The Anatomy of a Strength — Why You Should Keep Doing What You Do Best

Authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton pose the question –

What does a strong life look like?”


“A strong life (person) identifies their strongest threads (talents/gifts/bents), weaves in education and experience, and builds them into the dominating strengths around which they function best in a work environment.”

In their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths — the authors explain that most organizations operate under two flawed assumptions about people:

1. Each person can learn to be competent in almost anything.

2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest weakness.

As long as companies continue to operate under these assumptions, their growth (as a business and their employees’ personal development) will be limited.

Instead, organizations need to start identifying each individual’s areas of strengths and place these people according to their natural giftedness by assuming —

1. Each person’s talents are enduring and unique.

2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength.

Throughout this text, the authors define and describe the most prominent 34 themes of human talent (how to recognize them in yourself and others) as well as how to interact with people whose themes are different from your own.

To help readers put a mental picture to defining what a “strength” looks like….these authors describe strength as —

Consistent near perfect performance in an activity.”

To assist readers in quickly assessing what their strengths might be, ask yourself what you love to do as opposed to what you hate doing? What activities (work/leisure) bring out your best (or worst)? What types of tasks fulfill you (or frustrate you)?

Start with these introspective questions and then move forward with a more in-depth study covered in this insightful (and thoroughly practical) resource.

Happy strength hunting (and discovering)! 🙂


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