The One Thing You Need to Know… – Marcus Buckingham (Part 4)

To those that actually read this blog, and were wondering when the next instalment in this book review series…it’s here! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been very very busy and haven’t actually been able to dedicate much time to reading, let alone post blogs about reading!

Anyway, this is the last part to the summary and review of Buckingham’s book, and will be looking at strengths and weaknesses…

So what is your core strength? Walgreens (for those from the UK – Walgreens has a partnership with Boots) is the largest retailer store because it is the most convenient, not necessarily the cheapest. Microsoft has built its empire around its strength in partnering with large corporations, not its applications. Steve Jobs has been able to build a successful business by providing cool technology and making it easy to use. Buckingham believes that getting your strengths together and making your weaknesses irrelevant is by far the most effective. It determines where you should be spending money and where you shouldn’t. You don’t have to be right, you have to be clear and the followers will make it right. What is our core score. What gets measured gets managed. The core score determines how far you have come and where you need to go. Knowing what number of engaged employees you have is one of the most important scores. Best Buy utilised increasing the number of engaged employees which resulted in increased profitability. This brought clarity to his people and made employees more confident, resilient and creative. Sort through your scores and pick one that fits the people you are trying to sell to.

What actions can you take today? A leader must take action as action leads to success. Actions are clear and give direction where to focus. Clarity is vital to effective leadership. Discipline can be effective and you must take time to reflect and focus on success. Select heroes with great care as they can have a leadership role. The best leaders always practice. Effective leaders seek out newer and bigger audiences and give the same speech. Like Martin Luther King’s repetitious speech, “I have a dream…” Effective leaders don’t have to be brilliant or great speakers but they must be clear, they must show what actions must be met.

Sustained individual success… Only about 20 percent of employees manage to experience extraordinary success and over the years build on those successes. They are not worn down from their efforts and become more creative. An alarming few of us end up successful and still believe we aren’t as successful as others. Surrounding yourself around those 20 percenters can help you become more engaged in your career. Time is a resource and discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it. To sustain success in your life you must recognise weaknesses and remove them from your life. Sustained success depends on your ability to reflect on your strengths, not building them but sculpting them. It has nothing to do with age or sex and sometimes not even education. Hard work is necessary but it is not sufficient. Risk taking is an openness to experience, extraversion, how highly strung you are, agreeableness, how accommodating you are and consciousness and how reliable you are. Entrepreneurs may possess more extraversion than others, but these findings only refer to a specific type of career. All 20 percenters do not share the same sustained individual success.

Talents reveal a person’s capacity, not their success. Each person is driven by their own particular definition of success. Sustained success, however, means making the most possible impact over the longest period of time. Some value family over career, while others value success through impact or religion. Take your natural talents and apply them to be really good at something and targeting those talents to be better than others. And you must stay and get better at a talent. To survive you must be resilient, flexible, open to learning, confident and devoid of stress. The one thing must show you how to win and keep winning. Contenders to consider are to find the right tactics and employ them, find your flaws and fix them, and discover your strengths and cultivate them. Identify your weaknesses and find a way to fix them. Find as many skills as possible and the more successful you will be. Think about what caused your success and examine the role of your own behaviours. Investigate your past successes and you will find a pattern of your strengths. Build your power around your strengths.

Drastic career changes do happen occasionally. And it doesn’t take long to determine if the career change was the right decision. Sustained individual success will evolve with the right career change and define your unique talents. Discovering what you don’t like and stop doing it applies when you determine the right career. If you aren’t good at something you will fail at it repeatedly. And over time you will stop doing it. Sometimes you may need to do something you fail at, but don’t put much into this as it may only strengthen you for a short time. You will contribute the most when your role closely matches your strengths. Guard doing what you love to do and how you spend your time. The more effective you are at doing what you love to do the more successful you will be. How do you stop doing what you don’t like to do and stop doing it can be challenging.

Define a standard version of what you do well. All dislikes are not created equal and must be treated differently. Dislikes can be caused by an emotion – boredom, un-fulfilment, frustration or drained. Being in the wrong role can hide your strengths. Bill Gates’ geniusness was finding the right partners. Effective partnering can help with creating success. Tactics to prove the most effective are to quit the role, tweak the role, seek out the right partners or find an aspect of the role that brings you strengths. Keep mindful that the longer you put up with aspects of your work you don’t like, the less successful you will be. Stop doing them.

So to conclude… Managing, leading and sustained individual success. Find success and satisfaction. The more you perfect your skills the more effectively you will turn talents into performance. Common needs are for security, authority and respect. The leader must have clarity. Sustained success depends on your ability to remove those activities or people that pull you off your strengths path. But it is your responsibility to make the course corrections to sustain your best contributions. The more skilled you are the more successful you will be. Remove the irritants from your life and engage in the world in a balanced life. It takes insight and discipline and courage to succeed.

Let me know what you thought of the summary? As I really like this book and it’s messages, I might do another post and give it a personal review of why I liked what Buckingham had to say! Let me know if you’d be interested in that, otherwise I’ll just start a summary of the next book… 🙂

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