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Customer Review

153 of 164 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Profitable as Other Strengths Works, August 30, 2011
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This review is from: StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution (Hardcover)
I've read with great delight and great profit almost everything Marcus Buckingham has written about Strengths. His works have helped reveal a lot about myself to me, and I've benefited greatly from a better understanding both of why strengths are important and what my particular strengths are. However, "Standout" was not nearly as profitable to me as other works by Buckingham.

"Standout" is the latest in a series of Strength Assessments. Its particular focus is on finding your edge at work. At the heart of the book is the assessment test itself which will let the reader know which of 9 Strength Roles the reader is strongest at, with a particular emphasis on the top 2 Strengths Roles. In fact, most of the book is taken up with chapters devoted to describing in detail each of the 9 Strength Roles in terms of the following categories:

You, at Your Most Powerful
How to Describe Yourself
How to Make an Immediate Impact
How to Take Your Performance to the Next Level
What to Watch Out For
How to Win as a Leader/ Manager/ in Sales/ in Client Service

The "Standout" assessment, therefore, does give the reader some useful information about himself. But here's why "Standout" was not as useful to me as the other Strengths books. First, as you can see by the categories above, "Standout" applies specifically to work, but only to certain kinds of work, especially business. As a priest, professor, and teacher, this book is simply less relevant to me.

Second, I was not as satisfied with the assessment itself. While the other books revealed meaningful and at times profound things about myself - which almost always corresponded to who I am - the "Standout" assessment didn't seem to capture me very well. I came out as Equalizer first and Advisor second. While both of these fit me to some degree, they don't capture my essence as other Strengths assessments did. For example, I have aspect of an Advisor but am not as good at organizing and problem solving as the test suggested. What undermined my confidence in the assessment even more is that of the 9 Strengths Roles (which the online assessment ranked), "Teacher" came out as #9. This makes no sense since I have not only taught in a wide variety of settings but have also enjoyed great success as a teacher. Is it really my weakest Strength Role? Unlikely.

I believe that there is value in "Standout" for many readers, especially if you're in business. But I still believe the other Strengths works such as "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and "Go, Put Your Strengths to Work" are more valuable works and highly recommend them.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2011, 7:17:27 PM PDT
Do your strengths change? If, for example Teacher was a strength in another assessment why would it not be in this?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011, 7:24:28 PM PDT
From what I've read by Buckingham, your strengths are mostly inborn and don't change. That's why I was mystified that I came out so low as a Teacher in this assessment. And it's one reason why I don't think this is as good as Buckingham's other ones.

Posted on Sep 21, 2011, 3:43:55 PM PDT
CJT says:
Some of the information in my assessment was helpful and reasonably accurate, but the material in "Your Ideal Career" couldn't have been more wrong! I would DREAD going to work each day if I had the career described... Not me at all!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2011, 4:14:16 PM PDT
I had a similar experience with this book.

Posted on Oct 1, 2011, 4:20:34 AM PDT
Perhaps it may mean that just because you spend most of your time and effort as a teacher, it may not be your best suit. Maybe the assessment means that you could use some improvement in your teaching skills. I have had a lot of lackluster teachers and have wondered why they kept teaching. Just saying.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011, 8:34:38 AM PDT
Well, he specifically mentioned having had success as a teacher, and as a professor myself I find it highly doubtful that a book is the best assessment tool of one's teaching abilities. Just saying.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011, 8:34:41 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 21, 2011, 8:34:58 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2011, 8:36:32 AM PDT
Yes, that was my original point. By many other measurements, I've been a successful teacher, so for this measurement to be valid it should confirm the results that have already been proven.

Posted on Nov 12, 2011, 6:37:26 AM PST
Geof says:
I have been a passionate practicioner and coach of the strengths approach for the last five years, including having presented a strengthsfinder workshop to over 700 people (as a side hobby) at work, in three schools (Learner was consistently the top talent and Command the least frequent talent), and for the 50 managers and CEO of a hopsital. I have taken the strengthsfinder assessment twice (four years apart - the top five the second time were in the top seven from the first assessment) and was a volunteer "guinea pig" for Marcus's standout assessment. I fully agree Fr Erlandson's conclusions above.

Posted on May 14, 2012, 1:20:57 AM PDT
It is crucial to be in business in order to take the test accurately and not only to be in business but to have several years of experience or to have a very good picture what you should do in some circumstances.
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