I’ve been looking forward to digging into Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham.  Not sure if you’re down with Marcus or not…but he’s zeroed in on an area that is just fascinating.  It was certainly not original with him, but the concept that he worked to develop in Now, Discover Your Strengths is so important…from an understanding how you’re wired perspective…that hopefully you’ve already really benefited from it.

This new book takes the knowledge of how you’re wired to a new, much more important level.  Beyond being simply aware of how you’re wired, Go Put Your Strengths to Work establishes 6 steps that will help you take advantage of that knowledge.  Cool?  And believe me, there is already a lot here.

Can I ask you to jump in on this one?  Have you read Now, Discover Your Strengths?  How did you use the information?  Have you used it?  If you’re like me, it confirmed what you already suspected.  Maybe even reinforced your impression that you were wired a certain way.  But did it change the way you operated or what you focused on?  Would you take just a moment and comment? 

Go Put Your Strengths to Work
  • E. Brian Hutchinson

    “Have you read Now, Discover Your Strengths?”
    I’ve read this and Tom Rath’s “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” When choosing between “2.0” and Buckingham’s new “Go Put Your Strengths to Work,” I opted for the former. Buckingham’s work is amazing, but this book didn’t seem to add much new information. Rath’s book didn’t seem to add that much new information either, but it did seem to link my top five strengths together in a way the first “Now Discover” book didn’t.
    “How did you use the information? Did it change the way you operated or what you focused on?”
    Reading “Now Discover” was an amazing, eye-opening experience. Sure, I knew some of those things about myself, but StrengthsFinder described my strengths better than I could have done and added examples to boot. With this knowledge – clarified by words and examples – I’m more confident about acting from a position of strength. And I allow myself to punt when faced with a situation that doesn’t utilize my strengths.
    What’s been hard for me is to find a job where I can put my strengths to work (Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Individualization, Intellection) and shine. Even though StrengthsFinder provides words to desribe strengths, it’s hard for me to approach people at networking events and say, “I’m looking for a position that requires learning and connecting new ideas to achieve excellence.” Doesn’t every job require that?
    Missing from StrengthsFinder and Buckingham’s book, in my opinion, is practical advice on finding specific careers that leverage strengths. That said, I’d still rather know my strengths and look for ways to use them even if it’s a long term, unknown process.

  • Thanks for jumping in Brian! I caught a line or two at the tail end of Trombone Player Wanted that raised the idea that you could begin to work this out even without formal encouragement from the organization. Have you been able to do that in your company?

  • Here is my two quick cents only because you asked.
    I read the book by Buckingham, “Go put your strengths to work” and “Discover your strengths” and for me they did not shed any new light for me and did not result in me changing anything. I do enjoy Buckinghams writings though.
    I also happened to glance over at this time and see your list of books you are reading and would like to say I really enjoyed the book, “What Got you here won’t get you there” and it has resulted in me making a few adjustments. The books True North, and Know how, were not high on my list once I finished them.

  • Todd, I hear you on Buckingham’s work. The idea is interesting to me…but not easy to apply or grow as a result. Did you work through the exercises in Go? I’m wondering if I’ll see an uptick in understanding after working through his questions.
    By the way, I’m with you on True North and Know How. Great promise, but neither really delivered what I had hoped.

  • I did all the exercises in “Go” and they just did not do anything for me.
    For me they were just the typical exercises and I knew where they were going and knew the results. I held out until the end for that possible new shedding of light, it just didn’t happen for me.
    Again, let me say that I do enjoy Buckingham’s writing.

  • I’m still early in the book. Working on developing a strength statement for each of my strengths. I’ll let you know how it goes!