I just finished "First Break all the Rules" and feel much less adequate than I did before reading.

I'd like to become really good at organizing my team around their strengths; and feel like I've been making the mistake of focusing on weaknesses until now.

Can anyone suggest resources, or techniques, for pulling out the strengths of team members and organizing work efforts around those strengths?

I'm doing O3s , but my "coaching" really hasn't gotten off the ground. I'm thinking this is why.

Any help is much appreciated.

madamos's picture
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I just finished reading that book as well in the last week. I saw a lot of the MT concepts in that book. I realize that I have been spending all my time working with my worst employees and trying to help them perform better. After reading the book I have started to change my approach.

I have also started working to discover the talents of my poor performers. I am doing this by a combination of discussions with them about what they like about their job and giving them assignments where I think they have the right talent.

I am also going to be adding a significant amount of new headcount to my staff this year. I will also be adding some talent based questions to my interviews.

I think this was an amazing book. I felt energized after finishing it, similar to the energy I feel after listening to an MT podcast. I look forward to reading this book again several times over the next few years. This is definately a book to add to my bookshelf.


kklogic's picture

I highly recommend you read the next couple of books in the series. I apologize that I don't know which book it was, but one outlines how to manage each individual strength. We have put SF to work in our office and it's made a remarkable change in how we think, create teams and talk to each other. I wish you the best of luck with it!

P.S. We incorporated it into our goals for this year. "I will use my X strength to..."

eastcoastrob's picture

[quote="kklogic"]I apologize that I don't know which book it was[/quote] It's called "Now Discover Your Strengths". Clever title, I thought.

akinsgre's picture


I will be ordering those books.

And I've started paying more attention to my directs strengths and trying to figure out how I can organize my organization to support those strengths.

It's going to be tough, so any more advice/reading will surely help me.

CalKen's picture


I feel the same way. I just finished reading it for the first time front-to-back and found a wealth of information. I will be reading exerpts over again to better understand things but I feel I have a good start.

I am also looking at ways to better understand team member strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I have a co-worker which has been slated by my management as taking my place when I am promoted (which may be sooner rather than later) but I feel that she does not have the talents required to survive as a manager. For a long time I thought that since I excelled in my role (in fact I have a passion for working with teams and customers and managing people) that everyone would be the right way. After reading this book and the MT feedback I have been getting I see now that she may never be able to manage and as such if I were to keep supporting management's desire to push her into my footsteps she will most likely fail and leave. She was in a management position before and failed terribly, and I feel that if she is placed in the same situation again it will just repeat, no matter how much coaching I provide.

Thanks for the recommendations on the books, I saw them at the bookstore and did not buy them due to no understanding of the materials in them. I will go purchase them soon.

kklogic's picture

Gallup was very firm in explaining to us when they were here that ANYone with ANY strengths can do ANY job. They just may go about the job differently than another person might. Is she doing MT now? Maybe that's the place to start.

CalKen's picture


This is interesting...

I was under the assumption that a person without the right talents cannot do a job effectively for which required those talents to be successful. I would concur that she could be a manager, and that she could do the job based on her own strengths, but do you think that she could rise to the same level of success as someone else with the talents for management (if there is such a thing)?

I guess that part of it may be that I am trying to paint her in my image when looking at her ability to manage, and that with her previous failure I may think that she may fail again, which I agree is a very fair analysis (and unfair to her). With this in mind, I will see how I can work on her strengths to make her a good manager with the talents she has.

In regards to MT, I introduced her to it several months ago and as such she does not seem very motivated to listen to MT. Perhaps this is a root cause of her issue, that she does not have the drive to be a manager. I will continue to mentor her in calendar management and organization skills (which I learned mainly from MT and GTD) , I may have to just accept the fact that she may not want to be a manager and work on where her heart lies.

kklogic's picture

It sounds like her desire (or lack thereof) to become a manager could be the real issue here.

To answer your question, yes - anyone with any set of strengths can become a great manager with proper skills and training. Technically, I'm using the wrong verbiage here. SF measures your natural [b]talents[/b] and gives you a list in rank order. However, it is not a strength until you combine it with skills and experience.

For instance, I have "strategic" as one of my top five. I do a lot of strategy development on my job (experience) and I know various techniques and software tools to develop strategy (skills). Because "strategic" is one of my natural talents, I will be better at it with experience and training than someone who does not have this on their list.

stehow's picture

if you want to feel even more energised try the audiobook version read by the author (Marcus Buckingham).