Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.
Based on over 2,000,000 interviews, research suggests that a person’s strengths are the key to unlocking their potential impact in the world and on an organization, particularly. Many examples illustrate that a strength is “consistent near perfect performance in any activity.” Talents are natural ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. These cannot be learned, but they are essential parts of a person’s strengths. People can learn specific knowledge and improve particular skills that will enhance their talents to become strengths. A person ought to work in and on their strengths rather than on their weakness, contrary to popular practice, because this is how we can best make an effective contribution to the world. Thirty four themes rise from the research in which people may have strengths, and each is described in detail. Organizations which want to improve performance should allow each employee to discover, improve and work according to the theme(s) that characterize their strengths. Management of people which each of the themes is unique and is discussed. Organizations may be able to drop the “Peter Principle” by hiring people with the right strengths, keeping people in a role that fits their strength, and giving incentives for people to get better at their strengths.
This book is easy to read, and is best used as a resource or reference book. The research is thorough and well presented. This book is a good introduction to a system which seems much larger than what this book handles. I would like to see how this system would match against the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment or the DISC personality system, both of which are quite intriguing to me. Managers and other leaders will be able to effectively use the resources in this book to hire the right people and put those people in the right positions on the team.
“When we studied them, excellent performers were rarely well rounded. On the contrary, they were sharp.” p. 26.