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Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,135 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Buckingham, an authority on workplace issues, provides a road map for managers to learn for themselves and then teach their employees how to approach their work by emphasizing their strengths rather than weaknesses. He offers a six-step plan for six weeks of reading and habit-forming action for discerning strengths, along with optional tools to enhance the process such as ...more
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Free Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Al
Feb 21, 2012 Al rated it it was amazing
Go Put Your Strengths to Work: Marcus Buckingham

Central Truths

1. The profitable question to ask is “How can we build the kind of workplace where more than two out of 10 people use their strengths for most of the day.
2. It is wise to look to a person’s behavior for clues to his underlying personality – it is wise to conclude that his underlying personality will be consistent across time and situations.
3. I will not learn and grow the most in my areas of weakness.
4. I will learn the most, grow th
...more
Melanie
Mar 29, 2008 Melanie rated it did not like it
I am not going to finish this book. Even though my boss told me to read it. I got up to page 160, which was like pulling teeth. The book says you shouldn't do this that make you feel tired and depleted, things that you dread doing. Well, that description perfectly fits how I feel about reading this book. Unless you're a complete moron, it will bore you to death to read this drivel.
Daniel Taylor
Mar 26, 2011 Daniel Taylor rated it really liked it
Last year I was reading in Success magazine about how two coaches approached giving feedback to their teams. The first coach made the team watch the video of the game and he pointed out everything the team did wrong. The second coach also made his team watch the replay, but he pointed out everything the team did right. Researchers found that the team that improved the most was the one where the coach had focused on his team's strengths.

In "Go, Put Your Strengths to Work", Marcus Buckingham shows
...more
Lychee
Apr 04, 2009 Lychee rated it liked it
Recommended to Lychee by: my mentor at work
The most useful of the books about the Clifton Strengths finder. Although it probably helped having read some of the other associated work, and being at an organization that uses this work. Not sure that I'll actually follow the suggested program, but it does give me something to aim towards. Most useful are its suggestions for taking the "strengths themes" and turning them into something actually useful on the job. Wish I'd had some of these ideas at hand when I was younger and thinking about w ...more
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it really liked it
The third book in his strength series, this book is designed to work with the short film “Trombone Player Wanted” (the first two parts of the film are provided free online with the purchase of the book) to promote strength-based organizations by stepping the reader through 6 chapters (he recommends doing one a week) to identify and grow your strengths in your work and life. Buckingham begins by having readers take the Strengths Engagement Survey (SET), to gauge the present involvement of their s ...more
Valerie
Oct 07, 2014 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, 2014
- As you grow, your personality doesn't change. You become more of who you already are.

- You will grow the most in your areas of greatest strength.

- A good team member volunteers his strengths to the team most of the time. A great team member is not well rounded. The great team is well rounded, precisely because each great team member is not.

- A strength is something in which you have consistent, near-perfect perfomance.

- Three ingredients combine to create a strength: 1) Talents. Because you ar
...more
Carol
Jul 15, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Once upon a time, about nine years ago, I read a book called "Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. It required me to take a survey online which asked me several questions about how I process information, relate to people, and so on, and then it gave me my top five "strength talents," things that I'm wired to do naturally. The premise of the book declared that by knowing these strengths, I could then start pursuing a career more meaningful to me, and that I wo ...more
Matt
Jul 12, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok
Too esoteric and not that helpful. Some of it is practical, some application is not. I think some of the skills he mentions are innately practiced by high-performing individuals, but the exercises as a whole don't add up for many. A bit of a snoozer for me. He is a bit full of himself, too.
Joy Jones
Oct 01, 2008 Joy Jones rated it it was amazing
Great book! This puts the focus on what you do best not what your weak points are. Great for college students or those out in the business world. Instead of focusing on those C's or D's focus on the A's and B's you get in school or in the real world.
Drew
Mar 08, 2010 Drew rated it really liked it
As with the others in this series, this was a real eye-opener into what really motivates us and how to best capture- no, make that cultivate, peak performance from ourselves and our teams
Stephen
Jul 24, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
Read MAY 2007

This is a must read for anyone struggling with being effective and/or lost in the mire of all the various systems and programs out there. Very simple. Very effective.
Michael
Aug 07, 2014 Michael rated it did not like it
I was forced to read this crap at work; a futile attempt to get us all to drink the corporate Kool-Aid. I couldn't finish it.

There is nothing original here. Just more "turn-your-frown-upside-down-and-get-back-to-work" hogwash for the buzzword-drunk masses. Another toothpaste smile in a tailored suit peddling Amway promises with a delightful foreign accent.

I've read a lot of books in this genre, many with real substance or at least a grain of applicable truth or insight, but this... this is just
...more
Ken
I usually find such books full of insight and very frustrating at the same time. This one is not an exception. i seem not to fit the molds, and most systems like this want you to fit a mold or template. I found there was insight in the book, and I went through the exercises, but then I had little idea how to apply them in my situation.

Like most of the things I read along these lines, it's all marked up, the blanks are filled in, and it's in a box because I didn't know how to put it into real lif
...more
Elizabeth
Mar 25, 2014 Elizabeth is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: get-again
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert
Aug 25, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing
In this volume, Buckingham quite correctly emphasizes (a) knowing what one’s personal strengths are and then (b) leveraging them to achieve desirable results, whatever the nature and extent of those results may be. He is one of several past or current executives within The Gallup Organization who have written a number of articles and books, based on a wealth of research data. Several Web sites now offer access to much of this information, notably gallup.com and BuckinghamLive.com.

As Buckingham
...more
Lauren
Nov 02, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I think this book has a strong and very useful message, it's completely undermined if you're not currently working. Since I'm a student, I didn't have much opportunity to apply the frameworks to my weekly tasks. Although I "feel weakened" by going to certain classes, I can't really avoid them as a student. This would better serve me once I'm back in the working world.

Further, the kindle version absolutely SUCKS. It constantly switches between font size! It is the absolute strangest thing.
...more
Iowa City Public Library
Marcus Buckingham, author of First, Break all the Rules and The One Thing you need to Know, has a new management title - Go Put Your Strengths to Work : Six Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance. This title is a follow-up to Now, Discover your Strengths. Buckingham outlines a six week plan to with six steps. Begin by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, capitalizing on your strengths, putting your strengths forward at work and diminishing your weaknesses and then communicating ...more
Robert Chapman
As I mentioned in my previous review of Mojo, I inadvertently read a series of books which all follow similar themes with their own unique approach. Those themes are all about strengths, satisfaction, and energy. All of these things are vital to our work and personal lives if we intend to be happy, learn, and continue to grow.

Unlike Mojo, this book offers a more structured and scientific approach to identifying and making use of your strengths. The author states that only 17% of people, or 2 in
...more
Indrani
Mar 31, 2012 Indrani rated it it was ok
I read this one for work, as it had been recommended to us by our managers. It is therefore difficult for me to review the book without thinking of work, and this has likely influenced my review.

There is a number of interesting ideas in this book, and Buckingham challenges some well-worn ideas about people and how they work and grow in a manner that is successful. His base idea is that we will grow much more by focusing on our strengths and nurturing them than we will by trying to improve our we
...more
James
May 22, 2009 James rated it it was ok
This book purports to help readers unlock their potential. It comes with the consultant's boxful of throwaway concepts like acronyms (SIGN), myths, and worksheets. There are some useful references and, of course, help is available from the author's group if needed.

The general idea could be captured in a couple of medium length newspaper columns. This is the first thing wrong about this book. The author has tried to fill in the rest of the pages with forms, charts, and when those aren't enough, f
...more
Matt Burgess
May 05, 2010 Matt Burgess rated it really liked it
Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance (2007), Marcus Buckingham

At this point in the game Marcus Buckingham is 1 for 2. The first book I read by this award winning author was lackluster, I thought. The One Thing You Need to Know didn't do it for me, but Go Put Your Strengths to Work did. Buckingham weaves the right combination of testimony, research, examples and opinion in his book about performance. In particular, I liked how he described his own str
...more
Erika RS
Dec 28, 2012 Erika RS rated it it was ok
I read this books as part of a reading group at work. It is a mediocre book with highly valuable information if you are willing to dig through the business speak and find it. As such, reading it in a group worked well. At our meetings, we were able to weed out the valuable information.

The theme of this book is that people do best when they focus on their strengths. This flies in the face of much popular wisdom which says that you should work to improve in your weakest areas. Instead, the author
...more
Gary Smith
Apr 22, 2008 Gary Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves:
Are you jazzed up at the end of your work day or
burned out? Do you look forward to your work everyday?

Marcus Buckingham is after working for the Gallop organization for many years inteviewed thousands of companies and people about their work.

And found out some interesting data from which he has written a series of books.

His thesis is simple...you will accomplish the most in life by focusing on your strengths. In fact, by focusing on your strengths you will get huge leaps in your success levels t
...more
Lynn
Jun 05, 2008 Lynn rated it liked it
OK, True Confessions: I decided to read this book after Oprah had Marcus Buckingham on her show. What hooked me was the possibility that I might be able to make some changes to how I am doing what I do at work so that I didn't feel so drained and lifeless by mid-week. The whole premis of this book is to discover what your true strengths are - not just the things you do well - and to build your work day around those strengths.

While any "self help" book has it's down side, I believe that this book
...more
Cathy Allen
It took Marcus Buckingham six years after publishing Now, Discover Your Strengths to bring out this follow-up guidebook for making the most of our unique talents and strengths, but it turned out to be worth the wait. The practical advice and step-by-step process of self discovery and action planning provided by Go, Put Your Strengths to Work benefited me the first week I read it and probably every week since. Of particular importance to me was the permission to STOP doing tasks that deplete me o ...more
Aasim Waheed
Feb 29, 2016 Aasim Waheed rated it really liked it
"First break all rules" I thought was very good; "now discover your strengths" was good and this unfortunately was just about average. It seemed like this book was written and published because the publisher wanted a book out. Unnecessarily detailed and stretched out, little real content and too long.

If you like Marcus's style, and liked his previous two books (mentioned above), you may like this book. I wouldn't recommend you read it if you have better books on your reading list.
Krishna Kumar
May 04, 2015 Krishna Kumar rated it it was ok
The concept behind the book is generally sound - focus on using your strengths at work and avoid situations where you are weak. The problem with the book is that it reads very much like a prescriptive methodology for the author's training courses. Like many other poor books, an article unnecessarily blown up into a book.
Jean
Jul 16, 2014 Jean rated it really liked it
We read this as a team at work. Each week we read a section, completed the activities and met for "book club." There are interesting premises to accept about an individual's strengths and weaknesses. I enjoy being reflective about my work, so I really liked this personal journey.
Jeffrey Plummer
Mar 11, 2015 Jeffrey Plummer rated it it was ok
It was OK. I like the strengths based approach and from practical experience know it is somewhat idealistic relative to reality. There are some good suggestions and I like the overall philosophy. Omit some of the stories and the cliff notes version would be about 50 pages long. One thing I do not like and results in my overall lower rating is the need to have the code off a purchased copy of the book to used the corresponding web tools. I think they would gain more ground if the site let you do ...more
Thomas
Dec 02, 2015 Thomas rated it it was ok
Too long and verbose.
tldr: excellence is NOT the opposite of failure. The opposite of failure is the absence of failure.

- Focus on your comparative advantages/strengths
- leverage teammates where you are weak
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In a world where efficiency and competency rule the workplace, where do personal strengths fit in?

It's a complex question, one that intrigued Cambridge-educated Marcus Buckingham so greatly, he set out to answer it by challenging years of social theory and utilizing his nearly two decades of research experience as a Sr. Researcher at Gallup Organization to break through the preconceptions about a
...more
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