18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A timely guide to job satisfaction,
This review is from: Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage (Hardcover)
This is not only a co-written book, it is backed up by the Gallup Organisation and a survey of over two million people over a thirty year period. Although it is written with career and team management in mind, it is worth reading simply for personal development.
The first learning point of the book is an understanding of how everyone's brain is wired in a unique way to give each person a unique combination of talents. This is fascinating information. A hundred billion neurons in the brain each with fifteen thousand synapse connections by the age of three. But by the age of sixteen, half of those synapse connections have disappeared to create a unique pattern for each of us in what we find difficult and, crucially, what we can perform with consummate and consistent ease.
The second learning point is to understand that success and excellence do not come from fixing our weaknesses, but from developing our strengths. For years, employers have made the mistake of directing staff training to the improvement of weak areas while taking strengths for granted. The misguided aim is to produce a well rounded performer. But, as the book shows, the real performers are those who concentrate almost exclusively on their natural talents.
The unique strength of this book is that each copy comes with a unique reference number for the reader to get access to the StrengthsFinder Profile, a dedicated website questionnaire of 180 questions designed to identify your own top five talents, taken from a list of 34 "themes". It is the identification of those themes, and the kind of questions needed to elicit them, which has emerged from the exhaustive survey of over 2 million people.
Your profile will not necessarily tell you that you are in the right or the wrong job. It may point you to a more effective role you could be taking within that job. Undoubtedly it will help you to identify how you can improve your performance and job satisfaction by playing to your strengths more of the time. The book is particularly good at explaining how a different balance of strengths can produce excellent job performance even in the same type of job, because there are any number of ways to do an excellent job in the same field of work. It also provides practical damage limitation strategies for managing your weaknesses.
If you are a manager or work within a team, the remainder of the book will help you determine the strengths of your team and the best way to approach each type of person.
Having taken the StrengthsFinder profile, you can repeat it at any time and there is ongoing support in the form of email advice on how to make the most of your own strengths.
The information offered through this book and the StrengthsFinder profile will provide a great deal of insight into your present circumstances and challenges, and prove an invaluable resource for contemplating any future career development.