Now, Discover Your Strengths: How To Develop Your Talents And Those Of The People You Manage
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Publication Date:
- 20 June 2005
- Management & Management Techniques
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this is a recent mailing list post i made about the strengthsfinder that i thought would make a good librarything review. it was in response to someone who was required to do it at their workplace and found it a waste of time because they didn't learn anything new about themselves in the process.. . .in 2003 the strengthsfinder inventory was the catalyst that changed my life. my manager's manager bought a copy of the book for his entire team because he found it useful, but didn't require us to take the inventory, we were free to do it, or not. i figured why not, so i did. i had no idea that anyone would think things like "input" and "intellection" are strengths, and while i recognized them as things i did a lot, i thought of them as weaknesses, because they make me a lazy daydreamer who surfs the internet all the time. it hadn't occurred to me that i might be able to put what i considered my worst tendencies to good use, and that doing so would make me happy, and that maybe i was in the wrong career (i thought i just needed to keep trying and someday i would like my job). it was the kick in the butt i needed to seek out something other than software testing, it was a foundation for seeking a library science degree, and it kept me from staying at a job i hated and eventually driving my car into the median barrier on the highway. (yes, that's right. strengthsfinder saved my life.) before i took the inventory i would have told you my top strength was communication. that one didn't even make my top five. if you are the rare person who is already well-aware of your personal talents, i can see how it might be a waste of time, and it's probably less enjoyable if you're required to do it, and it is written in a cheesy pop-business-book tone that some find annoying, but as they point out, most folks focus on their weaknesses and struggle to name their strengths, so it can make a person wake up to who they are and what they should be doing with their lives, and that can be really valuable. (holy run on sentence, batman.) that's what happened with me, anyway. i recommend it to anyone who hates their job and doesn't know what they want to do with their life. it seriously pulled me out of a rut.
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.
Better than "First, Break All The Rules"
A very thought-provoking book which brings the focus back into one inner self. The authors advocate that strengths = talents + knowledge + skills. Instead of spending time perfecting skills which one don't have an innate talent for, why not focus on skills which you are born for? The best thing about this book is that it has a extensive questionaire which helps you discover what talents you have. I did the test and it was quite accurate. :)However, the book provided limited insight about how to hone the talents into strengths. So reader is left hanging in the air. Although there's no standard procedure, the authors could have highlighted some areas where the reader can start to take actions.
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