Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
This is a book designed to help you get the best return on your investment for personal leadership development. The main focus is finding the middle 70%, not the 20% of key strengths you already exhibit, nor the bottom 10% that are you main weaknesses but that middle ground that you can learn to make small changes at and focus on making changes there. Based on the studies they provide if you only focus on your key strengths you will become stagnant, and to quote Steven Brust:
"Failure leads to maturity
Maturity leads to success
Success leads to stagnation
Stagnation leads to failure!"
If you only rely on your strengths you will eventually either fail or become redundant. But on the other end of the spectrum if you try and change your greatest weaknesses, not only will it take a lot of effort but often there is very little return on investment. The amount you can make changes here is small. However on the other hand if you pick a skill or two in that middle ground and consistently work at you can turn them into key strengths. They will not take nearly the effort of your bottom 10% and the results will be much more dramatic.
The sections in the book are:
Part 1 About Hidden Strengths
1. What Are Hidden Strengths?
- Why Hidden Strengths?
- The Risk of Focusing on Weaknesses
- The Risk of Overrelying on Strengths
- The Reward of Focusing on Hidden Strengths
- 2. The Four Principles of Hidden Strengths
Principle #1: Leverage Your Traits, and Develop Your Skills
- Leverage Your Traits
- Develop Your Skills
Principle #2: The Middle Is the Source for Development
Principle #3: Practice, Practice, Practice
Principle #4: Always Be Working on Your Hidden Strengths
Part 2 Uncovering The Gold Mine Of Opportunity
3. Identifying Your Natural Strengths, Hidden Strengths, and Weaknesses
- The Twenty-Eight Skills
- Leading Self
- Leading Others
- Leading the Organization
- Leading Implementation
4. Reviewing Your Results
- Your Hidden Strengths Report
Part 3 Harnessing Your Potential
5. Making Your Hidden Strengths Work for You
- Hidden Strengths Development Plan
- Step 1: Find Your Motivation
- Step 2: Identify Your Goals
- Step 3: Choose Your Hidden Strengths to Develop
- Step 4: Turn Your Hidden Strengths into Learned Strengths
- Step 5: Evaluate Your Progress
6. Leading Your Evolution
- The Never-Ending Adventure
- Share the Love
Appendix A: The Twenty-Eight Skills and Why They Matter
Appendix B: Hidden Strengths Development Worksheet
Accessing Your Free Hidden Strengths Profile
About the Authors
This book was a great read and I have already recommended it to a number of people. It clearly lays out the why - focus on the middle 70%, and only focus on changing 1 or 2 at a time. The how - do the online survey, find your area's and work on them diligently. With the book you get access to the survey and can do it as many times as you need. After you get your results you apply Part three from the book and work on them and turn them into true strengths.
This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it and know I will be using the tools it provides to help me grow that middle 70% and you can also!