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Now, Discover Your Strengths

How To Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage

By Marcus Buckingham
  • Read in 10 minutes
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  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
Synopsis

Now, Discover Your Strengths (2004) provides insight into what strengths are, where they come from and why we should focus on them. These blinks outline tips and techniques for detecting natural talents and using them to put yourself or your employees on the path to excellence.

Key idea 1 of 6

A focus on correcting weaknesses has left our strengths ignored.

In schools and in workplaces, we’re constantly encouraged to seek out and correct our weaknesses in order to improve our productivity. But why? After all, it’s uncovering and using your strengths that will really send you on your way to success.

How do you know a strength when you see one? There are many different answers to this question, but we can stick with the simplest: a strength is an activity that you can perform repeatedly to perfection. In other words, any activity that you can do well time and time again, while also enjoying yourself, is a strength.

It’s no surprise that organizations where employees are able to use their strengths every day are successful and sustainable. The Gallup Organization asked 198,000 employees across different businesses whether they’re able to do what they do best at work each day.

The 20 percent of employees that strongly agreed with the question were 50 percent more likely to work in organizations with lower employee turnover, 38 percent more likely to work in more productive businesses and 44 percent more likely to work for companies with higher customer satisfaction.

Despite this, many organizations still waste time, money and resources by concentrating on fixing employee weaknesses. Think about it: employees get sent off to special training programs not to expand on their strengths, but to correct weaknesses. By focusing on damage control rather than development, the true potential of employees is neglected.

Of course, damage control is sometimes necessary; a clever but inarticulate employee would benefit greatly from a communication class. Still, damage control should not be the focal point of employee management. If you want your employees to develop and grow, and your company to grow with them, you need a different approach.

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