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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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  4,637 ratings  ·  138 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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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  4,637 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Feb 21, 2012 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
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book 3.5 stars. The idea makes sense - build on your strengths rather than work on your weaknesses. This way, you go from good to great in using skills you enjoy. Most managers focus on addressing employees' weaknesses, which just brings that particular skillset from terrible to bad. The book expands on these steps to put your strengths to work:
1. Bust the myths (for example, you will grow by working on your weaknesses).
2. Get clear on what your strengths are.
3. Free your strengths (
Daniel Taylor
Mar 26, 2011 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 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. ...more
Hajar Farhat
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing

6 Powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance
1: Bust the myths
2: Get clear
3: Free your strengths
4: Stop your weaknesses
5: Speak up
6: Build strong habits
Sep 04, 2010 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 rated it it was ok
Shelves: formerly-owned
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
Feb 28, 2009 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 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. ...more
Joy Jones
Oct 01, 2008 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. ...more
Mar 08, 2010 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 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.
Nathan Albright
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2019
As someone who is pretty fond of the Strengthsfinder test [1] and its implications, it was perhaps unsurprising that I would take to this book by one of the people involved in researching the test and would seek to ponder the way in which we can shape our lives around that which we do best.  The author comes off as being a bit whiny with his English accent, but his points are driven home with both logic and a fair amount of sarcasm and some strong analogical reasoning.  Throughout this book, ove ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
A good central idea -- you'll do your best work when you feel engaged, strong, and successful -- but not very useful overall. Why not?

1. Unsupported arguments. The three myths in Step 1 refer lightly to some twin studies, but overall, the reasoning given against the myths (and elsewhere in the book) is largely "because I say so."

2. Redefining ordinary terms. Previously, this author collaborated on an assessment named the StrengthsFinder. But now he says those aren't actually strengths, they're r
Jun 28, 2014 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
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It provides a clear template of how to work to your strengths, instead of to your weaknesses. Most people are conditioned to believe that we need to focus on improving our areas of weakness in order to grow, both personally and professionally. However, the opposite is actually true. You need to focus on where you are already strong, and continue to build upon and enhance those skills. It is then imperative to direct your work days so that most tasks being performed ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was okay. I read it as part of a book club for work - the discussions we ended up having were excellent but the book itself was just okay. It starts off sounding extremely promising and in theory most of it is very promising. It can be very challenging to follow everything the book suggests to do but the least you can do is try and ask. The book itself was a bit boring at times and seems like it could have been condensed. Overall, it's a great thing to think about and consider (doing m ...more
Abbie Miller
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, own-it
I thought it was a well written and well laid out book. It was easy to follow the prompts and cues. However, for me personally, as someone who started a business using my strengths, it was tough to weed through the areas of the book that didn’t apply to me. Normally I can still apply key concepts even if in a general sense. This time, there were entire chapters devoted to handling co-workers and collaborating with employers to best utilize strengths and cope with weaknesses.
Overall, I appreciat
Jeremy Vandelac
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Im stuck between a 3 and a 4. It has its moments, but to me it didnt quite hit my needs. I feel that I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I have put myself in place to use them as often as possible. I think this is a great book for someone that may be looking for a life change, or isnt happy with their current situation, which would move it to that 4 spot. Up and coming professionals should give this a try, maybe even young people that are torn about their future. But for me, didnt do me m ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is the sequel to "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and provides templates and examples for figuring out which tasks and activities represent your strengths and which represent your weaknesses. I liked the offering of concrete steps to take, but I think I will probably need to reread and redo these steps in a few months, since many of my tasks and activities have changed due to COVID-19. The reasoning sound, though, and I look forward to figuring out ways to play to my strengths once work ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book was ok. I appreciate the topic and Marcus Buckingham's work. The book just didn't add anything to my understanding how to work using my strengths. I've read several other books, so I think this book overlapped what I had read before.

The book came out in 2007, so 10 years later and the website Simply Strengths that he refers the reader to several times is no longer a domain he owns.

If you are new to Strengths studies, this may be a useful book. For me, it was just ok.
Stefan Bruun
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, hr
The book has a few good points, but falls a bit flat as it relies heavily on familiarity with previous books, but simultaneously doesn't want to repeat the content of those books (maybe trying to sell a few more?).

The book is heavily skewed to the perspective of an individual contributor rather than a manager. Only half a chapter towards the end is dedicated to how to use the concepts for managers.
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Better than most books of this ilk because it didn't involve taking an online, one-time-use-code computer test (hard to do with a library book) or just assume that you're all set once you've identified your strengths. This book focuses on what to do next--how to shape your work around those strengths (and minimizing the activities that are your weaknesses), and even how to talk to your boss and colleagues about taking this approach. ...more
Elitsa Ivanova
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Conventional wisdom tells us that out ideal job is far removed from our present situation, "out there" somewhere in a mythic world where we are our own boss, telecommuting from our cabin in the hills, doing what we love, making loads of money along the way, disturbed only by the whinnying of our horse and the scent of the wet trees". ...more
Nikhil Mahadea
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
In short, work on your strengths and not your weaknesses. There you don't have to read the book :p

Honestly, i read this book a while ago and I can't remember what this book taught me except for my first sentence about. This tells you about how unmemorable and un-epiphanizing this book is.
Marianne Mullen
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, leadership
I definitely like the strength-based approach to work and how to think about strengths vs. weaknesses. I found the book easy to read, with concrete actions to help you discover your strengths and talk to you boss. Good foundational book with plenty of resources for more information.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this one as I really found First Break All the Rules to be inspiring, however I was disappointed with the format and reiteration of concepts.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Not as powerful or insightful as some of his other books. Pretty sure I wouldn't go to the extremes that he suggests. ...more
Gwendolyn Caithness Cameron
Retread of material published by other authors.
Jun 10, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-books
The book is more for people ahead in their careers. However, the assessments are really cool.
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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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“Your childish clarity faded, and you started listening to the world around you more closely than you did to yourself. The world was persuasive and loud, and so you resigned yourself to conforming to its demands.” 2 likes
“The radical idea at the core of the strengths movement is that excellence is not the opposite of failure, and that, as such, you will learn little about excellence from studying failure.” 0 likes
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