Sunday, May 11, 2014

Book Review: Go, Put Your Strengths to Work

Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding PerformanceGo Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took Marcus Buckingham six years after publishing Now, Discover Your Strengths to bring out this follow-up guidebook for making the most of our unique talents and strengths, but it turned out to be worth the wait.  The practical advice and step-by-step process of self discovery and action planning provided by Go, Put Your Strengths to Work benefited me the first week I read it and probably every week since.  Of particular importance to me was the permission to STOP doing tasks that deplete me or that I have no natural aptitude for.  That one change made life better for me, and it will for you, too.

I hope to meet Marcus Buckingham one day and when I do, I will ask him "How does one maximize their unique talents when what one loves to do above all things must be paid for by doing something one does not enjoy?"  In going through the exercises in Go! I discovered that my number one first favorite way to spend time at work is in collaborative writing.  I am super-energized by co-creating ideas, editing something someone else has started, and being edited by others.  But in order to have an opportunity to swap drafts with someone, I usually have to sit and face a blank computer screen by myself... a lonely task which often causes me to shrivel up inside.  Getting colleagues to actually provide feedback is a real trick.  Most people are too polite to say anything constructive, so the pressure is always on me to make the first draft a good one. I have yet to solve this conundrum, (i.e. find a steady writing partner) but I suspect that when I do I will be launched.   Thanks to Marcus Buckingham (and his co-authors over the years) I have a clear picture of what the path forward looks like for me.  And that is worth the book's weight in gold!

For a two-page summary, written by me, click here.

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