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Showing 1-10 of 439 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 510 reviews
on May 20, 2016
Before I get into the review, a word of advice to all potential buyers: Unless you have already taken a StrengthsFinder quiz and know your dominant themes, you must buy this book new. A new book comes with an exclusive one-time access code in the back that unlocks an online survey. Your unique survey results will then calculate what your strengths are, so that you can get the most value out of Strengths Based Leadership.

Research demonstrates that people tend not to utilize their natural talents, leading to frustration. Even more, most people also tend not the scale their strengths, but instead focus on scrutinizing their weaknesses. This book makes the case that the best leaders are not, in fact, well-rounded, but maximize their innate gifts with an acute awareness of who they are and the needs of those they lead. This book provides a general framework for effective leadership and helps you identify what your strengths are.

Strengths Based Leadership is the “executive version” of the acclaimed StrengthsFinder 2.0. Both books use the same formula to compute your strengths: by taking a 177-question online assessment. Your “grade” on this test computes your top five themes which you can then read about amongst the 34 themes described in this book.

What Strengths Based Leadership does very well is introduce you to the real leader in you and not the version of a leader formed in the image of popular culture. This book provides tailored, specific and actionable advice on how you can lead in all areas of life. Ultimately, Strengths Based Leadership will likely be a go-to resource well into the future.
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on January 16, 2013
This book was required for a course in my master's degree program. I was highly skeptical of a book focused solely on strengths without figuring out how to correct weaknesses, but this ended up being one of my favorite leadership books of all time. I enjoyed the case studies, the research, and the practical application and tips at the end of the book. The strengths assessment that comes with the text is pretty enlightening (but not unexpected, at least in my case) and the cost of the book is worth it for that alone. The one criticism I have is that the book doesn't tell you how to apply the use of your strengths until the very, very end, and even then it isn't part of the text itself-- it's like an appendix or epilogue. The whole book builds up to it so you're left wondering if you're going to learn anything useful to apply to your own life. This is a pretty typical formula for a self-help style book so I guess I can't criticize too much for that. Otherwise, this is a quick and worthwhile read and you will definitely learn a lot about yourself and others.
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on July 15, 2017
I placed an order for 11 books to be used for an upcoming training program. Everything about my order confirmation looked perfectly normal. However, instead of receiving a box of 11 books I received shipments of 1-2 books every few weeks. As a result, no student could receive their materials until all 11 books arrived individually. This inconvenience delayed the program schedule by weeks.If you are looking for an individual book this might be an option but I would never recommend this vendor for bulk orders
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on May 4, 2016
Helpful and insightful. I use it for my own growth and for more effectively empowering and utilizing my staff. It has opened my eyes for getting the most done while employees are thriving because they are working in their sweet spot. Things I thought would stress some people on my team actually where a win for their strengths. That was a big WIN for me. They do BIG jobs and love it!
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on June 7, 2014
Following in a long line of Strengths focused texts, Rath and Conchie’s Strengths Based Leadership is a concise guide to how leaders and teams can best leverage their individual and combined strengths to effectively operate an organization. Based on the research of Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., the text and its associated Strengths Finder poll code allow the purchaser to identify and consider personal and team strengths when making important decisions. These are further organized by larger domains that help teams understand balance and diversity of their perspective.

As an educator, I have had the opportunity to work with the strengths framework both in the teaching and leadership contexts as well as to teach students that took the connected Strengths Explorer poll. As a result, I frequently find myself revisiting sections of the text as it reads well both from an overview of strengths as well as a reference tool. In fact, the latter half of the text is largely devoted to tips on leading with…(complete with one of the 34 strengths).

Published in 2009, a few of the introductory narratives about well known leaders and their strengths could use to be updated, but sections on how to maximize your team and understand why people follow leaders continue to be relevant and amongst this book's most valuable elements. In fact, the previously mentioned “leading with…” section is organized firstly by the strengths, but also by four broad criteria commonly identified for why people follow a leader.

I would certainly recommend Strengths Based Leadership and continue to use it both when developing strong, cohesive teams, and as a valuable tool in framing not only my or my team’s strengths when making decisions, but also in understanding how those with other strengths (particularly those not represented in the team's "top 5" might view decisions and how best to engage their strengths and talents to support the organization.
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on May 28, 2017
THIS is a great book, especially for teams. The analysis shows you where your team is strong or lacking, so that the team can take on the challenge of developing strengths were they didn't know they were lacking! GREAT GREAT tool!
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on May 10, 2014
I'll be honest... I really don't remember much at all about what's in this book. The main takeaway I remember is to try and play to people's strengths, rather than trying to shore up their weaknesses. Generally speaking people prefer to play to their strengths anyway, so this results in better output and happier people.

What I do remember thoroughly is the StrengthsFinder assessment, and comparing my results to my co-workers. I found that to be highly interesting, and fairly useful for getting a relatively quick handle on what sort of personality they all had. Of course it's not as good as working closely with them for months/years, but it's a great way to get in the right ballpark relatively quickly.

I will say that I'm not convinced the assessment is actually all *that* reliable/repeatable. I took it twice about 3 months apart, and of my top 5 strengths, 2 of the original 5 were gone completely and another was downgraded significantly. The ones I related to most strongly were still present, so I don't think it's total garbage, but it's not perfect.

Additionally, the test included with the book does not include any sort of ranking beyond the top 5, and it does not provide any measure of relative "magnitude" of the top 5 strengths against each other. By that I mean, are your top-5 strengths all approximately equally representative of you, or do 1 or 2 of them show through far more strongly than the others? The test does not provide this sort of information. You can have 2 people with the same exact top 5 lists (in the same order), but significantly different personalities. Consequently you kinda have to just start with the #1 strength, and slowly try to build the other 4 into your interactions, until you figure out just how strongly each of them shows through.

If you like the idea of measuring people's strengths, and trying to play to people's strengths (instead of trying to shore up their weaknesses), you'll probably get value out of this. If you find "personality assessment tests" to be complete and utter hokum, you're less likely to be a fan.
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on August 7, 2015
Our entire office took this Strengths Based evaluation and were amazed how accurately each of us was described pertaining to our strengths. In fact, the feedback only concerns your strengths, not your weaknesses, and includes a section describing what each type of employee needs in order to thrive in his/her position, based on their strengths. There is also a section explaining how, as a supervisor, to manage each of your employees based on what they need in order to strive and thrive in their positions using their top 5 strengths. This would be a great assessment for college students to have an idea of what type of work environment they are best suited to before making a mistake and ending up in an industry/environment where they cannot use their strengths.
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on June 15, 2013
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Three key finding emerged from this research: 1) The most effective leaders are always investing in their strengths. 2) The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. 3) The most effective leaders understand their followers' needs."

2- "What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths - and can call on the right strength at the right time. This explains why there is no definitive list of characteristics that describes all leaders."

3- "The Four Domains of Leadership Strength: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, Strategic Thinking. We have found that it serves a team to have a representation of strengths in each of these four domains...Although individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be."

4- "As you can hear int he stories of these four leaders, they have exceptional clarity about who they are - and who they are not. If any one of them had chosen to spend a lifetime trying to be "good enough" at everything, it's doubtful they would have made such an extraordinary impact. Instead, they've all been wise enough to get the right strengths on their teams, and this has set up their organizations for continuous growth. Unfortunately, very few teams are truly optimized around their strengths."

5- "What strong teams have in common: 1) Conflict doesn't destroy strong teams because strong teams focus on results. 2) Strong teams prioritize what's best for the organization and then move forward. 3) Members of strong teams are as committed to their personal lives as they are to their work. 4) Strong teams embrace diversity. 5) Strong teams are magnets for talent."

6- "For a team to create sustained growth, the leader must continue to invest in each person's strengths and in building better relationships among the group members."

7- "...followers have a very clear picture of what they want and need from the most influential leaders in their lives: trust, compassion, stability, and hope."

8- "Perhaps the ultimate test of a leader is not what you are able to do in the here and now - but instead what continues to grow long after you're gone."
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on March 20, 2017
This book is absolutely fantastic. I was given one in my Freshman seminar class at college, and another at a leadership conference I went to three years later. I just recently bought one for my brother's birthday. This book goes into the details of all different types of leadership, whereas if you had just taken the test alone you would only get the top five that fit you best. Having the whole book helps you to find what else may be a skill of yours, and can also help you see strengths in others.
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