I'm a big fan of this book's predecessor 'First, Break All The Rules' and was looking forward to the publication of 'Now...'
Gallup's research methodology is convincing and, for me, the real value in this book was getting the code to take the test on their web site and "discover my strengths".
The book then explains how to play to your strengths. This in itself is useful for identifying how you can increase your personal effectiveness. Managers will also the find the section on "How to Manage a Person Strong in [each Strength]" useful (if you buy copies for your team and get them all to take the test).
Having said that, I did have fun guessing in my own mind the strengths of my boss and my co-workers from the descriptions given.
The book does not make any prescriptions such as 'To be good in sales you should have these strengths...', arguing that identification of your strengths (and acting on that knowledge) is more fundamental for success in any chosen career. This was encouraging for me as, when I read the book (over a year ago), I was wondering whether I 'had what it takes' in my profession. I didn't seem to conform to the model of success in my organisation. I'm pleased to say that, partly as a result of tuning in to my strengths, I'm now a top performer.
For those of you in senior positions wanting to make changes at an organisational level, the book also goes on to recommend how to build a "Strengths Based Organisation".
The most important theme of the book for me was the authors' conviction that putting effort into developing our strengths is always going to be far more productive and enjoyable than trying to develop our weak areas. If we accept that we're just not wired to perform well in that area, and we have the ability to recognise that strength in others and then collaborate with them, then we're all going to be a lot less stressed, more fulfilled and more effective.