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Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus BuckinghamTitle: Now, Discover Your Strengths

Author: Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

No. of Pages: 272

First Released: January 2001

Synopsis (Courtesy of B&N): “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.”

Comments and Critiques: If you ever have the opportunity to read this book and take the StrengthsFinder quiz, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so. I read this book as part of a leadership development program that I am in for work. I learned more about myself from this book and the quiz results than I have in the first twelve months of the program. I learned why I have issues with losing my train of thought when speaking, why I feel this incessant need to constantly achieve and learn something, why I value my alone time.

More importantly, I learned that these are strengths rather than shortcomings. Of even greater importance, I was given helpful hints how to make these strengths work for me on the job and in my personal life. This blog is an excellent example of something that is using my strength of the need to reflect and think about things thoroughly. The fact that I read so many books of almost every genre is due to my passion for learning, which I can channel into my now-complete MBA studies and my CMA studying. I also discovered that my ideal job is ideal because it perfectly suits each one of my top five strengths.

What was of interest to me was that each one of the other twenty-three members of my leadership group had just as profound experiences as I did. When it happens to all of us, when we all feel empowered by the information learned about ourselves, you know that this is a life-altering book.

I am so thankful that I took the time to read this book for my program. It was recommended but not required, but I feel I got more out of the quiz results and the list of my top five strengths because I read the book. (Of course, it is a book, and I’m not someone to turn down reading one.) I cannot stress enough how much my perception on who I am has changed as a result of reading this and getting my top five themes. It was worth every minute of reading.

Image: Signature Block
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