Toning Up Beyond the Weight Room

Driving past your neighborhood gym, you can see rows of people on various cardio equipment through the strategically-placed windows, sweating as they pound away in an effort to stay fit and trim. However, as you stroll through your office at work, how many cubicles do you pass that have co-workers focused on expanding their skill sets and narrowing in on their strengths. Probably not that many. Most are focused on their assignments at hand, which often may not speak to their particular strengths, but they do it anyway because that’s what they were assigned.


This scenario does not jive well with Marcus Buckingham —author, keynote speaker and former senior researcher at Gallup Organization. He has something else in mind: a strength revolution.


Buckingham asks, “What would happen if men and women spent more than 75 percent of each day on the job using their strongest skills and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they wanted to do?” According to him, if people left their weaknesses in the dust and began focusing on growing their strengths, companies would see efficiency increase, as well as quality of work. It would be a win-win situation.


Buckingham is the author of five books: First Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman, 1999), Now Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton, 2001), The One Thing You Need to Know (2005), Go Put Your Strengths to Work (2007), and now his latest The Truth About You, due out at the end of September 2008.


I’m excited to see what Buckingham has to say in The Truth About You; according to his Web site , the book is geared toward young professionals, 17-25 years old. Nevertheless, the site assures that the book will be “valuable for anyone who wants to take control of their career and performance.” At 112 pages, and published by Thomas Nelson, I’m sure it’s a book we all could make a little time for. It also will be an excellent gift to give the young professionals in our lives this holiday season.

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