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Soar with Your Strengths: A Simple Yet Revolutionary Philosophy of Business and Management

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A groundbreaking, inspiring book for businesses, managers, and individuals on how to achieve the absolute best by focusing on strengths and steering away from weaknesses, this revolutionary, humanistic approach to business will transform companies, build careers, and change lives.


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A groundbreaking, inspiring book for businesses, managers, and individuals on how to achieve the absolute best by focusing on strengths and steering away from weaknesses, this revolutionary, humanistic approach to business will transform companies, build careers, and change lives.

30 review for Soar with Your Strengths: A Simple Yet Revolutionary Philosophy of Business and Management

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    I firmly believe the principles of this book, but I just didn't care much for the delivery. This is a totally adequate primer if you're not familiar with the strengths theory, but it's pretty fluffy and can be summed up in these three points: 1. Focus on strengths and manage the weaknesses. 2. Create a mission statement, and live it. 3. Relationships help to define who we are and what we can become, so manage and cultivate relationships. Read Now, Discover Your Strengths instead. I firmly believe the principles of this book, but I just didn't care much for the delivery. This is a totally adequate primer if you're not familiar with the strengths theory, but it's pretty fluffy and can be summed up in these three points: 1. Focus on strengths and manage the weaknesses. 2. Create a mission statement, and live it. 3. Relationships help to define who we are and what we can become, so manage and cultivate relationships. Read Now, Discover Your Strengths instead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hunt

    The basic premise of the book is to focus on one's strengths while managing one's weaknesses. I don't recall whether or not there is much practical application b/c I only remember how revolutionary this idea was to me back when I first read it. I found it again recently on a discount shelf and quickly bought it and read it again. Really a great book, especially for the person who is prone to discouragement.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave Warawa

    I have purchased this book many times for my clients. It will cause you to change the way you approach personal development. By concentrating on someone's strengths and managing their weaknesses you build self esteem. As their confidence increases, their strengths become so acute that their weaknesses managed properly seem trivial. I highly recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gila

    I learned that you don't have to be good at everything. Instead of wasting time working on your weaknesses, focus on what you are best at and develop your strengths. (singing) ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    While this book is from back in 1992, there is much that has stood the test of time here. While I don't completely subscribe to the "focus only on your strengths (never your weaknesses)" general philosophy prevalent during this time period, I do believe that while working on weaknesses can lead to incremental improvement (and may be necessary to survive), enhancing and building on our strengths can result in exponential benefit. Here are just some of the particular notes I took: • “Excellence can While this book is from back in 1992, there is much that has stood the test of time here. While I don't completely subscribe to the "focus only on your strengths (never your weaknesses)" general philosophy prevalent during this time period, I do believe that while working on weaknesses can lead to incremental improvement (and may be necessary to survive), enhancing and building on our strengths can result in exponential benefit. Here are just some of the particular notes I took: • “Excellence can be achieved only by focusing on strengths and managing weaknesses, not through the elimination of weaknesses” (p. 11). • What is the Strengths' Theory? “… applies on three different levels: as a philosophy for guiding your personal and professional life, as a strategic tool for decision making, and as a system for developing those around you… The Strengths’ Theory is based on the premise that every person can do one thing better than any other 10,000 people” (p. 34). • “Burnout often spills over into other parts of your life. We call this the Spread of Effect when failure in one area is so profound it has a ripple effect on your personal life, children, family, and friends. Actions become efforts. Deeds become debilitating… Burnout rarely occurs when pursuing a strength” (p. 84). • “Identifying a weakness is only the first half of the process. The second step involves the following five strategies: sloughing [figure out what you don't do well and then stop doing it], subcontracting [delegate those things you shed to others who excel in them], complementary partnering [combine your strengths with those of others-- the whole is thus greater than the sum of its parts], support systems [people and tools to assist you], and alternatives [find different ways to accomplish tasks or reach intended results]" (p. 91-96) • People can (and do) change. “... dramatic transformations in behavior can take place… Why does someone’s behavior change? Because there is a shift in the person’s self-perception based on new demands that life makes” (p. 98). • Strengths have to be recognized and cultivated. “From our research we know that strengths atrophy and die when left alone. The best salespeople, managers, and company leaders are similar to the great athletes of the world in that their strengths do not develop in a vacuum. They require a set of what we term ‘catalysts’ to bring them to life. We think of them as ‘chemical agents’ that transform inert potential into active strengths. These catalysts are (1) mission, (2) relationship, (3) expectations, and (4) celebration” (p. 104). Clifton goes on to discuss his nine principles for managing relationships, consisting of: 1) Think of Others in Terms of Their Strengths 2) Quality Relationships Develop One on One 3) ‘Doing For’ Never Makes Up for ‘Doing With’. 4) The More People Know About Each Other, the More Likely They Are to Like Each Other 5) There is No Trust Without Risk. 6) Relationships Are Built One Commitment at a Time 7) Being Liked Is Important… Respect is for one’s self. Liking is for others. 8) Relationships Don’t Just Happen; Be an Activator… It requires initiative… 9) Use Relationship Strengths, Manage Your Weaknesses… (p. 133-146). This book will likely apply well into the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Focus on your strengths and manage your weaknesses. A quick read, putting words to a lot of the practices I do for myself. As a new manager, I think some of the methodologies will be useful to help my reports grow.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Great exploration of why it makes sense to figure out what you do well and then do more of it, and why focusing on areas of strength gets us a much better return than trying to fix weaknesses. Highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    EMP

    Meh. Simple? Yes. Revolutionary? Maybe. Enough for an entire book rather than a well written article? IMO, no.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Dated references and stats, but fantastic content and philosophy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emilie22

    3.5 stars. Pretty good but nothing crazy and found the original (Strength Finder) to be more valuable.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Merrijane

    I always cringe when they assign a book to read at work. I just know it's going to be boring, and that all my coworkers will be using its key buzzwords for the next six months. But this wasn't too bad. It had a positive, uplifting message about focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses (ours and others). It also had some practical exercises for discovering strengths and tips on how to develop them. I think this would be especially helpful for managers hoping to encourage their employees, and i I always cringe when they assign a book to read at work. I just know it's going to be boring, and that all my coworkers will be using its key buzzwords for the next six months. But this wasn't too bad. It had a positive, uplifting message about focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses (ours and others). It also had some practical exercises for discovering strengths and tips on how to develop them. I think this would be especially helpful for managers hoping to encourage their employees, and individuals who want to choose a career suited to them. It was a tiny bit trite, however, plus there were some things I consider to be outright falsehoods. For instance, the book repeatedly insinuates that weaknesses can only be "managed" not overcome, so don't bother wasting your time trying to change yourself--mainly focus on developing your strengths. This flies in the face of both my religious beliefs and my personal experience. Also, I can see assertions like that leading to all kinds of justifications for bad behavior. To be clear, I don't think the book is saying bad behavior is okay, I just think some readers could take it that way.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile Soar With Your Strengths is the original "source text" for the concept of CliftonStrengths (aka StrengthsQuest). I've been working with Strengths for a lot of my career, and I'd somehow never read this one. The edition I found was even before the assessment was even a thing. I appreciated that this helped me understand where the stuff I've been referencing for years legit came from. It's a little odd that I've waited this long to take it back t More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile Soar With Your Strengths is the original "source text" for the concept of CliftonStrengths (aka StrengthsQuest). I've been working with Strengths for a lot of my career, and I'd somehow never read this one. The edition I found was even before the assessment was even a thing. I appreciated that this helped me understand where the stuff I've been referencing for years legit came from. It's a little odd that I've waited this long to take it back to where it all began, but also I feel like having all the practical experience was a good full circle reflection. I'm definitely planning on infusing some of this book as I continue to work with Strengths going forward. Also, if you ever want to talk Strengths, HMU.

  13. 4 out of 5

    JP

    A bit simplistic in style but the point rings clear and true. The thesis is "focus on strengths, manage weakness." They highlight the benefits of this approach and advocate it across all levels of effort (individual, manager, and organization). In defending this blinders approach, the also argue that strong knowledge in one area enables and integrating point for knowledge in others. Their 5 characteristics of a strength: yearning, satisfaction, rapid leaning (initially and then ongoing learning) A bit simplistic in style but the point rings clear and true. The thesis is "focus on strengths, manage weakness." They highlight the benefits of this approach and advocate it across all levels of effort (individual, manager, and organization). In defending this blinders approach, the also argue that strong knowledge in one area enables and integrating point for knowledge in others. Their 5 characteristics of a strength: yearning, satisfaction, rapid leaning (initially and then ongoing learning), glimpses of excellence, and total performance of excellence. They also point out that people with multiple strengths need to pick one and not let their other strengths distract them. Finally, they discuss 4 necessary catalysts: mission, relationships, expectations, and celebration.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lazarus

    I really dislike motivational career building books. That being said the concept or subject matter I found to be very true, useful, and the most important characteristic of all.....unique. Why waste you and everyone else’s time on what we aren’t good at. Focus on feeding and cultivating what we are good at. My only knock against this book (outside of my general disdain for books of this nature) is that each chapter is a reiteration of the same idea. So after awhile it felt like we were beating a I really dislike motivational career building books. That being said the concept or subject matter I found to be very true, useful, and the most important characteristic of all.....unique. Why waste you and everyone else’s time on what we aren’t good at. Focus on feeding and cultivating what we are good at. My only knock against this book (outside of my general disdain for books of this nature) is that each chapter is a reiteration of the same idea. So after awhile it felt like we were beating a dead horse. I recommend this book to young professionals and managers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barry Davis

    From the Gallup organization. Makes a cogent argument to identify and grow strengths and manage weaknesses. Many organizations spend too much time trying to improve what people are bad at doing rather than enhancing what they do well. Helps you identify weaknesses and strengths, write personal mission statements, build relationships and celebrate your victories. Second half of the book got a bit contrived (too many how-to’s).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lychee

    One of the latest human resources/career development kicks. I've taken the assessment and now trying to learn more about the whole philosophy and how to think about making the results more useful/meaningful to me. This is a quick read that lays out the basic ideas. I'm interested enough that I'll read some more. Plus it's giving me some ideas of how to think about how I might characterize my strengths in a way that's useful to me as I think about where to go next with my life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Soly Azari

    I loved the thesis of this book.We live in a society that tells us that we can do anything if we just work hard enough. This book challenges that and introduces the counter intuitive notion that we would be far more successful if we just continue to get better at the things we are naturally good at.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charmin

    Highlights: 1. Strengths develop best when sufficient time is devoted to a single subject or goal. 2. Manage weaknesses to minimize energy drain, try 'enlightened delegation.' 3. Think of others in terms of THEIR strengths. 4. Peer recognition is the most powerful form of celebration. 5. Acknowledge new hires by name in their first hours in a new position (higher retention rate).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    makes perfect sense. if you're good at it, do it. if you suck at it, STOP. but also offers ideas & techniques to manage and balance your talents--I've already begun incorporating some of these. So glad I stole this from a friend's bookshelf while housesitting. Thanks Nick! makes perfect sense. if you're good at it, do it. if you suck at it, STOP. but also offers ideas & techniques to manage and balance your talents--I've already begun incorporating some of these. So glad I stole this from a friend's bookshelf while housesitting. Thanks Nick!

  20. 5 out of 5

    John

    Rating: B+ I recommend this book. I agree with its premise: Master your Stengths; Manage your Shortcomings. Love the introductory parable as well as the Nine Principles of Relationships. Practical read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Great book. Easy read. You won't find all the same strengths listed here as you find in the most recent "Strengths finder" books but you will find very practical advice for everyday living and for your careers, and the management of ppl in your life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christophe Druet

    It helps a lot in rediscovering own strengths. It advocates for stopping wasting energy in fixing weaknesses. Motivational, especially if the company you are working for embraces this philosophy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pam Curtis

    One of the best books on Strengths I have read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Willing

    Love strength theory. This is a great primer and instruction booklet for strengthfinders. Well worth the time to read and develop a strategy focused on your strengths.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nick Woodall

    The ORIGINAL strengths book! Awesome!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Riana

  27. 5 out of 5

    Monica Willyard Moen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ken Beller

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Doolin

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