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Book Review: Now, Discover Your Stre

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Is your current job less than fulfi
lling? If so, you are by no means a
lone. It turns out, about 80% of us
 are mismatched or underutilized to
 the jobs that we undertake everyda
y. The book Now, Discover Your Stre
ngths, by Marcus Buckingham and Don
ald O. Clifton provide an inspiring
 ticket to escape the world of the
Books, Book Review, Now Discover Yo
ur Strengths, Manage, Management, P
ersonnel, Employees

Article Body:
There seems to be no lack of the nu
mber of books written about persona
lity traits, talents and how to mor
e effectively manage personnel to t
he advantage of the organization.
However, Marcus Buckingham, coautho
r of the book <i>First, Break All t
he Rules</i>, and Donald O. Clifton
, Chair of the Gallup International
  Research & Education Center, now p
rovide managers with a positive app
roach to help identify and utilize
strengths of individuals to the ben
efit of the organization in their b
estselling <i>Now, Discover Your St
rengths</i>. The book maintains tha
t this unique, positive approach of
  focusing on strengths is far more
effective in achieving success than
  eliminating weaknesses, given that
  we all have inherent strengths and
  natural weaknesses no matter what
positions we might have. For exampl
e, the book points out, it does not
  matter if you are Bill Gates or Ti
ger Woods. True, these are individ
uals with tremendous talents that h
ave made them well known in their r
espective fields, but they also hav
e weaknesses that play into the mix
. It would seem our brains are pro
grammed by nature from early childh
ood, no matter how good our nurture
, to start being selective in a few
  key areas. It is as nature intende
d it to be. Without being selectiv
e, and allowing many of the billion
s of connections we are born with t
o lapse into disrepair, we would be
come dysfunctional with information
 overload. Therefore, it is unders
tandable that with sufficient pract
ice, while we might be able to lear
n different tasks well, we will nev
er be great in these areas unless w
e have a natural innate talent for them.

Unfortunately, most of us do not ha
ve a good sense of our talents, let
 alone the ability to effectively u
se our strengths to our advantage.
 Rather, most of us spend our lives
 becoming all too aware of our weak
nesses and spend our time trying to
 deal with our flaws, while neglect
ing our innate talents. However,
most original and potentially most
revealing, to address this problem,
 <i>Now, Discover Your Strengths</i
> provides access to a web-based in
teractive questionnaire, developed
by the Gallup Organization, that qu
ickly identifies your top 5 (out of
 a total of 34) positive "personali
ty themes", such as: Achiever, Deli
berative, Harmony, Empathy and so f
orth that you might naturally posse
s. The book goes on to elaborate h
ow each of the 34 unique themes can
  be identified, complete with indiv
idual profiles describing how each
might act and what each might "soun
d like." As each sees the world th
rough their own strengths filter, i
t is easy to have friction between
different individuals within the sa
me department or organization, beca
use we all see the world, and how i
t should look, so differently. Whi
le one may hear what someone else i
s saying, they may not be able to a
ssimilate it into their own world e
ffectively. This is why partners o
r advisors are often so effective,
as they ad balance to the limits of
  others. One word of caution howeve
r: do not buy this book used if you
  intend to take the preference test
. There is a unique, one-time code
that comes with each copy of <i>Now
, Discover Your Strengths</i>, whic
h is absolutely necessary in order
to access the website's resources.
  The book has limited value without
  the ability to take the online tes
t. However, the test alone is well
worth the price of the entire book
just by itself. With this resource,
  you will better understand how to
build a "strengths-based organizati
on" by capitalizing on the fact tha
t such traits are already present a
mong those within it.

With an estimated 8 out of 10 peopl
e in this country not really in a p
osition to capitalize on their stre
ngths and talents, chances are most
 of us could benefit from reading t
his book. As most of us fail to cap
italize on our strengths, it is not
 surprising that most departments i
n any company, no matter the size o
f the organization, are not operati
ng at even par performance. The ri
sk doing nothing is costly- not on
ly in lost productivity, but in job
 satisfaction, employee retention a
nd absenteeism and so on. This gr
oundbreaking, resourceful book is e
asy to read in short concise chapte
rs. Along with the associated pref
erence test, <i>Now, Discover Your
Strengths</i>, is a positive cost e
ffective solution in resolving prob
lems, and helping each employee ach
ieve his or her full potential. Thi
s is must read for managers and off
ice teams who want a win-win soluti
on in improving their own departmen
ts, as well as the lives of those w
ho work for them.

Monika Kamal Monika Kamal Jesus
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