James's Reviews > Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance

Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
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May 22, 09

Read in May, 2009

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, filled out forms and charts.

The style is a cross between faux "Pump-me-up" Tony Robbins and faux "Look-it-works" Tom Peters. So it's relentlessly upbeat, absolutely pendantic in its ideology, so it is not at all self reflecting.

The central idea is to focus on strengths and hide weaknesses. This is obvious, but carried to the extremes pictured in the book, one can see the collapse of AIG in here. Because by hide weaknesses, the author is essentially saying "Pretend there are none".

This book might be useful in a very limited sort of way to boost the confidence of people with extremely low self esteem. But most of the colleagues I know would sneer at being subject to this book's medicine. Its easily forgotten advice is not badly written, but I can't say much more than that.

Stay away.
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