Customer Reviews for

Now, Discover Your Strengths

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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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  • Posted September 14, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I LOVE THIS BOOK! Marcus Buckingham speaks of how in our culture

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!
    Marcus Buckingham speaks of how in our culture we are all well acquainted with our weaknesses, and we seek ways to compensate for these. We learn how to improve on what we are not really naturally talented at and try to fix ourselves. But when it comes to our strengths we are at a loss for detailed descriptions, and most of the time we are not even aware of our strongest talents. This book suggests we invest in our strengths and talents, in those things that we are especially good at and enjoy doing most. Their approach is scientific and based on an open survey they did with 2 million people that are working successfully in their field. It comes along with an online "Strengthfinder Test" and I discovered things about myself, that I hadn't been noticing as special before. I highly recommend this book to everyone!!
    And if you like this idea you will also enjoy reading "Working On Yourself Doesn't Work" by Ariel and Shya Kane (link below). Their approach is less business oriented, but is definitely helpful in all areas of your life.
    It's time we all discover our own greatness instead of picking on ourselves - it's the best way to stop picking on others!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 4, 2003

    You'll wonder how you got along without this book.

    I'm a personal and professional development coach, and this book is my Bible. It's that good. I've seen clients make dramatic and successful changes in their lives as a result of the informaion in this book. The theory -- that we don't know our strengths, or know them all too well and have been conditioned to consider them weaknesses -- holds true. I was even surprised myself when I took the assessment (code is in book). When you take the assessment, you'll receive back your top 5 signature themes, and these are 34 new terms coined by the authors such as Focus, Activator, Deliberative, Empathy, Relator and Strategic. The book, geared toward management, gives you a description of each strength, and then tells you how to "manage" each type. This of course applies to your social life as well as your work life. When you build your life around your strengths, you can achieve consistent near-excellence most of the time without a drain on your energy. Give it a try! Then give it to your manager and your spouse. You'll benefit greatly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Changed My Life!

    This book literally changed my life and the way I began to raise my children! The premise that we are innately born with certain strengths isn't new (Myers-Briggs is one such test) but this book goes a step further. It allows you to take a test online with a code printed inside the book that gives you your top 5 strengths in accurate detail.

    The fact that we are always trying to work on our weaknesses to make them stronger doesn't make sense. It is better for us to use our God-given strengths, because when we do, we are happier and more fulfilled. Work won't feel like work if you do this!

    It helped me notice my children's strengths and encourage them to further those. This can be done at any age! Additionally, I put my top 5 strengths (condensed, not detailed) onto my resume. I cannot tell you how many times a prospective employer has appreciated this addition to my professional portfolio.

    This is a purchase you won't regret!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2009

    Fabulous!!!

    Insightful and gives great info on own personal strengths. Would recommend buying the Strengths 2.0 version instead of this older version.

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  • Posted October 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Exactly What I Needed!

    An eye opener if there ever was one! Not only does it help you to become a better manager and leader but better understand your own professional and personal strengths. Definitely a must read for anyone open to maximizing their strengths on a daily basis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    A good foundation for employee development/career planning

    A good foundation for employee development/career planning

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    Our strengths are key

    Our strengths are key to our performance and Buckingham illustrates this point very well. I would also recommend Full Throttle by Dr. Gregg Steinberg for more information on how to use your strengths.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Look in the Mirror

    As a corporate human resources director, I often work on developing the latent talents and skills of various managers. Years ago, I taught a class where I had each participant to look into a hand-held mirror and ask the question, "Would you want to work for this person?" <BR/><BR/>This book takes this exercise to a completely different level. To discover your own inner strengths (and weakness) ensures that you will become the very best manager possible. As a fan of First, Break All the Rules, I was very satisfied that this follow-up was as timely and useful as the first book. I highly recommend you purchase a copy of this book for yourself and for all of your managers. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Great online resource as well

    This book comes with an online questionnaire which helps you to find your main strengths. It is great. I suggest reading it with Optimal Thinking: How To be Your Best Self to make the most of your strengths and any situation.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    Up until now I was very confused on what direction to take in my life, what career to go into, etc. This book was a lifesaver. The online test that was provided with this book was INCREDIBLE, to say the least, and showed my top 5 strengths, which fit me precisely. I have always doubted my abilities, and this was such an eye opener! I can now say that I am confident in the path that I am taking in my life and in my career!! The only bad thing about this book was that it was very SLOW, at times even dull, but the results were well worth the effort of reading it and overshadowed all the negative parts!! A must read for anyone who is confused on what career to pick, or just in what direction they want to go in life.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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 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.

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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 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 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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