Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Power of 2 (or more)

"Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?" -- Benjamin Franklin

I love books. I am still a fan of “the paper book” as I like the feel of a real book. I like using bookmarks, and a highlighter to mark-up points to ponder. eBooks are cool too and serve a purpose. I have purchased eBook copies of my favorite paper books. Yep, all types of books are cool.

Two books that I highly recommend:  Power of 2 and StrengthsFinder.

I make it mandatory for all new hires (employees or contractors) to send me their StrengthsFinder report. The test comes free with the purchase of the book. The insights on a person’s true essence are spooky accurate. You cannot fake the results!

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

Chances are, you don't. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions to discover their top five talents.

In StrengthsFinder 2.0 Gallup unveiled the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more. While you can read this book in one sitting, you'll use it as a reference for decades.

Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, and USA Today bestseller will change the way you look at yourself -- and the world around you -- forever.

Power of 2 is a book that takes research from the Gallup organization and develops a theoretical model of eight factors that make up effective/ineffective partnerships: complementary strengths, a common mission, fairness, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, communicating, and unselfishness. The model is applicable to both work and personal relationships.

The authors present a blended approach to the content that makes it interesting and useful. They provide key statements for each factor along with examples that support their model. In addition, they provide specific strategies the reader may utilize in improving his/her own approach to developing and maintaining effective partnerships. It's one of those books that I call a re-read---you read it once and can't help but re-read at a later date to enjoy nuances and further learning on the ideas presented.

These are not new books, but they might be the core of my entire business philosophy. I am big believer that we should play to our strengths. And I have learned that true success - nothing of any value in the world of business - comes from a single individual.

  1. Play to your strengths, and empower your people to play to their strengths.
  2. None of us is as smart as all of us.

My StrengthsFinder report says that I might be (to some) impossible to work “for” but I can be amazing to work with.  

We are social creatures. So, we should all “play to our strengths" and always remember that life (and business) is a team sport. and I’ll send you these two books for free.

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