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Showing 1-10 of 50 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 109 reviews
on October 25, 2010
Marcus Buckingham's book, "Go, Put Your Strengths to Work" was my introduction to what is being called "the strengths movement." And what an introduction! This book has had a profound impact on my life, as I'll explain a little later. I highly recommend it as a powerful book to change your life for the better.

The idea at the center of the strengths movement is that excellence is not the opposite of failure and that, therefore, you will learn little about excellence from studying failure. The action based on this belief is that we should focus on finding and employing our strengths in life because doing so will make us more creative and happier, and better at what we do. To reach this goal, we need to assess our lives and jobs and discover how well they are allowing us to use our strengths.

Surprisingly, most people are already at jobs that can allow them to maximize their strengths. The trick is to look at what you currently do and to increase dramatically how much of the time in your life you're actually playing to your strengths: in other words, see if you can restructure your life and job around your strengths.

Buckingham suggests a 6-Step Discipline:

1. Bust the Myths - believe that capitalizing on your strengths is a better way forward than working on your weaknesses
2. Get Clear - identify your strengths and weaknesses
3. Free Your Strengths
4. Stop Your Weaknesses
5. Speak Up - talk about your strengths and weaknesses
6. Build Strong Habits

The "AHA" Moment for me came near the beginning of the book as Buckingham discussed why it was that so many of us are still drawn to learning the things we lack or are not good at. In the process of reading "Go, Put Your Strengths to Work" I discovered that too often I focus on and complain about what I don't have and what I'm not instead of seeing and giving thanks for what I do have and what God has made me. A corollary to this is that instead of going to bed late thinking I've never done enough for God or my neighbor, I can go to be even if things are left undone. This was very liberating to me!

Buckingham astounded me even further when he wrote that it was a myth that as you grow, your personality changes. The truth, instead, is that "As you grow, you become more of who you already are." This is exactly what I've found to be true in my life and the lives of countless others, and yet the ideas in my head didn't match up to what I was witnessing. This is not to deny the reality of true spiritual change. But your basic personality is not what really changes in a spiritual change: just the way that you choose to use what God has already given you.

The greatest change in my thinking came when I went through Buckingham's exercises in which he asks the reader to answer the following 3 questions:
1. How does it serve you to believe that as you grow your personality changes?
2. What would it cost you to stop believing this?
3. How would it benefit you more to believe that as you grow, you become more of who you are?

As I answered these questions, a great deal of stored up wisdom flowed from my heart to my head to my hand as I wrote down my answers. These are 3 profound questions that can be applied to many important areas of life, and they helped me to realize a lot of important things about myself. I found myself, for example, measuring my "success" in a new and healthier way. The remainder of the book works out the ideas I've already summarized above, especially the 6-Step Discipline.

I believe this book has the power to cause you to examine your life and to, in turn, live a life that is wiser, healthier, and happier - not just on a material but also on a spiritual level.
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on May 9, 2013
Yes, of course we should go for our strength - and not complain / fight / struggle in our weaknesses.
But society doesn't teach this. Forget about what you do not want, what you are not made for or is not your inspiration.

Find your strength, build and grow what you are good in ... enjoy and prosper - and be an inspiration for the rest of us. This simple, but mostly overseen truth is a success turbo for everybody. Increasing on what you love brings much more than beeing the average of everything. Too draining, too boring, too weak.

Great book/audio from Markus Buckingham - must read/hear!
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on January 30, 2008
While there are many reviews of this latest book from Marcus Cunningham, I am contributing my perspective as a Psychologist and Business Coach.

I have found this book to be the most practical and functional of the set of books that Marcus Cunningham has written. His other book in this series on strengths, "Now, Discover Your Strengths", serves as the theoretical foundation of the understanding of personal strenths.

The focus of this book is on putting those strengths to work. The framework Buckingham uses is a 6 step program.
This program includes:
1) Believing in the importance of developing your strengths
2) Clarifying and identifying your strengths
3) Finding the right settings to develop and apply your strengths
4) Identifying and limiting your weaknesses
5) Learning how to promote your strenths within a business team setting
6) Buidling strong habits to overcome challenges to focusing on your strengths

I read this book with the intention of finding the functional application of strength buiding. I found his chapters on Clarifying your strengths and Finding the right settings to implement them, very helpful in that regard. He uses personal examples, as well as case studies.

He suggested exercises to follow in order to clarify and then implement your strengths. I made successful use of those with a number of my clients who were very motivated by the results.

Buckingham makes a clear effort to give practical applications and tools to use in every chapter. He references his website [...] for the available tools as well as offering the colorful resource guide at the end of the book.

If you are a business or life coach and looking for exercises and applications of strengths with your clients, this Buckingham book with be a big help.
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on January 20, 2009
Buckingham co-wrote an earlier book about discovering your strengths, when he was with Gallup. Now, he is no longer with Gallup, and he wrote this book, in which he says that the things he called strengths in the earlier book weren't really strengths, but the strengths in this book are really strengths. This is one of the things that I found disagreeable about the book.

Another negative aspect of this book: it is a magazine article padded out to book length (barely padded out -- it has a 16-page 'resource guide' which is essentially an advertisement for other stuff that he wants you to spend your money on).

There is some interesting and thought-provoking material in this book. And, judging by the customer reviews, it has helped many people.

But it is also an attempt for Buckingham to sell you more stuff -- starting with the book itself, which you have to ** buy ** in order to take the online evaluation test, which is called a Strengths Evaluation Track (SET) survey. Yes, Buckingham is trying to invent a perpetual money-making machine by selling you the book, and then a DVD set, and then . . . (see his blog above for the latest stuff he's trying to sell).

You have to buy the book to get the secret code so you can take this SET test online; and then, you can only take it 3 times (even though the author recommends re-taking it once a year . . . like, what am I supposed to do after that? buy a new copy of the book?). I found that the SET is not necessary to getting something from the book. Most of the questions are a version of 'how much of a typical work week do you spend doing things you really like to do?'. You can understand the book and do the exercises in the book, which are intended to help you understand your strengths, without taking the survey. So, save your money, get it from the library.
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on August 17, 2013
This book helps you determine what your true strengths are and what factors rob you of those strengths. The goal, of course, is to help you concentrate on those things that make you the most effective, and to get away from those things that hinder you. The things that hinder you may be imposed by others: the boss, a coworker or the tasks of the job itself. The book shows you how to effectively communicate to bosses and co-workers what you are good and not so good at in order to be better at your job and to make your company better as well. I got a lot out of this and recommend it, especially to people who fear that expressing themselves might cost them their jobs.
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on March 10, 2007
So many books that in any way come close to being in the "positive attitude" arena contain more fluff than fact, more hype than action. Knowing Marcus Buckingham's earlier works, one should know that his work is backed by solid research, in some cases, some of the best research ever done, i.e, the Gallup background in "First, Break All the Rules." In this case, while Marcus relies on interviews with individuals, it's the consolidation of the material that makes it so powerful.

The book takes the ideas of knowing your strengths to the next steps for implementation and action.

What is particularly interesting about this book is that it is clearly a 21st Century publication, at an expected competitive price. The book contains a code that allows the reader to access a brief assessment tied to the basic content of the book, an opportunity to watch segments of the companion film, Trombone Player Wanted, and the essential forms for implementing the concepts. So instead of having to purchase a separate workbook, it's all included. For that plus the excellent content, I say thank you. It's not a short book, but it was engaging enough that I did it in short segments over two days.
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on May 23, 2017
Excellent resource and companion product for the leadership training we are doing at the office. I thoroughly enjoy everything I've used that is by to Marcus Buckingham.
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on December 6, 2013
This book helped me put into words and prospective, the strongest areas of myself. It was wonderful. It takes you through 64 human strengths, and through some tests gives you your TOP 5 strengths first, and then the rest in descending order. I carry around my top 5 on a small index card in my wallet. The CEO of my company advises me often, to USE them in my everyday life, and see how it makes me grow.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is searching for answers about themselves.
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on June 19, 2012
Do not buy the Kindle edition. You do not get the code needed to complete the online survey or get the results of the survey. Don't buy a used version either. The code can only be used once, so if you buy a used book, you're missing out on the most important part of the material.

My employer bought a few cases of this book as a followup to last year's training on Strength Finders. They said that they would reimburse anyone who wanted an electronic version. Unfortunately, an electronic version is missing the key to discovering your strengths and how to best use them.

Buy a new hard copy. The material is useful.
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on December 28, 2007
This third in Buckingham's series of books amplifies his previous writing by forcing the reader through practical steps that take the basic premise of "follow your strengths, ignore your weaknesses" to another level. The focus of this book is on applying your strengths for maximum effectiveness. None of us are using anywhere close to our full potential. And so the author takes us through a six-week experience that helps to reveal previously undiscovered aspects of your unique strengths. The book includes exercises and examples of people who have put their strengths into play and refined them. In addition, the book ties to a website that displays a film series illustrating the principles described. By reading and applying this volume, the reader can be on the forefront of the "strengths" revolution.
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