Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strengths-Based Philosophy

April 2012 Book Review

Buckingham’s simplified version of “StrengthsFinders” is compelling and insightful.  He reiterates the importance of understanding and applying your strengths to achieve a happy and successful career (you can easily argue life as well).  Many people may not realize that Buckingham originally collaborated with Donald Clifton to develop what is now commonly referred to as StrenghtsFinders (written by Tom Rath) in the book call Now, Discover Your Strengths…a book that followed First, Break All the Rules. Phew, that’s a crazy background and evolution.  Back to the review.
Buckingham developed a “Strength Role” test that appears to be stronger than the StrengthsFinders method by reducing the respondents’ ability to “game” or produce a desired outcome.  Apparently some people feel that specific strengths appear more ideal than others in StrengthFinders and answer questions to sway the results in their favor.  I was always a little suspicious myself, but Buckingham calls it out as an issue.  I can attest to interactions with people that claim to have certain strengths in their top five and it feels a bit more than a stretch to their true character.  StandOut moves away from the top 5 out of 34 and moves it to a top 2 out of 9.  He also focuses the utility of his new method for self awareness and direction.  He’s careful to point out that using this to understand, manage or lead, or interact with others that have varying strength roles only complicates its greatest utility.
Here are StandOut’s 9 Strength Roles (The titles can be a little deceiving.  I quickly learned that the descriptions are much more telling of each Strength Role):
  • Advisor
  • Connector
  • Creator
  • Equalizer
  • Influencer
  • Pioneer
  • Provider
  • Stimulator
  • Teacher
And here’s the information provided on application/advice specific to your Strength Roles:
  • Phrases to describe your edge
  • How to make an immediate impact
  • How to take your performance to the next level
  • What to watch out for
  • Which careers fit your strengths combination (top two)
  • How you can win as a leader
  • How you can win as a manager
  • How you can win in sales
  • How you can win in client services

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars