Marcus Buckingham spent nearly 20 years as senior researcher at the Gallup Organisation, he is now a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Leadership and Management and widely recognised as a highly influential speaker addressing more than 250,000 people each year. He has been the subject of interviews with The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal and has received recognition from Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Yahoo.
Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
Only 12% of people in 2007 believed they were making use of all their strengths in the workplace, according to Marcus Buckingham and Gallup research. The lack of focus on strengths, says Buckingham, is in part due to the current business culture of trying to understand and fix weaknesses, rather than playing to people’s assets. Go Put Your Strengths to Work turns this research around and provides true focus on strengths, showing how to understand them and how best to use them to the full.
In his previous breakthrough book, First, Break All The Rules, Buckingham developed the idea that the opposite of failure is not excellence and that merely by reducing weakness, we are not necessarily building strength. That book helped to build the ‘strengths movement’, of which Buckingham is now the foremost leader. The movement focuses on research which suggests that the best managers play to their employees’ strengths, rather than healing their weaknesses. In Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Buckingham builds on his earlier work, providing a six step, six week actionable course, full of methods and materials for identifying, clarifying, actioning and reinforcing natural strengths.
The book provides a full training course with questionnaires, key exercises and case studies, running in parallel between the author’s website (through special access rights granted in the book) and the text, to fully immerse the reader and maximise the positive impact in the workplace.
The six steps presented in the book are:
- Busting the Myths – an overview of ideas of the ‘strengths movement’.
- Capture, Clarify and Confirm – looking at talent, skill and knowledge to define strengths.
- Set Your Strengths Free – ways to use and maximise your strengths.
- Put a Stop to Weaknesses - looking at ways to reduce and minimise weaknesses.
- Speaking Up – initiating and maximising conversations about your strengths.
- Building Strong Habits – transforming good practice into sound habits.
This book has applications both as a self help course to building and focusing on personal strengths, and as an activity based guide to managing the strengths and talent in others. In this way, Go Put Your Strengths to Work will be welcomed by team leaders and managers, as well as the high level executive, providing a usable and positive strengths awareness programme. This book is not only a natural culmination to topics introduced in Buckingham’s first book, it also serves as a round-up of knowledge on the strengths movement and as a practical hands-on guide to implementing sound techniques to make your strengths work.