Now, Discover Your Strengths
As humans, we have a natural tendency to fight against our weaknesses and to attempt to develop them into strengths. While it’s important to strive to improve our weaknesses, this focus on self-improvement can lead us to ignore our existing talents and strengths. One person’s weakness is another person’s strength, so from a business perspective, tasks should be assigned based on the existing strengths of each team member.
According to Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton in their best-selling book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, it is more productive to put time and effort into developing existing talents and strengths than it is to focus on correcting weaknesses. This implies that we are self-aware enough to recognize our own strengths. Fortunately, Buckingham and Clifton provide a tool for exactly this purpose – the “StrengthsFinder.” This tool helps you recognize your five dominant strengths so that you can make a conscious effort to develop them further. If this topic intrigues you, I highly recommend picking up a copy of their book.
Here’s a summary from Amazon Books:
“Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers, and by psychology's fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.
“Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, Chair of the Gallup International Research & Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder® Profile, the product of a 25-year, multimillion-dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. The program introduces 34 dominant "themes" with thousands of possible combinations, and reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success. In developing this program, Gallup has conducted psychological profiles with more than two million individuals to help readers learn how to focus and perfect these themes.
“So how does it work? This book contains a unique identification number that allows you access to the StrengthsFinder Profile on the Internet. This Web-based interview analyzes your instinctive reactions and immediately presents you with your five most powerful signature themes. Once you know which of the 34 themes -- such as Achiever, Activator, Empathy, Futuristic, or Strategic -- you lead with, the book will show you how to leverage them for powerful results at three levels: for your own development, for your success as a manager, and for the success of your organization.
"With accessible and profound insights on how to turn talents into strengths, and with the immediate on-line feedback of StrengthsFinder at its core, Now, Discover Your Strengths is one of the most groundbreaking and useful business books ever written.”
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