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Now, Discover Your Strengths

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,956 Ratings  ·  550 Reviews
Based on a massive Gallup study of 2 million people, this book shows 1) individuals how to cultivate their own career strengths and strengths, 2) managers how to capitalize the talents of their people, and 3) executives how to build an entire organization around the talents of each employee. By the principal author of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules.

"Mo
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 29th 2001 by Gallup Press (first published 2001)
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Andrea McDowell
Mar 11, 2012 Andrea McDowell rated it liked it
Enh.

I've to this one with a solid decade of reading neuroscience and positive psychology behind me, so not only am I already familiar with the research he cites, but I am well aware of when it is misused. Let's just get this out of the way before we discuss any strengths (haha) the book may have, as I have yet to see its weaknesses covered in any of the reviews:

a) it is NOT TRUE that you can't significantly strengthen your weaknesses. Read The Brain that Changes Itself for a good introduction. S
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Jeph
Jul 26, 2010 Jeph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like many business books, Now, Discover Your Strengths is a book about discovering who you are, what you're naturally best at and how best to apply it in a business or life sense. Interestingly, this book approaches skill and education as secondary to natural gifts, tendencies and talents. The book uses an online personality test called StrengthsFinder (also utilized in other business books) to determine your 5 strongest "themes" of character such as Harmony, Empathy, Activator or Development. T ...more
Graeme Roberts
Oct 17, 2010 Graeme Roberts rated it did not like it
This is cynical bullshit book. The Gallup Organization conducted a survey of over two million people to discover the source of their strengths. They provide a login for an online survey to "discover" your strengths. No book, no survey, so they keep selling books to people who want to find out their talents, and don't we all. Of course, everyone that takes the test further "strengthens the validity of the database." Reading through the list of strengths it was very obvious to me what mine were, w ...more
Michelle
Jan 01, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
"If you ever have the opportunity to read this book and take the StrengthsFinder quiz, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so. I read this book as part of a leadership development program that I am in for work. I learned more about myself from this book and the quiz results than I have in the first twelve months of the program. I learned why I have issues with losing my train of thought when speaking, why I feel this incessant need to constantly achieve and learn something, why I value my alone time. ...more
Ginger
Dec 31, 2008 Ginger rated it it was amazing
My strengths, which at first, 1-2 didn't make sense to me, but gradually I saw how they rule my life in every way. My entire family did this b-c my sister gave us all the books and it made for great holiday discussions and greater understanding and appreciation for our unique strengths. I also bought the books for all my co-workers and we had a discussion date to understand what each of us brings to our workplace and how we could better position ourselves to utilize our strengths. Every person i ...more
Melissa
Aug 04, 2007 Melissa rated it really liked it
My supervisor mentioned this book to me so I started reading it. It also includes a website that you visit to take a strengths finder test which is suppose to help you excel at your job (and for this reason, you should buy the book new so you have the code to use). The idea is rather than focusing on trying to improve your weaknesses, you focus on improving your strengths, resulting in a near perfect performance anytime. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn more about their ...more
Casey
Sep 18, 2010 Casey rated it it was amazing
I read this book and took the test as part of a career-discernment period, and found the concepts it offered to be very helpful.

American corporations and individuals tend to focus on weakness. What am I (or my employees) bad at, and how can I fix it? This book suggests that while we can spend a lot of time trying to fix our weaknesses, we'll never be nearly as successful at that as we will be at improving on our strengths. We're wired to be good at certain things. If we focus on them, we can ge
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Geraldine
Mar 26, 2012 Geraldine rated it it was amazing
How many of us, well into our careers, still live with the mistaken idea that the purpose of most of our activities is to work on those weaknesses and somehow turn them into strengths? I would venture to say, the majority of us, certainly those of us who grew up with post war parents who themselves believed that success in working life and achievement can be measured by the extent to which his has been accomplished.



In the meantime, strengths, natural aptitudes, and in most cases the activities t
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Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 Farnoosh Brock rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-spirit
Yes, the title may be obvious but how many of us focus entirely on our strengths and not mind our weaknesses? The idea of managing a weakness to the point that it does not hinder us but still focusing and growing our strengths - now that is brilliant when put to practice. Thank you Marcus Buckingham!

Even though it took me a few years to leave my corporate job where I was all about overcoming my weaknesses and go into business for myself to let my strengths shine, I am GLAD I took the plunge.

In
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Teresa
Nov 21, 2010 Teresa rated it did not like it
This book should have a disclaimer on it stating you have to buy the book for full price new, or else it's useless. The whole premise of the book is analyzing your results from their "Strengthsfinder" test, but you don't find this out til halfway through the book. It takes even longer for you to find out that you are supposed to use the code from inside the dustjacket. If you get this from the used bookstore, the library, or even brand new and someone else has stolen the code, you've absolutely ...more
Angela
Nov 08, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it
The premise seems good, but I got this from the library and couldn't take the online assessment. So then I considered coughing up the $$ to buy the Kindle version (actually Strengths Finder 2.0, since it was the newer test), but the electronic editions apparently don't contain an access code to take the test. You also can't buy an access code on the web site to take the test.

I'm bothered by this. I have to question how meaningful and relevant the results of the paid assessment would be when Gal
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Curtis
Oct 04, 2012 Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got through this quickly since it was an abridged audio version. I may go back & read the full version on my Kindle. I have been researching strengths based movement and approach to leadership recently.

There was a lot of good insight here, but the big takeaway for me was the author's comment about incremental improvements. Once you discover your strengths, you can hone them by incremental improvements. It reminds me of Mack Anderson's book, 212 Degrees. 212 The Extra Degree by Samuel L. Parker

The difference between world class
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Loy Machedo
Dec 06, 2011 Loy Machedo rated it liked it
Are you in the right job career but at the wrong position?
OR
Are you in the right position but with the wrong job career?

Should you focus on your strengths?
OR
Should you focus on your weakness?

What are your key strengths?
And how many are there?

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton is a brilliantly crafted book which can answer these questions or at least shed some light into answers you wanted so badly.

On the upside, I loved the test that I could take to get to know
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Erin
Jul 10, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, career
This was recommended by trainers in our Human Resources dept. It was really interesting, and a different take on figuring out where you fit in your career--are you in the right role, and the right organization? I've done many personality tests (and know my Myers Briggs score like the back of my hand...ISFJ if you're interested), but personality testing is based on opposite ends of the spectrum--if you're extroverted, you can't be introverted, if you're good with machines, you can't be good with ...more
Nicolette
Nov 17, 2015 Nicolette rated it liked it
While the book helped me to understand some of my strengths (some of which I wasn't aware of), I felt that there was too much time spent explaining why one should focus on their strengths and not enough time spent explaining how, especially since some of the strengths are unconventional.
Renia Carsillo
This isn't the easiest of the Strengths Finder books to get through (try 2.0 if you just want an overview), but it did give the most detailed explanations for how and why the process was created. Interesting and worthwhile read for those interested in Strengths development and how to create a happier, more effective workplace.
Dave
Mar 19, 2015 Dave rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. EVERY COMPANY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.
Imagine a whole new type of job evaluation that focuses on rewarding and unleashing every person's strengths.
The profound impact this could have on millions of people is mind blowing.
Brilliant. Essential. Revolutionary.
Jenny (rapid tortoise)
Mar 07, 2012 Jenny (rapid tortoise) rated it really liked it
Довольно много воды, но тем не менее, очень интересно читать. Основная идея: для того чтобы преуспеть в какой-либо области, нужна комбинация "талант+знания+умения". Задача каждого - выявить свои таланты и не зарывать их в землю:) Для определения ваших личных талантов нужно пройти онлайн тест, код прилагается к книге. У меня была аудиоверсия, поэтому тест пока пройти не удалось, и на амазоне эту книгу для киндла тоже временно не продают. Но все равно интересно узнать, какие же у меня таланты, так ...more
Alicia
Nov 22, 2015 Alicia rated it really liked it
another quick read (HA, caught up on my goodreads challenge!)

as a disclaimer I did already take the test as part of my work, so it was a lot more useful to me than perhaps to others. I really liked that they focused on positive aspects of growth rather than the negative (growing your strengths rather than improving your weaknesses) since I feel like that's a perspective most people don't take. honestly a lot of the signature themes seemed pretty broad and not mutually exclusive (although I gues
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SJ Loria
Aug 04, 2015 SJ Loria rated it really liked it
We hold these truths to be self-evident, in a workplace, people work best when they are in a job that suits their skills, when there is regular feedback on how they are doing, and when there is a shared goal on career progression and development. By developing an individual, and getting their very best, you are also helping your organization, the very definition of a win-win.

Perhaps it’s so obvious, and self-evident, that we need reminders and explicit instructions on how to build towards our st
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Tatiana
Apr 14, 2016 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Recommended to Tatiana by: work
It wasn't terrible.
Rich
Apr 11, 2016 Rich rated it liked it
Generally good stuff to consider and implement in organizations, especially those with teams doing specific tasks.

Keep in mind that after taking the assessment, you're not going to be given a perfect formula for near perfect performance or where you should be working. The purpose of the book is to help identify your top 5 themes and give you some traction on finding places to use them. At the end of the day, you still have to do some self-reflection and assess if you're using your strengths.
Frank
Jan 26, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it
I heard of Now, Discover Your Strengths from my wife, who read it for one of her MBA classes. I thought the conceit -- that a focus on enduring strengths is more important than eliminating weaknesses -- was interesting and seemed to match up against my experiences in various workplace roles.

So even though I knew the book was wrapped around some product that the authors were pitching, I gave it a try.

While I've not read a lot of the contemporary titles about effectively managing personnel, I felt
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Mitch Kelly
Mar 20, 2015 Mitch Kelly rated it really liked it
Understanding that this is an older book and there are some outdated ideas and technologies mentioned (for example, there was a line about allowing certain employees to spend time on the internet as well as the advice of getting a Palm Pilot for people who are especially weak at scheduling or staying on track of projects), the information in the book is informative and invaluable. They authors don't present a quick-fix solution but rather a lens for readers to reexamine their professional lives. ...more
Mander Pander
May 03, 2014 Mander Pander rated it really liked it
Since it bears being mentioned a lot: DO NOT BUY A USED COPY OF THE BOOK. If you look through the negative reviews, you'll note that many of them are related to people who have purchased a used copy and therefore cannot take the nifty "strengths finder profiling test" code, which is single use only. Does the book still have some value without it? I guess, but it's kinda like purchasing partially chewed gum-- both kinda work, but I don't recommend either.

The big pro: the book guides you in the pr
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Merel
Jun 26, 2014 Merel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First of all I agee with other reviewers that it's very annoying that you have to buy a new book to get a valid access code to the online strenghtsfinder. As the premise of the book (it is more effective to build on people's strenghts than to try to correct perceived weaknesses) appealed to me I did buy a new copy. Of the five talents that came out of the test, three fit reasonably well. But when I read through all of them I realised that my most dominant strenght had not come out of the test. T ...more
Gareth Evans
Okay, I had to read this for work and having read it and done the test I had to talk about it to one of the people who developed the test. Interestingly she told me that the method does not identify strengths but dominant characteristics. Strong coffee is not always appreciated.

This insight is at odds with the - quite attractive - central thesis of the book that one should exploit one's and one's colleagues strengths rather than spend time addressing their weaknesses. This is an attractive idea
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Cenk
Feb 01, 2015 Cenk rated it liked it
When I read this book I felt like I was reading an astrology book for professionals. Instead of looking at the stars and zodiac, this book looks at the 34 characteristics themes that was determined based on a Gallup study of 2 million people. On the other hand, I really like the premise of this book where encourages people to focus on their strengths versus weaknesses which we typically do in our daily lives. I also like the delineation between talents, skills and knowledge as the three componen ...more
Harvey Johnson
May 22, 2016 Harvey Johnson rated it really liked it
I Read this book as it is part of the curriculum in our company's leadership development program. It had been a few years since I had taken the strengthsfinder test so it was interesting to see my five core strengths at this point in my career. One of the main concepts within the book is finding ways for individuals or companies to play to the strengths of their employees rather than focusing on training weaknesses. The biggest obstacle to overcome for many would likely be the cost associated wi ...more
Armin Cruz
Mar 24, 2015 Armin Cruz rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Leaders, managers,
Recommended to Armin by: HR Executive
Now, Discover Your Strengths was a fascinating book with the argument that one should focus on developing their inherent strengths of leadership rather than wasting time covering their weakness. The book pairs a detailed breakdown of 34 themes developed from a Gallup survey and millions of data points. Through this data-centric model the authors take the reader through a journey of understanding (baseline what a strength is and is not), discover (what are your individual strengths), and action ( ...more
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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
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“Back in the 1930s, Carl Jung, the eminent thinker and psychologist, put it this way: Criticism has 'the power to do good when there is something that must be destroyed, dissolved or reduced, but [it is] capable only of harm when there is something to be built.” 10 likes
“If your senses are numbed with delusion and denial, you will stop looking for these true strengths and wind up living a second-rate version of someone's life rather than a worldclass version of your own” 8 likes
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