You can get better, faster, simpler results by spending more time in your strengths, and less time in your weaknesses. The trick is to identify your strengths and then find ways to apply them. These are some of the best business books to help you identify your strengths and apply them in work and in life.
Character Strengths and Virtues — Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson
This book identifies twenty-four specific strengths, classified under six broad virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. You can use this book both as a language for character strengths and as a model for positive traits. You can also use this book as a guide to develop these strengths.
Find Your Strongest Life – Marcus Buckingham
This book provides a tool to help you find your own specific strength patterns. It also provides strategies and plans to help set yourself up for more strong moments. In a nutshell, this book is about accepting and acting on who you are, and identify the role you were born to play and playing it. Rather than strive for balance, this big idea in this book is about striving for fullness and spending way more time in your strengths, so that you can enrich your life with more strong moments.
Go Put Your Strengths to Work – Marcus Buckingham
This is a very pragmatic book on helping you spend more time in your strengths and less time in your weaknesses. It’s full of practical tips and ways to leverage your strengths, including how to contribute your strengths in team scenarios. One of the most surprising insights in the book is that strengths are not simply what you are good at, and weaknesses are not simply what you are bad at. Instead, you need to think of strengths as your natural thinking, feeling, and doing patterns. Your weaknesses are when you are going against the grain of your natural thinking, feeling, and doing patterns.
Good to Great – Jim Collins
This book is a study of what the best of the best companies do differently. After sorting through 1,435 companies looking for those with substantial improvement, the author and research team focused on 11 companies. While looking for key traits of success, they found the real difference is disciplined people thinking and acting in a disciplined manner. The book introduces the Hedghog Concept. The Hedghog Concept is a combination of three circles: 1) What you can be best in the world at, 2) What drives your economic engine, and 3) What you are passionate about.
Linchpin – Seth Godin
This book introduces the idea that there are three team in every workplace: 1) management, 2) labor, and 3) linchpins. The linchpins are people that invent, lead, connect others, and make things happen. They are indispensable. The question becomes, how you do rise above and become indispensable so you can get the best jobs and the most freedom.
Now, Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
Based on 25 years of research, this book identifies 34 talent themes. This helps give you a language for personal strengths. It also helps you identify your specific combination of talents. It’s a great foundation for starting to think about how to use your strengths as a way to accelerate your career.
StandOut – Marcus Buckingham
This book helps you discover and activate your top two strength Roles. It’s based on in-depth research and analysis over many years of the world’s top performers. It’s focused on unleashing your unique creativity and strengths to create more value at work.
Strengths-Based Leadership – Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
This book shows you how a leader’s unique talents can help drive their success. You can identify your top five talents and use them as a foundation for your leadership style. This book includes research data, inspiring stories, and actionable ideas you can use to lead from your strengths.
The Truth About You – Marcus Buckingham
This book is a simple introduction to personal strengths. This book is really about helping you figure out who you are and what you need to do with your unique gifts. The big idea in this book is that you can find the sweet spot where when you play to your strengths, you can perform optimally, stay motivated, and be “in the zone.”
The Dip – Seth Godin
The Dip is a great little book to help you know when to quit, or when to stick it out, by leaning into the dip. If you can make it over the dip, the good thing is the dip help keeps other people out. The big idea in this book is that winners quit fast and they quit often, so they can find the right dip that’s worth fighting for.
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