Now Discover Your Strengths – Buckingam and Clifton
A while back I read: Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham and I was fascinated and captured by the idea of what he calls ‘The Strengths Revolution’. I came to realize that he had laid the groundwork in a prior book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. This book has been a long time coming for me and has sat in my ‘books to read’ pile for a while… I wish had read this sooner… It’s been out a while, but if you have not read this, you should add it to your book list
In this book, Buckingham addresses the premise behind ‘The Strengths Revolution’, which is this: Rather than focusing on bettering ourselves in our weaker areas of work / ministry, we should discover the our strongest areas and learn to build and capitalize on them, (while also learning to ‘manage around our weaknesses’). Too many of us have learned to focus on the areas we are not good at, rather than building on our strengths. Buckingham maintains that we will have greater impact and fulfillment when we work from our strengths and not our weaknesses.
Sounds simple? Why wouldn’t we be living this out already? This seems a very basic concept, right? However, in my ministry, I have often been inclined to focus on getting better at an area I am weak in. Or I try to be stronger in an area I see in someone I admire who is in ministry.
Let’s be honest for minute… How many of us see a Speaker at a conference, or know a prolific youthworker and wish we could communicate and write like them? How many of us try to mimic the style and strengths they have? How many of us lacking administration strengths try to be ultra organized in all we do, but no matter how hard we try, it just never seems to happen. How many hours have we spent focused on our weaknesses while our best talents and skills get placed on the back burner?
This book is a MUST read for all in youth ministry if we desire to highly effective. It is a must read if we desire to be confident and at peace with who we are. It is a must read if we want to understand others around us and how to effectively help them work from their strengths
The book itself comes with an online ‘strengths finder profile’ for each reader to take, as well as a definition and breakdown of the strengths areas after you take it. This has been valuable to me as I confirm and rediscover who I am and where my focus needs to be. The book also gives many examples of professionals with different strengths and how they managed to harness their strengths and accomplish greater things. These examples were extremely helpful for me as I related to the characters stories.
All in all, a great read and I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and talk it through with a friend or ministry partner. It’s been a wonderful process as I have been defining my strengths with greater clarity. Maybe you can get the same result?