Customer Reviews for

Now, Discover Your Strengths

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
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(29)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A point well taken, but...

The idea of the book is to help you find your talents, build your strengths, which will in turn, improve your performance.

Building your strengths is indeed somthing that is often overlooked, as most of the time we seek to improve our weaknesses- that's a poin...
The idea of the book is to help you find your talents, build your strengths, which will in turn, improve your performance.

Building your strengths is indeed somthing that is often overlooked, as most of the time we seek to improve our weaknesses- that's a point well taken- and a good reason to buy the book. However two more things also need to be mentioned. First, why can't we work on building both our strengths AND our weaknesses? In other words, why do we have to necessarily pick just one? I feel that many weaknesses can be improved upon.

Secondly, discovering your talents and doing what you're good at may not necessarily improve your performance. Why? Because there are lots of things we're good at, but still hate to do nonetheless. For instance, I'm really good at cleaning houses and debating, but I don't like to really do either one. People really perform well when its something that they know how to do AND when there's something meaningful/important in it for them. Anyway, just some food for thought. Readers may also be interested in The Sixty-Second Motivator.

posted by 240337 on October 27, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Good premise but little substance

The premise of the book is refreshing & rings true. However, after the 2nd read I realized that there is very little guidance given once you "discover your strengths." The treatment and description of the 34 possible themes is somewhat shallow. How do we apply these? Un...
The premise of the book is refreshing & rings true. However, after the 2nd read I realized that there is very little guidance given once you "discover your strengths." The treatment and description of the 34 possible themes is somewhat shallow. How do we apply these? Unfortunately that question is not adequately addressed. The book is of little use as a management tool unless you have your entire staff take the survey - which can only be accomplished by purchasing the book for each person. I find it disappointing that I was only allowed to take the survey once, & then only shown the top 5 themes. Am I to take these 5 themes on blind faith, without validating the results again in 6 months or a year? I find that somewhat disturbing, particlularly since the survey lacks any convincing documentation of its validity. I am forced to conclude that the book is primarily a marketing scam. Do we really need a survey to discover our talents? If I had it to do over again, I would buy the premise, but not the book!

posted by Anonymous on September 9, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    Then this is the book for you! It illustrates which unique strengths you possess and provides suggestions for putting them to use. Only falls short in not revealing the stable elements of personality that don't change in life (because strengths can fluctuate, whereas personality does not).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    Practical and simple

    I appreciate the idea of focusing on your strengths rather than weaknesses. It's good practical advice on what an individual can do with the hand they've been dealt, rather than sweating over things you can't change. The only thing I would have liked to learn a little more about is why these 'strengths' or 'talents' are so stable and can't be changed much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    Nice...

    This is a nice book. It helped me realize my full potential in business and in life. A must read along with 'The Takeover: Everything You Need To Know About Business'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    Changed my life (and greatly improved my self-confidence)

    This book is very captivating and empowering as it discusses the fundamental issue of 'human strengths/talents.' I loved the discussion of how society focuses on each person's weaknesses and ways to improve on them when, in fact, attention should be centered on the opposite--our STRENGTHS (natural gifts we are born with). Recently, I experienced some tough times in my life times when I questioned my abilities and self-confidence. This book pulled me out my rut and propelled me sky high. In summary, this book is well worth the investment...and more. Plus, each reader is given access to the online Strength Finders Test which will provide your 5 strongest 'themes' (aka precursors to strength).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2006

    HIDDEN STRENGTHS

    We all have five senses and our brain processes all of it into part of one cohesive consciousness. Yet the majority of these senses' signals are limited by our own brain. Though you have the ability to do something, your brain's programming will say, 'no I can't' because of fear or what you've experienced in the past (like not wanting to date after a divorce). This book highlights the hidden strengths in all of us. This is a must read for someone that needs encouragement. I also suggest another 'hidden gem' but this one relates to investing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2006

    A point well taken, but...

    The idea of the book is to help you find your talents, build your strengths, which will in turn, improve your performance. Building your strengths is indeed somthing that is often overlooked, as most of the time we seek to improve our weaknesses- that's a point well taken- and a good reason to buy the book. However two more things also need to be mentioned. First, why can't we work on building both our strengths AND our weaknesses? In other words, why do we have to necessarily pick just one? Secondly, discovering your talents and doing what you're good at may not necessarily improve your performance or your motivation. Why? Because there are lots of things we're good at, but still hate to do nonetheless. For instance I'm really good at cleaning houses and debating, but I don't like to really do either one. People only get motivated to something when they know how to do a job AND there's something meaningful in it for them- that's how you motivate people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    Now, discover this great book . . .

    In NOW, DISCOVER, a somewhat sequel to FIRST, BREAK ALL THE RULES, the authors lay out a new paradigm for management and growth. Rather than spending our time trying to correct our weaknesses, we should spend our time trying to maximize our strengths. This, the authors hold, is the only way to achieve excellence in your work. That statement seems somewhat common-sensical, but it really isn't. In most workplaces, we are managed against a standard of what the perfect person in our position would be like. Therefore, we spend our developmental energies trying to get just like that person, rather than focusing on what we do best, and finding ways to use that to improve our performance. We don't all have to do things the same way (barring some sort of Legal requirement that we do), as long as we achieve the same end. That's what really matters. I'm normally one for a bestseller of fiction such as Brown's DA VINCI or McCrae's hilarious KATZENJAMMER but chose this for thiis mont's read. Glad I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2005

    Useful business resource

    We purchased this great book and another must read book, Optimal Thinking--How To Be Your Best Self, for our customer service teams. This book gave us tremendous insight into individual and team talents and strengths. We then used Optimal Thinking to make the most of the identified strengths and to protect worst event scenarios when weaknesses could have severe consequences (example: Katrina). I think that the days of ignoring such weaknesses with 'just be positive, it will all work out fine' are over for most of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Learn to Refocus on innate strengths

    I picked up the book to with a healthy dose of skepticism and find that some of the concepts presented are not new at all. However, I must admit that reading this book has definitely help me refocus my efforts on what I do best - my innate strengths. This is one book that will be with me for a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2005

    Very Effective Guide and Free Strengthfinder Test!

    A very useful guide to finding strengths and working with them, for yourself and for people you manage. Plus, there is a FREE strengthfinder test included (you use a number from the book to get the test for free), which is invaluable. I know people who have spend a couple of thousand dollars for similar information. Excellent read and a real value too. High Recommendaions!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2004

    Keeps you questioning. Makes you stronger.

    You'll ask yourself what strengths you think you have and wonder what weakness others may perceive you have. I enjoy books which make you question yourself, motives, beliefs and morals. This book does that, well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2003

    Great tool for personal/professional awareness

    As a business/personal life coach I whole-heartedly recommend this book to help you identify (and build on) your strengths rather than focus on (and criticize) your weaknesses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003

    Human Interaction: the Next Generation

    I read the book in 3 days! Fascinating new approach into human interaction. A whole new way for people to relate to others and mostly to understand their own strengths. The concept of themes is fascinating and the StrengthsFinder test has helped me understand why I am drawn to certain tasks ¿ not for the task itself, but for the underlying talent I am able to use, develop and master. As I read through all the 34 themes, I started to see those around me in a whole new way ¿ all a sudden their behavior and quirks started making sense! Talents and strengths started emerging and with the help of the section on how to manage people by theme, I can now improve my interaction with others ¿ even in a non-business setting. This book will not tell you which job or field to choose, however, by knowing your major themes, it is easier to choose something that is in-line with your true self. With this strength-based concept, interpersonal relations as a whole are tremendously enhanced, not to mention the potential for more effective human management within corporations. Overall, an excellent and fascinating read, and a wonderful self-knowledge tool.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    The Book For The Five Star Manager

    I really enjoyed the book. After reading the book I reexamine myself. Once you get pass the begining of the book. The topics was to the point, which I loved. It showed great role play, and gave great example. It is a great tool for people in all walks of life not just in management and business. You can also apply it to everyday life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2002

    Is there a higher rating than 5 stars?

    I can't recommend this book highly enough. It gives a new paradigm for us -- focusing on your strengths and not your weaknesses. The StrengthsFinder(tm) profile which you get along with the book tells you your top 5 'themes' around which to build your life for success and happiness. I'm a personal and professional development coach and have worked with scores of individuals using their profile with outstanding results. Some have even changed career fields! One of the authors' premises is that we don't know our strengths because society, parents, teachers, managers and psychologists immediately start trying to address weaknesses. Read the book, take the assessment, and start shaping a life where you feel at home in your own skin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002

    Strength Management!

    I had a good time reading how I could manage my strengths, not just mine, but in an organizational point of view. How are you interacting, and how the organization, which you are connected with, is interacting? Well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2002

    Excellent advice for being your best

    In this book, a somewhat sequel to First, Break All the Rules, the authors lay out a new paradigm for management and growth. Rather than spending our time trying to correct our weaknesses, we should spend our time trying to maximize our strengths. This, the authors hold, is the only way to achieve excellence in your work. That statement seems somewhat common-sensical, but it really isn't. In most workplaces, we are managed against a standard of what the perfect person in our position would be like. Therefore, we spend our developmental energies trying to get just like that person, rather than focusing on what we do best, and finding ways to use that to improve our performance. We don't all have to do things the same way (barring some sort of Legal requirement that we do), as long as we achieve the same end. That's what really matters. The authors do a good job of building their case, using arguments for and against their postion (with noticeably more time spent on the 'for' part). I'd never really thought about it before, but I do believe their central thesis that we should look to improve our strengths and manage around our weaknesses, as opposed to spending our time trying to improve our faults, which, when based on personalities, really can't change much at all. 'But where are my strengths?' you may be asking. That is where the web tie-in to the book comes in. The authors have set up a website where you can take the StrengthsFinder profile, using a code printed inside the jacket cover. This gives you a listing of your top 5 strengths, which gives you an idea of where you should focus your energies. I found the process to be very fun, and I even learned something about myself. So, if you have any interest in finding out what your underlying strenghts are and using them to improve your work, I can recommend this book to you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2002

    Maximize Strenghts of Others and Yourself

    ?Weaknesses are often easier to spot than genuine strengths, and that may be why many make the mistake of focusing too much on weaknesses in themselves and others. This wonderful book redirects your focus my turning your attention to what counts most, the real strenghts of people. It answers a crucial question asked by books such as Why Didn't I Think of That? - Think the Unthinkable. Why do we so often miss what counts most in ourselves and others? The answer, we get stuck in thinking ruts formed by negative experiences that make it hard, if not unthinkable, to appreciate the fact that conquering negatives is far less productive than taking advantage of strengths in ourselves and others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2001

    Super Book

    Once again, Marcus has written a wonderful book. It is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2001

    Let Well-Established, Good Habits Take You Forward!

    This book represents three very ambitious efforts. One, it argues for a new management paradigm that builds from the psychological make-up of each person in the workplace to create the most effective combination of people and tasks. Two, the book presents a new psychological mapping scheme to capture those areas where a person will display 'consistent near perfect performance in an activity.' Three, the book connects you to a self-diagnosis tool that you can use on-line to see yourself in the perspective of the new mapping scheme. Most books would settle for pursing just one these goals. My hat is off to the authors for their ambition! The concept of building companies around 'desirable' pyschological profiles has been in application for some time. The Walt Disney organization uses this approach to locate people who will enjoy working in their company, and to match the person to the task they will be most focused on. More and more companies are experimenting with this approach. The evidence is that it works. So the first argument simply takes that experience one step further by formalizing it a bit. The book has many persuasive examples of how people usually do not have jobs that use their best talents. This provides another perspective on the Peter Principle. So far so good. Next, 34 patterns of mental habits are described based on millions of interviews over 25 years. These include achiever, activator, adaptability, analytical, arranger, belief, command, communication, competition, connectedness, context, deliberative, developer, discipline, empathy, fairness, focus, futuristic, harmony, ideation, inclusiveness, individualization, input, intellection, learner, maximizer, positivity, relator, responsibility, restorative, self-assurance, significance, strategic, and woo. You need to see the descriptions to understand what these patterns reflect. The argument is that these labels capture patterns of thinking habits that condition behavior in any situation. I find it difficult to relate to all of the patterns because there are so many. Also, without knowing what patterns work well in a particular job, I wasn't sure how relevant they are. Connection of patterns to success needs to be shown as cause and effect in a given company before this will be totally useful. Small companies may not be able to use this tool very well because they will never have enough people doing the same task to figure out which profile is best. Everyone working in that role may have a very inappropriate profile. You will just be picking the best of a poorly-fitting lot if you select around one of them. Then, I took the personality test on-line. There were no surprises there for me in my top 5 patterns. I also suspect that there would be no surprises for you in putting me into these categories. You would probably have pegged me as an achiever, learner, relator, focus, input person from the fact that I read so many nonfiction books, write so many book reviews, and keep books and notes everywhere (just in case I might need them again). On the relator front, if you had noticed who I like to work with and how I work with them, you would have spotted me in a few days.

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