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The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success Hardcover – September 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Buckingham, a motivator hailed by firms such as Best Buy and Coca-Cola, uses two decades of research experience with the Gallup Organization to help others maximize their strengths. His fifth book (Nelson, 2008) is enhanced by this accompanying 22-minute DVD in which he engagingly speaks of recognizing true strengths whereby employees perform optimally, are motivated, and are "in the zone." His words are illustrated in a most involving way via a young trombone player who yearns to put his talents elsewhere in the school band, who is moved to change his path but who won't quit the band and leave it trombone-less. The story is presented sans dialog, with Buckingham's advice interspersed strategically. This DVD can easily be used to encourage new students or seasoned employees.—Debbie Rzepcyznski, Lake Cty. P.L., Merrillville, IN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Marcus Buckingham is a best-selling author with more than 3.7 million copies of his landmark bestsellers in print. Profiled in the New York TimesFortune, and Fast Company, he has consulted with brands such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Best Buy.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Pck edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400202264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400202263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

In a world where efficiency and competency rule the workplace, where do personal strengths fit in?

It's a complex question, one that intrigued Cambridge-educated Marcus Buckingham so greatly, he set out to answer it by challenging years of social theory and utilizing his nearly two decades of research experience as a Sr. Researcher at The Gallup Organization to break through the preconceptions about achievement and get to the core of what drives success.

The result of his persistence, and arguably the definitive answer to the strengths question, can be found in Buckingham's trio of best-selling books, First, Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman, Simon & Schuster, 1999); Now, Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton, The Free Press, 2001); and The One Thing You Need to Know (The Free Press, 2005), in which the author gives important insights to maximizing strengths, understanding the crucial differences between leadership and management, and fulfilling the quest for long-lasting personal success.

What would happen if men and women spent more than 75% of each day on the job using their strongest skills and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they wanted to do?

According to Marcus Buckingham (who spent years interviewing thousands of employees at every career stage and who is widely considered one of the world's leading authorities on employee productivity and the practices of leading and managing), companies that focus on cultivating employees' strengths rather than simply improving their weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency while allowing for maximum personal growth and success.

If such a theory sounds revolutionary, that's because it is. Marcus Buckingham calls it the "strengths revolution."

As he addresses more than 250,000 audiences around the globe each year, Buckingham touts this strengths revolution as the key to finding the most effective route to personal success -- and the missing link to the efficiency, competency, and success for which many companies constantly strive.

To kick-start the strengths revolution, Buckingham and Gallup developed the StrengthsFinder exam, which identifies signature themes that help employees quantify their personal strengths in the workplace and at home. Since the StrengthsFinder debuted in 2001, more than 1 million people have discovered their strengths with this useful and important tool.

In his role as author, independent consultant and speaker, Marcus Buckingham has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today and is routinely lauded by such corporations as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Master Foods, Wells Fargo, and Disney as an invaluable resource in informing, challenging, mentoring and inspiring people to find their strengths and obtain and sustain long-lasting personal success.

Marcus Buckingham holds a master's degree in social and political science from Cambridge University and is a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Leadership and Management. He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles, CA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Pippa Lee VINE VOICE on October 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I was about to graduate from high school, I did not know what I was going to do with my life or what I wanted to be. Because of my indecision, I got my share of well-intentioned advice: "Do what you're good at." "Go where the money is." "You'll figure it out later. Just get a job."

I wish I had Marcus Buckingham's "The Truth About You" back then. Buckingham's advice to success is simple: Work on your strengths. But it is his definition of "strength" that makes a world of difference. To him, strength is not something you're good at but something that excites you, something that you look forward to, something that makes you strong. The idea of focusing on how it feels when we're doing something rather than on how well we perform it has changed the way I look at my life and my work for the better. Now I don't feel embarrassed that I'm not good at math or regretful that I did not follow my teacher's advice (you're good at writing; therefore, you should be a lawyer). Instead, I give myself permission to concentrate on using what I'm good at in ways that make me feel accomplished and fulfilled. That does not necessarily mean it will translate into buckets and buckets of money. However, it sure beats waking up every morning to go to a job you do well but dread and hate.

"The Truth About You" is a very short book designed to be used in conjunction with the DVD (included with the book) where Buckingham talks about the three myths that stand in people's way to a better and more successful life and job career. The book not only expands on the material covered on the DVD but it also functions as a workbook with exercises to help the readers discover their strengths and weaknesses.

This book is obviously meant for soon-to-be-high-school graduates and college students still exploring their career options, but I would highly recommend it to older adults who are contemplating job changes or want/need to start a new career.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sean McGever on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Here is a great piece advice: Find something in which you have found success, something that you look forward to doing, something that makes time fly by, something that is incredibly easy for you to focus on and something that fulfills a need of yours... and then do it. Find ways to do it in your job, no matter what your job is. Find ways to incorporate that into your relationships, your free time, anywhere and everywhere. This is Marcus Buckingham's advice in "The Truth about You". This is not new advice, but it is concise and timely for nearly everyone.

I work with so many college and young career friends of mine who are constantly trying to figure out what the heck they should be doing with life. Buckingham provides some good help in "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and this book and others of his have been helpful for some of my friends and even personally."The Truth about You" is a book in the same vein, minus the testing component of the Strength Finder. But the easiest way to say it is it is dumbed-down. It is simplified. The "book" has three components. A 24-minute DVD, a 110 page book, and a memo pad to use as a tool to take notes on daily moments where you find your strengths and your weaknesses.

The book uses a large font, lots of blank pages and too much empty space on each page. I read it in one setting in about 60 minutes in depth. The DVD is really well done and Buckingham is fun to listen to. Yet he is pretty much reading the book word for word in a dramatic, motivational-presentation style voice. The memo pad is a good idea, it takes steps to really engage a whole new level of learning that simple reading cannot. Yet, instead of a spiral notepad, they could have included a 3x5 card to slip in your wallet or purse instead.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Sara J. Henry on November 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Buckingham is a dynamic, persuasive speaker, charming and attractive, with a delightful English accent. Watch him speak and you find yourself sitting up straighter and deciding that you CAN improve your life.

But the words that are inspirational coming out of his mouth fall flat on the page. THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU tries to harness his dynamism and persuasiveness in book format, and it's not entirely successful.

His message is a valuable and valid one: Identify your strengths, and play to them.

But passages such as "In school, you knew which subjects you were drawn to, the ones that grabbed your attention and wouldn't let it go, the ones where class time flew by and before you knew it the bell had rung and, though you wouldn't have admitted it to your friends, you almost felt like you wanted to do the class all over again," are, well, insipid, and wordy, and boring. But when he says these words into the camera, somehow it works.

The book is short: 112 pages, with the first chapter starting on page 25, widely spaced, with places to answer questions aimed at helping you identify your strengths. Inexplicably, it's awkwardly bound and can't be removed from the bulky packaging. The book itself isn't much use and the DVD is undoubtedly where Buckingham's strengths lie. I was able to view five "strength tips" but the 24-minute film itself wouldn't play on my computer.

SUMMARY: The message is good, and it works if you can imagine a tiny Marcus Buckingham dancing across the pages emoting to you (or if you watch the video while you read). But overpackaged, overpriced, overly simple writing.
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