Now, Discover Your Strengths

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Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton,. Ph.D.

This book was written before Strengthsfinder 2.0, and I found it to be a more complete guide. It also spoke

About the34 Themes that we can have within us, what Gallup calls our innate talents that help guide and effect our motivations and behavior. But whereas Strengthsfinder 2.0 spoke about each theme specifically in the form of a reference guide, this book gave a lot more background and shed some light on what Gallup considers the dominant themes needed for great manager. 

Reading this book really touched me on a personal level. Back in late 1998 I had interviewed for the management position at Gallup, and was eventually informed that I was not a fit.  I did not take the news well at all. I felt ashamed, hopeless, angry, resentful, and such a failure. I remember looking for excuses, mesons to blame my "failure" on, and hiding from my shame. Mt. Buckingham states it best, "All failures are not created equal. Some are fairly easy to digest, usually those where we can explain away the failure without tarnishing our self-image. Our sense of failure is most pervasive whenever we reach down, call upon our strengths, and they are found wanting."

Wnen I had been turned down. I felt the rejection directly correlated with my sense of self-worth and threatened my self-image. My self-esteem was so fragile because I had not built a foundation of self-awareness and self-acceptance; instead, I based it all on external factors and what I thought evervone else deemed important.

Today, I understand failure is just another opportunity to grow from. I do not view failure as the end of the world, but a challenge for me to continue learning. I have come to accept that I am not perfect; I no longer desire to be. 

Anyone can be a good manager. Gallup feels to excel though, to be part of that rare breed of managers that brings out the best in their employees, the person has to have the Theme of Individualization. That is the innate talent to be able to discern the strengths of each of your employees and manage them effectivelv. I realize today that I am not blessed with that ability. I do not have Individualization as one of my dominant Themes, that is why Gallup felt I would note excel as one their managers. It does not make me any worse of a person; I simply am not a fit. Yet back then I chose to view it in extreme terms, and in the process murdered a human being.

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