By Tom Rath
Strengths Finder is a must read for entrepreneurs, managers, sales people and social bees. There is a wealth of information about personality types with suggestions and ideas about how to approach and work with each personality type. For those of you in business you should know that in their studies of employee engagement at work, those who claimed to, “have the opportunity to focus on their strengths at work were six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having excellent quality of life in general.” Accompanying this data is a chart explaining how manager engagement in employee strengths, dramatically changes the chance of an employee being actively disengaged at work. 40% of employees who were ignored by their managers were actively disengaged, while 22% were disengaged when their managers focused on their weaknesses and only 1% of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were actively disengaged at work.
I enjoyed reading about my own strengths and took away many quality items for action by reading this book. It helped me understand which other strengths I should look for in people I would like to work with in order maximize productivity in my endeavors. As a clinical liaison for a health care company I found myself soaking up the information about how to work with each of the strengths that others possess. This is priceless information to have when meeting and working with several different people in efforts to accomplish many different goals each and every day. I have a really fun job because of its multifaceted opportunities and the better I can understand others and quickly identify the things that make them tick, the more effective I am at accomplishing the goals of the day.
When you buy the book new it comes with a code in the back which allows you access to their online assessment to help you identify your top 5 strengths. They also include many online resources to help you build upon your strengths. It was a very easy and fun read and a book I’ll keep close by so I can refresh on other people’s attributes and strengths as I continue down my business career path.
“The key to human development is building on who you already are.” It’s usually a natural fit to want to be more of and better at what you already are and already do well. Michael Jordan is a smart guy but he’s not a software engineer, he’s an incredible athlete, at the same time Bill Gates has many physical talents but he’s a software guru, not a high octane athlete. It would not be nearly as profitable for either of them to attempt becoming the best in the other’s arena.
“Far too many people spend a lifetime headed in the wrong direction. They go not only from the cradle to the cubicle, but then to the casket, without uncovering their greatest talents and potential.”
“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong…And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” – Peter Drucker