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Now, Discover Your Strengths Hardcover – Unabridged, January 29, 2001
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Effectively managing personnel--as well as one's own behavior--is an extraordinarily complex task that, not surprisingly, has been the subject of countless books touting what each claims is the true path to success. That said, Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton's Now, Discover Your Strengths does indeed propose a unique approach: focusing on enhancing people's strengths rather than eliminating their weaknesses. Following up on the coauthors' popular previous book, First, Break All the Rules, it fully describes 34 positive personality themes the two have formulated (such as Achiever, Developer, Learner, and Maximizer) and explains how to build a "strengths-based organization" by capitalizing on the fact that such traits are already present among those within it.
Most original and potentially most revealing, however, is a Web-based interactive component that allows readers to complete a questionnaire developed by the Gallup Organization and instantly discover their own top-five inborn talents. This device provides a personalized window into the authors' management philosophy which, coupled with subsequent advice, places their suggestions into the kind of practical context that's missing from most similar tomes. "You can't lead a strengths revolution if you don't know how to find, name and develop your own," write Buckingham and Clifton. Their book encourages such introspection while providing knowledgeable guidance for applying its lessons. --Howard Rothman
From Library Journal
The premise of this new management study, a follow-up to Buckingham's First, Break All the Rules (S. & S., 1999), is that the most effective method for motivating people is to build on their strengths rather than correcting their weaknesses. The authors, researchers at the Gallup Organization, have analyzed results of interviews conducted by Gallup of over 1.7 million employees from 101 companies and representing 63 countries. When asked, only 20 percent of these employees stated that they were using their strengths everyday. So that they can take a test revealing their strengths, readers are given access to the StrengthsFinder web site and a special ID number; once they learn their profile, they can read the analysis in the book. A description of each type is included, together with case studies, and managers are shown how to handle various types. This book offers a unique perspective on successful management strategy and developing employees' strengths. Recommended especially for public libraries, which should also consider Buckingham's First, Break All the Rules; students of business administration may also wish to consult this book.DLucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Find out what you don't like doing," says Marcus Buckingham, "and stop doing it!" Millions of people have discovered their strengths through Gallup's amazing series of strengths books--this being the first.
You're heard this stat a lot--only 17 percent of the workforce "play to their strengths" every day. That's tragic!
Years after this was first published, I'm still amazed at how many leaders and managers have not read this or any of the other books, like StrengthsFinder 2.0 or Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow.
The big idea: focus on enhancing your team members' strengths rather than eliminating their weaknesses. The book describes 34 positive personality themes such as Achiever, Developer, Learner and Maximizer.
You'll learn how to build a "strengths-based organization" by capitalizing on the fact that such traits are already present on your team. The book directs you to a web-based interactive questionnaire developed by the Gallup Organization and you'll instantly discover you own top five strengths.
My top five are Focus, Responsibility, Significance, Belief and Maximizer (in that order). Amazingly, the authors say that less than a dozen people in North America have the same top five in the same order.
At your next staff meeting, ask two questions:
#1. Recent polls reveal that less than two out of ten people - the actual figure is 17 percent - say they spend the majority of their day "playing to their strengths." Wow! Is that true in our organization?
#2. What would happen here if we turned that around--and all of us invested the majority of our day in "playing to our strengths?"
The book has challenged several assumptions on which I've based my teaching and coaching. While I've always tried to bolster a client's / student's strengths, I've been equally if not more focused on their weaknesses and on helping them acquire new skills.
I think I have wanted to believe that "talent" could be acquired. In thinking that, I actually was mis-using the word. This book has helped me to understand that "skill" can be acquired; talent is innate.
I think the core insights of the book will allow me to help students and clients feel less pressure in their pursuit of "talents" they don't have and will allow me to help them use new "skills" in service of protecting the talents they do have.