to and satisfaction with their religious communities—something the authors suggest is in short supply. It is a simple message fleshed out by an inventory of 34 possible "signature themes." Readers can determine their own top five signature themes by using an ID code (unique to each book copy) to take an online personality test developed by the Gallup Organization. The authors' "theology of strengths" refers to Paul's sermon on "the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians) and Christ's parable of the talents, among other biblical passages. This is an action-oriented book, and taking the test will give readers a personal hook. It should appeal to religious book groups as well as individuals and church leaders.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

It is a very interesting and insightful book and it doesn't lie!
M. Connors
The Book was said to be new but in the back of the book was a code to be used to take a strengths test and the code had already been used.
Todd Miller
I have used this book over and over again to help staff members understand their own strengths and the strengths of their co-workers.
T Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Learner on February 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We have just begun to use this text and accompanying workbook and video at our church for a seven-week study to determine our God given talents and calling. Apparently this material is also used in business for the same purpose. The initial process is to go online and take a strength finder assessment (approx. 30-40) minutes. This assessment then provides the user with a ranking of their top five strengths. Note: Each book has a unique code that can be used only once to take the assessment. The results from that assessment is then the basis for the remainder of the study, e.g., six weeks in the workbook. I have not read through the entire book. Most of the content is concerned with describing the thirty-four "themes" (e.g., strenghts). I would not recommend purchasing the book without the accompanying "Journey" workbook - and I would think that doing this on your own (with the book and workbook) would be valuable but not as vaulable as doing it in a small group.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. M. Masters on March 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited to receive this book, as I had recently been to a workshop at a conference singing the praises of the Gallup-developed strength finder system. I was able to use the code in the book jacket with no problem and it was great to get the results, but I was a little disappointed with the rest of the book from that point. The bulk of the book is just descriptions of the strengths, so of the 30-some-odd most folks will only need to read their five. The rest of the book was pretty much five-point checklists with some ways to be in ministry, which, while nice for the layperson, wasn't the meaty stuff I was hoping for since I am in a church vocation. I am interested in perhaps getting the original (Now, Discover Your Strengths) hoping that it will go into greater detail about how to use the strengths, not just identify them. I'll probably flip through it at a bookstore first, just to be sure. I found the online survey very enlightening and want many folks I know and work closely with to take it! That part was very satisfying.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Masong on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The thing I like about this book is its practical and positive orientation about giving voice to one's own set of talents and how this contributes towards community building. The whole orientation of its philosophy is so commonsensical one gets struck that one never thought about talents and skills that way. Nonetheless, this positive orientation seems to take a one-sided approach that diminishes the totally real reality of weakness and failures (or probably that's just me being rather cynical!). Also, the online-assessment is a very good one, although the fact that one has to buy a book to get a one-time, one person access code seems to be motivated more by marketing ideals, rather than pure good intention of helping out people discover themselves. All in all, it's a must read for serious community builders and church leaders.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Loarie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Are you on the right track? Do you wonder about why you love doing certain things and dislike others? Do you wonder why you react in certain ways? Are you looking for a better way to make right decisions, enjoy peace of mind, and live in harmony with others. This may be the book for you.

"Living Your Strengths" is an extension of "strengths" research begun more than forty years ago by Dr. Donald Clifton of the Gallup Organization. Clifton researched the natural patterns of thought, feeling, and action of two million people in more than 25 countries. The result is the Clifton "StrengthsFinder," a tool that reveals a person's top five themes of talent - one's "Signature Themes."

A "Strength" is the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a given activity. This ability is a powerful, productive combination of talent, skill, and knowledge. Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Unlike skills and knowledge, talents exist within you and cannot be acquired. We must first need to identify, affirm, and apply our unique mix of talents then apply them.

Clifton's research highlights folly of the widely used "weakness prevention" model - to be successful, we must "fix" our weaknesses. This thinking is wrong. Building a life around one's greatest natural abilities rather than trying to repair weaknesses is the path to success.

The book is organized around the use of the StrengthsFinder (provided with the purchase of the book) to identify, assess and affirm our Signature Themes (talents), and how to apply them for growth and life success. There are thirty four identified talents ranging from achiever, maximizer, ideation, individualization, and significance to woo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spokanistan Steve on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had no idea that 4 of my 5 strengths were in the area of strategic thinking! I've done the Meyers-Briggs and Enneogram as well as several other "talent" focus surveys. The Gallop Strengthsfinder is by far the best survey of its type that I have done to date. Out of 34 possible talents, my survey identified 5. You might think it valuable to know your top 10 talents, but I don't think so. I believe knowing the 5 top talents that you possess shines a focus on those strengths. I actually have begun to see myself in a different light. I am adjusting my professional life accordingly. The ideal is to find other people with different strengths. These combinations of different top 5 strengths makes for a much stronger staff.
One caveat. I have the Kindle version of the book and had to go through many hoops to get an access number. As far as I know, there is no access number in the Kindle version. I was fortunate to be at a conference with a lady who ran Strengthfinders workshops and she arranged to have me take the test. It was a hassle, but does not dampen my enthusiasm for the book and concept.
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