Graeme Roberts's Reviews > Now, Discover Your Strengths

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
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Oct 17, 10

Read from October 03 to 17, 2010

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, without even taking the test. After the test they give your five top "themes," which I found ridiculous, since I strongly identified with two or three times that number.

The themes were of several different types, and there was no logical, unifying consistency to them. They had identified buckets into which people appeared to plop, and these became convenient descriptors,like Harmony, Futuristic, Restorative, Fairness, or Positivity.

The appeal is similar to a How Good Are You in Bed quiz in Cosmopolitan magazine, and about as profound.

The only worthwhile insight is the simple but important idea that companies and organizations should build on the strengths of individuals, not try to correct or treat their weaknesses, which will never become strengths. I heartily agree, but didn't need Buckingham to tell me that.

Buckingham worked for Gallup then, but quickly launched a successful career as a guru on the basis of this crap. The newer Strengths Finder 2.0 apparently builds on it and may be better, but I will not bother to find out.
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hailbringer if you identify with 10 to 15 talents, doesn't that mean you cannot pick the absolute best ones? and isn't that the point of focusing on strengths? everyone can identify with lots of the themes but hardly can anyone assess himself unbiased enough to see the strongest potential in all his potential. so thats where statistics come in to objectively observe how talents materialize in actual responses and behaviour. btw, the themes are not just buckets but real dimensions retrieved by factor analysis...

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