Marcus Buckingham: Go Put Your Strengths to Work
- Former senior researcher at Gallup Organization
- Advises employees and managers alike on maximizing their unique skill sets
- Motivates and coaches others to achieve long lasting personal success
- Gives audiences practical advice on tapping into the “strengths revolution”
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In a world where efficiency and competency rule the workplace, where do personal strengths fit in?
Marcus Buckingham has dedicated his career to addressing this complex issue. Using his nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he has challenged entrenched preconceptions about achievement to get to the core of what drives success.
The definitive treatment of strengths in the workplace can be found in Buckingham’s best-selling books: First, Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman), Now, Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton), The One Thing You Need to Know, Go Put Your Strengths To Work, The Truth About You; and Find Your Strongest Life.
His latest project are The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal best-seller StandOut, a book and strengths assessment combination that uses a new research methodology to reveal your top two “strength Roles”—your areas of comparative advantage. StandOut goes beyond description to give people practical innovations that fit their strengths, and provide managers with quick insights on how to get the best from each of their team members.
The goal is to move companies toward greater success and productivity by creating a workplace in which employees spend more than 75% of each day on the job using their strongest skills and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do. Companies that focus on cultivating employees’ strengths rather than simply improving their weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency while allowing for maximum personal growth.
If such a theory sounds revolutionary, that’s because it is. Buckingham calls it the “strengths revolution,” and he founded The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) in 2005 to help jump start a worldwide conversation about how to get people focused on their strengths.
As he addresses more than 250,000 people around the globe each year, Buckingham touts this strengths revolution as the key to finding the most effective route to personal achievement and the missing link to the efficiency, competence, and high performance for which companies constantly strive. He challenges conventional wisdom and shows the correlation between engaged employees and business fundamentals such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, profits, and productivity.
In his role as an author, independent consultant, and speaker, Buckingham has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today,and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including TODAY and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and is routinely lauded by such corporations as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Master Foods, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Disney as an invaluable resource in informing, challenging, mentoring, and inspiring people to find their strengths and sustain long-lasting personal success.
Find Your Edge: Win at Work. Excellence happens all the time in an organization, but it can be tricky to harness this excellence and make it work for you. So often, when companies try to reproduce what their best performers do differently, the result is just another lifeless policy that ends up constraining people instead of freeing them to do their best work. The trick is to help people put innovative ideas into practice without stifling the personal strengths that give them their edge. In this speech, Buckingham presents a customized best practice delivery system for both managers and individual contributors. Using a simple, easy-to-remember scheme to identify each person’s unique combination of strengths, Buckingham gives individuals tips and techniques on how to put their particular edge to use. And managers will get lots of raw material to be better coaches based on the specific strengths of their team members. At the end of the speech, you will know how to move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach and find those practices that are best for you.
What the World’s Best Managers Do Differently. What sets great companies apart? Survey data gathered over decades’ worth of interviews with thousands of managers and workers around the world reveals one simple truth: there are no great companies. Every company is made up of separate teams, and the performance of those teams, no matter how successful the company may be, varies widely. What makes the difference? The manager.
Managers play a significant role in creating an environment within which individuals can thrive, discover their talents and use their best selves daily. Great managers help people to identify and leverage their unique strengths.
Buckingham will discuss the four key demands a manager must fulfill in order to provide the kind of environment that enables people to achieve peak performance on a regular basis: Select the right people for the right roles; Clarify expectations of the manager and of the employee; Engage team members by paying constant attention; and Accelerate performance by maximizing strengths and neutralizing weaknesses. In short, his presentation will address how great managers turn talents into performance.
Strengths-Driven Performance. During Buckingham’s 17 years with the Gallup Organization, he helped to guide ground-breaking research on the world’s best leaders, managers, and workplaces. This research was used as a basis for his best-selling books First, Break all the Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths. His subsequent best-selling book Go Put Your Strengths to Work forms the foundation for the “Strengths-Driven Performance” keynote address.
Buckingham will present key data from a number of different industries demonstrating the correlation between performance and engagement. He discusses the factors at play with engaged teams vs. disengaged teams and drills down to the specific lever that research indicates most impacts engagement: the extent to which employees have the opportunity to play to their strengths. When employees have the opportunity to apply their greatest strengths at work, they turbo-charge their careers and everybody wins. Companies find their employees are more productive and their teams are more effective. Despite this, research shows a majority of people do not fully use their strengths at work. Buckingham will examine current corporate levels of engaging the strengths of employees and discuss the psychological and practical obstacles that can get in the way of creating a strengths-based organization. Throughout his presentation, he will offer a number of different strategies to support people in leveraging the best of themselves and others in the workplace.
The Difference between Great Managing and Great Leading. The many facets of great managing and great leading could be detailed endlessly, but Buckingham draws on a wealth of examples to uncover the single controlling insight that lies at the heart of each. Lose sight of this “one thing” and even your best efforts will be diminished or compromised. Success comes to those who remain mindful of the core insight, understand all of its ramifications, and orient their decisions around it. Buckingham backs his arguments with authoritative research from a wide variety of sources, including his own data and in-depth interviews with individuals at every level of an organization, from CEOs to hotel maids and stock boys. He cuts through the thicket of often-conflicting possibilities and zeroes in on what matters most, revealing the surprisingly different keys to great managing and great leading.
Finding Your Strongest Life. In the four decades since the beginning of the modern women’s movement, women have secured greater opportunity, greater influence, greater independence, more free time, and more money. Despite all those important gains, however, longitudinal research indicates that women have become more unhappy, anxious, and stressed during that same time period, and that they become sadder as they get older (while men, in contrast, become happier as they age). Buckingham will explore the data behind the startling findings on women’s happiness and discuss the lessons to be learned from happy, successful women who buck the statistical trends.
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