When best-selling author Marcus Buckingham writes, people listen. At least they should. Hes one of the few motivational speakers with something to say besides the usual platitudes and clichs offered up by many. Buckinghams latest, The Truth About You from Thomas Nelson, offers a condensed tool one can use to identify ones passions and talents. Although its not a thick book and can be read quickly, the real benefit will come with a slower, introspective read, taking the time to answer the questions and consider the trends.The book includes a DVD with a short story that helps set the stage for the discovery process the book intends to take the reader down, illustrating the importance of understanding your strengths. This is not a book of psycho-babble. Buckingham goes against the grain at times, throwing out conventional wisdom at times and replacing it with a common sense approach to contemporary times.This is a book, admittedly, that is applicable only to a free people in a modern day society. Indeed, in times past the vocational choices of most people were limited. You did the job that was needed, whether you liked it or not, and whether you were any good at it or not. But today, the choices before all of us are astounding. We have a tremendous amount of choice in America today. Yet many people are unhappy with their vocational choices.Throughout the discussion, Buckingham offers insightful questions designed to reveal your true motivations, your true passions, your true talents. Those that make you happy, not just successful. Read this book, slowly, and think about the questions provided throughout the commentary. Youll be better equipped to evaluate job opportunities and navigate a career path once you understand the strategy and thinking behind the statements made above.
This is a great resource containing some very practical exercises to help a person discover their strengths and passions in life. Just as a book on astronomy reveals the beauty of God's order in creation, this book helps a person find the unique passion and strengths for which God designed them. It would be very helpful to a person making major career or ministry decisions. This is a secular boook. It will not, and is not meant to replace prayer or bible study as the primary resource for guidance in your life.
The author, Marcus Buckingham, offers yet another title in what is becoming an increasingly popular genre of self help or leadership development. There is honestly nothing much new in this book that I havent already seen in some of the few leadership books that I have read from the likes of John Maxwell. I wish to share my thoughts on his 1st main thesis:Performance is Always the PointPerformance may be the point in the business sectorthe bottom line is all that matters. While I do hope that free market capitalism shows some heart and concern for humanity, the bottom line is what seems to rule the day. I am a pastor and I want to emphatically say that this guideline should not be implemented in the Church.We must care for more than just performance with those who function in our church. Maxwell once said that you should always get rid of the bottom 20% of your performers and actually advocated the perpetually firing of the bottom 20% of leaders in your church. My question is, What is the criteria?. Often it is unfair. I have met former ministry leaders who were run out of their respective organizations as if they were just an employee number. I have had to deal with folks who once labored in the ministry of their respective local church only to encounter some marital problems. When they had mentioned to their pastor that they would like to take a break from their lay ministry role to be ministered to in their marriage, the pastor seemed more concerned about finding someone to replace them. They felt used and abused and left the church jaded from such an experience.I just want to say that this principle may work in the normal workplace, but it should be kept out of the church. Dont get me wrong, we should have expectations of those whom God has placed in certain areas of leadership, but character and integrity matter, not just performance
What I discovered in this book, was an entirely secular resource.Mr. Buckingham has done an interesting job with the short twenty-two minute film that illustrates his assertion that building on strengths is better than simply improving upon weaknesses. I would say the film is the best part of this program. There are points worth pondering within the 110 pages of this book and the perspective is refreshing. However, I also felt that some of the points were shallow and didn't offer enough in-depth information to be effective. In addition, I found myself disagreeing that a person can identify strengths and weaknesses based on whether a task drains or energizes them. I prefer a more balanced approach involving a combination of both subjective and objective evidence, along with a healthy dose of following Jesus. In the chapter titled "Five Things That Sound Right But Aren't," I became frustrated. The point of this section was to debunk five common pieces of encouragement that might hurt the reader. However, one of them was the Golden Rule! The teaching within this section was incomplete and would leave an immature reader thinking that the Golden Rule had been debunked. This is foolishness at best. Mr. Buckinham tells readers that not everyone wants to be treated like just like them and suggests the reader ask the person in question for "his three strength and weakness statements," before proceeding with action. Well, if you are asking two people to communicate before taking action, then aren't you giving simple courtesy? Isn't that the Golden Rule? Over all, this secular book had interesting points and certainly a refreshing perspective. But for the Christian reader, it contains far too many worldly elements and was much to shallow to be a helpful tool.
Upon reading this book I found several things about myself that I hadnt considered before. This book presents, at best, a way to drive others to inspect their personal view point of their work ethic and their personality. It was exactly what I expected it to be when I found out that he was a motivational speaker on leadership. He is obviously someone who has a lot of experience with money and large corporations and seems to know what he is talking about.The best part of the book I found was the hands on assessment of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Buckingham helps you to look at your life to find your true strengths and weaknesses through journaling and helps you to stop thinking of the rules that society has brain washed you into believing. The book provides a dvd and notebook which helps you to identify you true strengths. The actual book is filled with pages that allow you to write in answers along the text and make your observations easier to keep track of. He will make you take another look at what you love to do and what makes you strong. I would recommend this book to anyone who is finding themselves unhappy in their current job. He can indeed help guide you to, if nothing more, a deeper understanding of your true strengths and how to use them.