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StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 13, 2011
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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 Times, Fortune, and Fast Company, he has consulted with brands such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Best Buy. Twitter @mwbuckingham, Facebook: facebook.com/marcuswbuckingham
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I used the 'StrengthsFinder 2.0' assessment with my management peers and our entire contact center team back in 2009. It was extremely insightful to understand each of my team member's five key strengths, but it was also overwhelming. In our group of twenty, that was one hundred strengths to consider. One of the key innovations that they've made in the new book is to move away from returning results with 5 key strengths. This new assessment returns only two, a primary and secondary strength role. I appreciate the way Marcus Buckingham explains the differences between the two assessments in the following excerpt from chapter two: "We wanted an assessment that would reveal your edge and give you practical innovations to help you sharpen this edge. Where StrengthsFinder was descriptive and affirming, we wanted StandOut to be prescriptive and innovating." (p. 27)
The premise is simple. Take a 10 minute online survey and get your results. My results labeled me as a Teacher / Connector. As I read through the definitions and descriptions for each role, I was taken aback by how accurately these two roles describe me. The information in the post-survey report is presented in a format that is extremely practical and actionable. Here are a few of the section headings that will give you an idea of what you can expect:
*You, Are at Your Most Powerful..
*Phrases to Describe Yourself
*How to Make an Immediate Impact
*How to Take Your Performance to the Next Level
*What to Watch Our For
After reviewing each of your strengths separately, the report transitions into sharing your comparative advantage offering a suggestion for an ideal career as well as specific ways you can capitalize on your primary and secondary strengths to win in leadership, management, client service, and sales. The final section of the report is the Strengths Map, which asks six key questions to spur you on to some next steps.
At this point you're probably wondering if 'StandOut' is for you. As a leader and manager, I found the survey results extremely insightful as I continually strive for personal and professional growth in order to better manage my team and serve within my larger organization. Now don't get me wrong, 'StandOut' isn't just for managers and other leaders. Everybody from the mailroom to the C-suite will benefit from their survey results. Each of us is able to achieve infinitely more to a much higher degree of personal satisfaction when we're deriving success from our real strengths.
Author: Running for My Life-Winning for CMT
In comparison to Strengthsfinder 2.0, I find Standout has more quality through the focus of combining your strongest areas and discussing how your top two areas of strength can be used in various ways. It is a very practical assessment. You also are able to see all the strengths-areas in order from strongest to weakest, while you can only see your top five in Strengthsfinder 2.0.
I wanted to address two complaints:
Why does a person have to buy a book every time they take an assessment? - Most assessments of value cost $20-100. You can get the assessment without the book, but it actually cost more, at the time of this review, than buying another book from Amazon. Don't consider this "greed and profiteering." The book is just a bonus. Do the second test with your spouse, child, etc., then donate the extra book to the library.
I am a Teacher, but "teacher" is at the bottom of my list. How can that be? - This one has to do with the definition of the labels. A person can be a teacher, but have no characteristics of the "teacher" in Standout. The reason is that Standout is not a Career picker. The teacher strength indicates a person who has a very caring heart for those around them, and a desire to see every other person succeed. It isn't hard to point out that there are plenty of teacher out there who do not have this as their primary focus. That's okay, because a pioneer/equalizer teacher can bring amazing change and new perspective into the class with a focus on keeping the class focused on what should be done during the class time. Maybe I am overstating this, but in order to understand what your assessment means, make sure you read through the provided definition in order to see how it applies to your work.
Overall I give the review top marks. As a Connector, I will likely recommend this to all my friends to see what new stuff we can make happen. :)
After reading the first two chapters, job-seekers should read Chapter Four before taking the on-line assessment using the key in the book. (The key is e-mailed for the Kindle edition.) Understanding the three lifetime strengths principles of Chapter Four is critical in preparing to land that next job.
The assessment report is 20 PDF pages. I was surprised by my results, and remind others that to sell yourself, you must know yourself -- including your strengths as others see them. The assessment rankings and perspectives in the report and the additional information in Chapter Three will help build a compelling job search campaign. Build it in the language and context of your targets, and Good Hunting!
George F. Steeg