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The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution
As Sun Tzu said thousands of years ago, the best way to be ahead of your competition is to know your strengths and use your competitions’ weaknesses. “StandOut” by Marcus Buckingham is one of the best books out there about mastering the former.
About Marcus Buckingham
Marcus Buckingham is a Cambridge-educated motivational speaker and consultant. Recruited by Donald O. Clifton to work for Gallup, he was in charge of few wide-ranging surveys, which laid the foundation of his worldview.
Marcus Buckingham is an all-star in the world of management. Widely regarded as one of the best business authors of all time, his books are regularly featured on lists such as Time Magazine’s “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books.”
However, since managing people also means knowing people, Buckingham is often considered a motivational expert as well. Consequently, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” earned itself a spot among our top 15 motivational books in history.
“StandOut” – updated as “StandOut 2.0” in the meantime – is, in many ways, its companion volume. Once again, it’s attached to an online assessment tool which may help you discover your two top “strength roles” and use them to your benefit.
And there are nine of them. We’ll describe them and – who knows? – maybe you’ll be able for a quick self-assessment. Even though, Buckingham thinks it’s unlikely.
The first strength role is the role of the “Adviser.” They are the ones who are happy when someone comes to them for help. And are confident that they can help them. They can use this strength to earn money by being professional consultants.
You’re a “connector” if you are capable of inspiring other people. You can be a good leader and a team builder. And you can earn even more trust by remembering other people’s names and using them in day-to-day conversations.
“Creators” like concepts and love ideas. They analyze things carefully and thoroughly. However, if you’re one of them, you have to stop being a nitpicker and keep your expectations in check. Not everybody is like you. Which is why – you can make yourself indispensable.
Then, there are the “equalizers.” They seek balance and are always transparent. That’s why they’ll probably excel as mediators.
“Influencers” are a rare type. They lead – and they leave a lasting impression. However, they often make mistakes, but fail to recognize that fact. This impedes their progress.
Next, we have the “pioneers.” They are innovators, always in pursuit of something new and original. However, exactly because of this, they often jump from one idea to another, and are disappointed when some don’t work. They need to be more persistent: the next Steve Jobs is among them.
The seventh strength role is the role of the “provider.” They care for other people and give them voice. They are the connective tissue of a company. However, they are also politically naïve, and would defend anyone at face value. Consequently, many people – especially influencers – tend to use them.
Second to last – the “stimulator.” He is the “yes-man” or the “yes-woman” of the company. Even when the going gets tough, they have the energy to stimulate others. Unfortunately, it’s not always a good idea to say “yes.” To progress, if you’re a stimulator, you need to learn when and how to say “no” as well.
Finally, the last strength role is the role of the “teacher”. These are the people who get their authority from their knowledge. Even though they may be lacking the capacity of self-initiative, they are excellent as tutors.
Key Lessons from “StandOut”
1. Now, Discover Your Strengths to StandOut
2. There Are Nine Strength Roles
3. Remember the Three Strength Principles
Now, Discover Your Strengths to StandOut
This is the basic idea of most books authored or co-authored by Marcus Buckingham. Namely, you can’t be best at anything you like. You can only be best at what you’re already good at. And in order to discover that, you’ll probably need some help. Knowing thyself is the starting point on the road to self-mastery.
There Are Nine Strength Roles
During the many wide-ranging surveys he has thoroughly analyzed, Marcus Buckingham realized that there are nine strength roles. These are: “adviser,” “connector,” “creator,” “equalizer,” “influencer,” “pioneer,” “provider,” “stimulator,” and “teacher.” Each of the roles comes with its own fortes and flaws. You have to spend some time to improve the former and eliminate the latter.
Remember the Three Strength Principles
Each individual has a unique strengths combination. However, learning how to use them is a process founded in three principles.
First of all, you have to remember that “your genius is precise.” In other words, genius doesn’t transfer even if you’re Einstein. Secondly, “you can’t respect what you can’t remember.” So, learn your strengths and never forget them. Finally, “you must reach beyond your roles.” Or: try to be more than you are.
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