Last week, I completed Marcus Buckingham's "Now, Discover Your Strengths." In this book, which is mostly targeted toward the individual contributor audience, Buckingham asserts that one is most successful when he learns what his natural strengths are, and positions himself to take advantage of those natural strengths.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in this book, finding it little more than a plug for his StrengthsFinder assessment. Of course, his plug was apparently successful, as I did purchase and take the assessment.
My five strengths are (descriptions are from my StrengthsFinder report):
Communication - People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
Woo - People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
Futuristic - People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Strategic - People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Activator - People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
No surprises; I really don't think that assessments like StrengthsFinder reveal anything terribly profound. They are helpful because they help to clarify, reinforce and put into words what you already know. In the end, it was worth the $13 for the book and code on Amazon. Several of my colleagues at Deere are taking the assessment and we're charting our strengths.
My next books are:
Robin Ryan, "Soaring on Your Strengths"
Herb Cohen, "You Can Negotiate Anything"