January 7, 2001

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Now, Discover Your Strengths

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 4:05 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton, The Free Press, 260 Pages, $26.00 Hardcover, January 2001, ISBN 0743201140
One of our best sellers from 1999 was First, Break All the Rules, a book we continue to sell in large quantities. So, I was excited to hear that Buckingham and Clifton were coming out with a new book. Not only would I love to have another great seller on my hands, but I also looked forward to reading the book myself. I truly feel that people are the heart of an organization, and that the best organizations utilize their people to their utmost potential. That potential is the focus of Now, Discover Your Strengths.
To begin, the authors posit that businesses (and personalities) are built on two faulty assumptions:
1. Each person can learn to be competent in almost anything.
2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest weakness.
The author's claim (and it sure makes sense to me), that the best managers lead using these alternate assumptions:
1. Each person's talents are enduring and unique.
2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in the areas of the person's greatest strengths.
So, if these claims are correct, how do you go about identifying your strengths and getting them to work for you? Buckingham and Clifton offer a solution for this dilemma. Working with data gathered by Gallup, who conducted interviews with over 2 million people, the authors present the reader with thirty-four basic "themes", or strengths. There are hundreds of combinations of these individual strengths, and in order to find out what your 'combination of strengths' is requires you to take a test on their website. When you buy the book, you are given a password and a URL. The test is serious, extensive, and comprehensive. It isn't short, it takes a commitment from you, but I also think the rewards are significant. I took the test and according to the people in my organization who judged the results, the test was dead-on, nailing me and how I manage. Think about it. Self-knowledge is often hard to come by.
In addition to the valuable test, Now, Discover Your Strengths offers you supporting information regarding the results of your test, defines the thirty-four strengths, and help you along with any questions you may have regarding the test. I really had fun with this test and book. Learning something about yourself that you can immediately apply for $26.00 is a good thing.