By Paul Copcutt
Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
Stand Out – The groundbreaking new strengths assessment by Marcus Buckingham
© 2011 by One Thing Productions Inc, 227 pages, Paperback
5R Score: 25/35
On a scale of 1-7
- Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 7
- Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 6
- Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 5
- Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 5
- Real – does the personal brand come through? – 2
Would you pick it up?
Since getting involved in the whole personal branding area, one of the core pieces of work that I use and refer to on a regular basis has been “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Clifton and other updated versions of the work. That is until now.
I have always enjoyed the work of Buckingam and he has been personally branded as the “Leader of the Strengths Revolution”. He is a joy to watch and listen to as a speaker. But what I really like is his continued efforts to make understanding your unique strengths, simple. With this book he has taken it all a step further.
Now you just need to know your top two strengths, and there are only 9 strengths in total, so it’s also easier to understand others as well.
One of the core foundation pieces of personal branding is to understand your strengths. If you cannot immediately identify what those are then you need to invest in a book like ‘Stand Out’. Each book comes with a unique code to take an online assessment and Buckingham has obviously spent a lot of time and resources in getting this working optimally set to provide best results.
Strengths are just one part of your personal branding puzzle, but a key one, so do not underestimate the need to do this. The book is mostly made up of chapter explanations of each of the 9 strengths, so on first read you might skip a lot. But if you go further with this, familiarize yourself wtih others strengths, it’s the type of book that should almost be on your desk versus a bookshelf.
What is really excellent about this book is that it helps you understand how you can maximize your strengths in various situations;
- You are at your most powerful
- How to describe yourself (in interviews and performance reviews)
- How to make an immediate impact
- How to take your performance to the next level
- How to win as a leader
- How to win in sales
- How to win in client services
There is also a team strengths version that is very interesting and well done.
I firmly believe that if you are going to live any type of life you love then understanding and playing to your strengths is key, so this book and its approach and principles applies to anyone at any level.
In much of my work with personal brands I would say the most underplayed element of most peoples personal brands are their strengths. It is what you do naturally and so well that it’s almost a sub-conscious action. Many people might look at this work and think it rudimentary, but I will bet most of them are not leveraging their strengths anywhere at the level they could be, so there are many lessons from this.
Buckingham has one of the most amazing strengths based stories about his personal brand, but apart from a few anecdotal personal pieces you are going to have to go somewhere else to find out more, since most of the book is specific to understanding the strengths. I wish there were more examples of strengths and how they are applied – that is the most disappointing part of the book.
Having said that this is a must read for all.
Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.