Monday, November 19, 2007

Go Put Your Strengths to Work

Winter is coming. I noticed on my morning walk that the Speed River is frozen today.

On my flight back from Montréal yesterday I read a Marcus Buckingham book called "Go Put Your Strengths to Work - 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outsanding Performance". I love the general thesis :

1 - Our greatest value comes from using our greatest strengths

2 - Work on strengths to become truly excellent.

Because it is a book about work, it speak to tailoring ones job around ones strengths. It offered some good examples of how to do this.

One interesting comment is that the study of strengths is disconnected from the study of weaknesses. If you study how someone fails, you do not learn how they could have succeeded (and I notice many people tend to look at the world that way - "they failed because they did not do X"). Only by studying success can you learn about success.

It cited polls that say most people are more interested in their weaknesses than strengths. Interesting...

It addresses who is best suited to judge strengths and argued that we each are best to pick our own. I am not as sure on this point. I think sometimes we have difficulty seeing the real us and choose a persona. It did make a valid point though that strengths should be those activities that give (not take) power and energy. And it would be true that only we could know that.

One thing I did not like, is it is tied closely to using a web page to do tests, watch a video etc. Partly this just seems like a money grab because you need a unique password (and as a heavy library user - not sure how that would work) and partly because for me reading a book is different that using a computer so this kills the book experience (not that there is anything wrong with computers). And of course I was on a plane so could not even try to connect if I wanted to.


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every human being have weaknesses, Strenghts should be developed and weaknesses should be reduced to magnify strenghts.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an excellent book, the best of Buckingham in my view. The Aha! Insight for me was his definition of strength as something that you are both good at and enjoy. I love to sing, but despite decades of lessons and hope, I remain talent-free. I also love to write, but since I seem to have some talent there, it has become the way I make my living.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger S said...


I've been happily reading your blog for a couple of months. I've taken the opportunity to attend Jamie Broughton's seminar and also read some books you recommended. Your personal insights have been valuable to a young person like me.


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