Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
on June 22, 2010
The authors have impressive backgrounds in science, research and psychology. This book is well researched.
Through a questionnaire, they get the prospect to identify their strengths on 12 different scales that they have identified as being crucial for success.
The 12 key executive skills include:
1 - Response Inhibition - the ability to think before you act (I am weaker on that one than the rest)
2 - Working Memory. The ability to remember things while doing complex tasks. I often call this innate intelligence.
3 - Emotional Control.
4 - Sustained Attention.
5 - Task Initiation. Just Do It.
6 - Planning/Prioritization.
7 - Organization
8 - Time Management - I totally agree with this one.
9 - Goal Directed Persistence. practise goal setting.
10 - Flexibility. I have often seen executives struggle with things when circumstances change without warning.
11 - Metacognition. This is the ability to take a birds eye view of of yourself in a situation and understanding what you need to do.
12 - Stress tolerance.
What I notice is many of these overlap. EG - Being able to have Goal Focused Persistence ties to Sustained Attention. Strength in one area is often used to handle a challenge when it could also use strength in another area to handle the same issue.
Strengths are shades of grey. Not Black and White (at least not in most cases)
The one part that I had a knee jerk negative reaction to was "you cannot change your strengths". But as I read the book, I actually came to agree with what this book calls a "truth". I know I always believed innate intelligence cannot change.
My technique for dealing with challenge is to study and learn. Learning does not change inherent strengths but can give us systems and processes to deal with an area. By using tricks, systems and processes to cope in a weak area so you can appear "good" at it.
Work Your Strengths then goes on to review dozens of jobs and areas/industries and point out what areas need key strengths can tolerate certain weaknesses. They list 3 key must have Executive Skills, 3 that are ok with be weak in and then one area that is called a "determining trait" where the theory is having that strength differentiates the true achievers in the field/position.
The research the book is based on is impressive. There are pages of companies that participated in the studies. They survey 1000 people per week.
This is a great book for anyone looking to slot themselves into the perfect position.