Building on Your Strengths, Part One…


I just finished Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton’s Now, Discover Your Strengths. It’s a quick and easy read, and it offers some interesting insights about how we can become better at what we do by building on what we’re already good at doing. Buckinham and Clifton argue that most organizations set their people up for failure by making a couple of wrong assumptions…

  1. Each person can learn to be competent in almost anything, and
  2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest weakness.

They say that we would be better/more productive/more happy/more effective if, instead we would learn what our great strengths are and build around those. The authors also say that our organizations would be much more effective if we could learn to manage our people according to their strengths, rather than their weaknesses.

If every person is unique and designed on-purpose by God, then the authors’ premise carries a lot of weight…

Look inside yourself, try to identify your strongest threads, reinforce them with practice and learning, and then either find, or as [Warren Buffet] did, carve out a role that draws on these strengths every day. When you do, you will be more productive, more fulfilled, and more successful. (p. 21).