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

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,614 Ratings  ·  122 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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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
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
Mar 23, 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.
Feb 28, 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
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.
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
Jul 23, 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.
Jun 28, 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
Sep 04, 2010 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.
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
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
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
Gary Smith
Apr 22, 2008 Gary Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
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 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
Feb 21, 2017 Jef rated it really liked it
A book to accompany the Strength Finder series.

Buckingham works through solid examples here and helps the reader to understand more about how to be effective as work.

At the same time getting clearer on more practical action steps would be great.

Overall decent book to read
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
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
Angela Lam
A great book for those who want to go beyond concepts of strengths-use and actually apply them. The book outlines in great detail how to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and what to do about them.

I started to try Steps 1-3 (out of the 6 steps) as I read the book. By the end of the week, I had finished the book and drafted my first set of strengths/ weakness statements. E.g.
“I feel strong when I offer solutions, either by integrating information and ideas into an actionable form, or by po
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
Leslie Shreve
Who should read this book: Anyone who wants to re-write their job description, find out what their strengths are and apply them for maximum success at work.

Here 19s what you can learn from this book:
1. How to use four signs to identify your strengths.

2. How to focus your time on your strengths at work and not on your weaknesses.

3. How to talk to your boss and colleagues about your strengths without sounding like you 19re bragging and about your weaknesses without sounding like you 19re whining
Jan 31, 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.
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 and

As Buckingham
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
Apr 21, 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
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
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
Aug 21, 2012 Jeffrey 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
Kay Johnson
Jan 19, 2010 Kay Johnson rated it liked it
If you find that you are frustrated and exhausted by your job, it might be time to figure out why. This book explores a basic fact: When we work within our area of gifting, not trying to be something we are not, we are energized. Time flies. We love what we do. There is NO job on the planet that doesn't stretch you and require you to work OUTSIDE your area of strength at times. That's when you learn to rely on God and on others (something not covered in this book). Still, the book does a great j ...more
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it
I'll bet I've logged 20+ different types of personality assessments. Some resonate more than others, but none as well as this next step. Buckingham shares a straightforward method for understanding and leveraging personal strengths. They truly are "personal" because he leads the reader to determine exactly how, when, and with whom a general ability becomes a strength. For example, "analyzing data," isn't a strength. What is? "I feel strong when I analyze data about human performance and discover ...more
Ahmed Khalil
Oct 10, 2015 Ahmed Khalil rated it it was amazing
It's amazing book, will inspire your mind to read every single page because you feel it covers most of business aspects not only that it gives you time to interact with what you have just read !!

The most Powerful thing is guide you toward your strengths step by step to use them most of the time and figure out your weaknesses to be away from them mist of the time

Also, Marcus support his opinion with evidence by using people who applied those steps and succeeded , i don't know why most if his exa
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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 about Marcus Buckingham...

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