A Review of StandOut, A New Book by Marcus Buckingham

I first encountered Marcus Buckingham when I bought the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths and took the StrengthsFinder test. I found the premise revolutionary: the most effective method for motivating people is to build on their strengths rather than correcting their weaknesses.

We began using this assessment in our leadership training and staff development at Thomas Nelson. It was a major paradigm shift. It is much more empowering to focus on building people’s strengths rather than trying to improve their weaknesses.

Now Marcus has written StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work, a book that builds on his previous work, and helps individuals and teams actually put their strengths to work.

The book is based on extensive research, statistical testing, and analysis of the world’s top performers. It also includes a unique access key to the the brand new “StandOut Strengths Assessment,” an online test that you can take in 20–25 minutes.

The StandOut assessment measures you on nine strength Roles and reveals your top two. These two roles are where you will make your greatest contribution. In other words, they are your edge—where you have a natural advantage over everyone else—and your multiplier—where you can exert the most productive leverage.

When you complete the test, you will receive a 20-page report with targeted advice for each of your two top strength roles. You will learn:

  • Phrases to describe your edge
  • How you can make an immediate impact
  • How to take your performance to the next level
  • What to watch out for

The test then combines the two roles and offers you additional advice on your unique combination:

  • Which careers fit your strength combination
  • How you can win as a leader
  • How you can win as a manager
  • How you can win in sales
  • How you can win in client service

After the chapter about the test, Marcus spends the rest of the book explaining each of the nine roles with a chapter on each:

  1. Advisor
  2. Connector
  3. Creator
  4. Equalizer
  5. Influencer
  6. Pioneer
  7. Provider
  8. Stimulator
  9. Teacher

(By the way, my first strength role was Equalizer; my second was Pioneer. These seemed to be polar opposites, but they explained some things in my personality which I have had difficulty reconciling in the past.)

Toward the end of the book, he lays out three principles for building your strengths for a lifetime.

As usual, Marcus does a great job striking the balance between theory and practice. He gives you just enough of the theory to understand the statistical validity of the testing instrument. Yet he does this without making your eyes glaze over. He also does a fabulous job of providing lots of real-world illustrations and personal anecdotes.

If you enjoy self-assessments, want to further exploit your strengths, and make your greatest contribution, this book is for you. If you lead a team, it would be well-worth the investment to read the book, take the test, and then discuss the results as a group. It will provide you with insights into how you can better tap the strengths of your team and recruit roles that aren’t currently represented.

I gave away 100 copies of StandOut to my readers. To qualify, they had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
How do you think this could help you and your team? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • dik

    Sounds like a great read.

  • Curt

    Thanks so much for sharing this new book.  Your insights are always appreciated, and especially in the area of leadership and good books.  The fact that you are an avid reader means a lot.  Can’t wait to take the new test.

  • Ben

    The better I know myself, the easier it will be to determine the things that only I can do and the things that can/should be delegated to others.

  • http://www.addriftnomore.com Sabrina Poirier

    I am so glad to see he has a new book out! Great review!

    You can access a workshop he did with Oprah on iTunes for free too, if you’re interested in learning more or seeing him in action. He’s very interesting and I wish more managers were aware of his approach to capacity-building within companies and organizations.

    • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

      Thanks for the iTunes tip, Sabrina!

      • http://www.addriftnomore.com Sabrina

        You’re welcome everyone! So glad I could share some helpful info. 

    • Joe Lalonde

      Sabirna, thanks for sharing that. I did not know he had done a workshop with Oprah.

    • http://twitter.com/pauldz paul dzubinski

      Great tip. thanks Sabrina

  • Trina

    I have already done the self-assessment and I think this new book would help me be a better team player.

    • Trina

      My Top 5 Themes in order are:

      • http://twitter.com/lisareid Lisa Reid

        Wow, Trina — my top 5 strengths in order (from StrengthsFinder 2.0) are:

        I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with so many in common with me!

      • deb

        wow what a great book

    • Joe Lalonde

      I’m curious as to how the results from this will differ from the self-assessment.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Functioning in a leadership position, I believe Marcus Buckingham’s new book “StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work” can help me identify my top two strength roles more clearly. That would in turn help me give myself the freedom to be me and also to help my team members recognize and flow in their strength roles. 
    I look forward to reading “Stand Out”! Thanks Michael.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Wow Michael, this sounds like a great book. I am a huge Marcus Buckingham fan. His previous books have been pivotal in my life. I have found the strengths test to be one of the most accurate and helpful “personality style” tests on the market. My top strength is Ideation, followed by Positivity and Futuristic.

    I can’t wait to take this test. Looking over the list, my guess would be that I’m a Creator and Stimulator, but I’m always surprised when I actually take the assessment. I would be really interested to see the career choices involved with the different roles.

    I’m sure this book will be a huge bestseller. I hope I’m one of the lucky ones to get a copy of the book. BTW… Equalizer sounds like something out of a Dirty Harry movie. I’ve got to ask myself one question.. Do I feel lucky?

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      I just purchased the Kindle version and the test ID’s were shipped to my e-mail address. I took the test and my roles came out Creator/Pioneer. My combined tag line is that I bring constant ideas to the team. Sounds like we share the pioneer spirit, Michael.

      The test took about 20 minutes and the insights are great. Highly recommended.

  • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

    Buckingham IS a standout.

    I’m excited about this book because our church staff has multiple personalities… uh… there are multiple personalities within our staff.

    As with all organizations, there’s not always a clear appreciation of what each person brings to the mix. Gift and talent projection can run wild (i.e. I have the best gift, so please conform to my way of doing things).

    [Oh, all of this is hypothetical by the way. Certainly, a lack of understanding and grace for the talents of others would never occur within church.] :)

    Marcus’ book will help each of us, as Andy Stanley says, to discover that… ““My fully-exploited strengths are of far greater value to our organization than my marginally-improved weaknesses.””

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I have this theory about churches… the personality of the leadership determines what type of person gravitates to that church.  In my church, for example, most of our leaders are introverted-type people (though they sometimes display extroversion in some ways), and that contributes to the overall demographic of our church.

      This can sometimes lead to a “lack of understanding and grace for the talents of others” that don’t necessarily fit within the “mold” of the general demographic of the church.

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/p/about-me.html Lawrence W. Wilson

    I really benefited from Now Discover Your Strengths, and am still applying those insights. Hope to gain from Standout also.

  • http://www.arock4him.blogspot.com Amy Hunt

    Our team at the office is currently undergoing some biggish restructuring, and for the first time a lot of focus is on strengths (duh!). I’ve suggested that a lot of our inability to communicate clearly with one another and for a lot of slip-ups in that area, is because we don’t have the “right people on the bus,” and so we’re shuffling the cards, so to speak–a fairly obvious move that should have been made a long time ago. We are all going to evaluate our strengths to best identify how to pair our work and employees…this newest book could be the best one for us. 

  • Thomas Duff

    This would make an incredible difference.  All too often I expect everyone to have the same strengths and weaknesses as myself.  If we truly understood that each person has a multiplier skill and form the group around those, we could astound people…

  • http://www.anazochoaching.com Mike Lane

    I think knowing a teams strengths is crucial to winning in today’s economy. StandOut sounds like it will be a great tool for teams to learn about their strengths!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and then using the strengths to your advantage, and steering clear of weaknesses (or finding someone to offset those weaknesses) is one of the hardest parts of leadership… of any organization.

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Buckingham’s work seems so imple, yet profound.  This book would be beneficial for me as I work with my coach at Building Champions developing a personal platform.  Clearly, understanding strengths is very important.  Understanding more HOW to make immediate impact with those strengths would be powerful.,  Thanks for sharing with others.

  • http://twitter.com/EspinosaJoey Joey Espinosa

    I’m a huge fan of Buckingham, too. I know this book can help me build on my strengths, so that I can better benefit others.

    • Jocelyne Sade

      Oh… the joy of hearing this… “so that I can better benefit others”. You are ahead of the game already, and I hope I can take the same frame of mind into whatever work I finally settle into.  Still looking…..

  • http://www.lanierlanding.blogspot.com Stephanie Lanier

    I’m all about servant leadership- especially in regards to the women I get to lead and teach in my church on my little online community via my blog. Many of them are so desperate for ways to learn about their unique giftedness. What if we could step back and start building instead of tearing down? Stop that nasty cycle of comparing ourselves to other women and just get on with the work? The Kingdom would be instantly better for it! 

    I can’t wait to learn more about this book and how it might empower the women I admire so much! 

  • Kevin Taylor

    Trombone Player Wanted was the start for me with recognizing to unleash those strengths that my day job asked me to suppress. First Break All the Rules was my first introduction to strengths focus – it was then that I stopped trying to focus on the math and capitalize on the English – put energy in what you are good at instead of really being better at bad. Thanks for the post Michael – reminded me that Marcus still has more to say in my life.

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Michael – on a scale of motivation, this is your top post!

    I love Marcus’s work. May I share an insight around strengths which was also pivotal?

    Marcus does something very clever – he connects your talents, to a context in which they are strengths. 

    But talents and strengths are not the same thing. Marcus takes the information, and what your talents are – and shows you how to apply your talents – which is what turns them into a strength. This might not be obvious at first.

    When I was in the Marines many years ago, we had a guy, who was not a particularly good soldier. Originally he was full of enthusiasm, and did well. Over time he had slipped. Putting weight on made him slow and unfit, he couldn’t keep up on long runs. He couldn’t really shoot that well either. As his performance suffered, he became less popular, which compounded the problem. Eventually he found himself ostracised, which also compounded the problem. Of course he identified with this, and saw himself as flawed, pretty much a failure.

    Periodically, the Intelligence guys come around scouting for talent. This guy I mentioned was hooked, and was soon part of the Intelligence bunch. Turns out he was an intellectual genius. He had this amazing ability to look at intelligence information, and discern things, to connect meaning and predict scenarios with an almost telepathic ability.. He became a super-high performer, he was a natural genius, and in his element.

    It was the same guy of course. In one context a failure, in another, a genius.

    A talent is only a strength when it is applied within the right context, otherwise a talent can even be a weakness in certain contexts. A talent for high empathy (people skills) can be a weakness in a harsh results oriented environment – it can make you too soft to make hard decisions. A natural talent for ‘feeling’ is not a strength when what is required for the role is a detached talent for thinking objectively.

    The importance of this, is that we don’t base our self-esteem on our talents so much, we base it more on our results.

    With Marcus’s approach, we can apply our talents in ways which turn them into strengths, so our results show that, and our self-esteem grows..

    Thanks again Mike,

    • http://www.undividedheart.blogspot.com Ben Wall

      I want to have greater understanding into my strengths & I imagine the synergy of a team that works toward each others strengths–especially if I can find more great ways to affirm my wife & our “home” team!

      • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

        Hey Ben – totally agree. Teams is where this comes alive, and the most important team is the ‘home’ team :-)  great insight..  thanks.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Thanks for the story, Paul.  It rings true to my ears.  You hear scenarios like this all the time in the sports arena, too.  An athlete who didn’t do very well at all on one team is traded to another team, where he becomes an all-star (or vice-versa).

  • http://twitter.com/KrisHopes Kris Wood

    This timely book is just what the non profit world needs! For years, we offered personality studies and other helpful assessments. Mr Buckingham then brought us StrenghsFinders and transformed not only individuals, but whole teams who recognize they can do more together with “dream teams”. With the introduction of this new material, we’ll be able to fine tune the strengths we offer and intentionally invest in each other and those we serve. 

  • Pastor Darren B

    I enjoyed Now Discover Your Strengths. As a Pastor I am often forced into being a generalist, and that means having to focus on my weaknesses a lot. NDYS was a breath of fresh air and an encouragement. Hopefully the new book will give me some guidance on how to implement my strengths.  As a Pastor, I can’t do everything, and i certainly can’t do it well. I’m looking for the place where I can make my best contribution. 

  • http://justinyang.tumblr.com Justin Yang

    Our church & the English Ministry Staff will greatly benefit from this book as we have launched Pathfinder (similar to boy/girlscouts program) and have designated platoon leaders for ministry at our church.

  • Michael

    When I talk to people about ‘playing to their strengths’, they get it in one. For so many it is a new concept. They have been conditioned to believe that they have to be good at EVERYthing. If they focus on their strengths and then hook up with others who have focused on strengths, then together they are unstoppable.

  • Mmodesti

    Funny, I was just talking to soomeone about a presentation I’m giving on the topic of mentoring next month. He talked about a wise mentor of his who told him to “harness your strengths and buttress your weaknesses”. We then got into a discussion about Marcus Buckingham’s books. This looks like another great one on that theme!

  • Joe S

    Having a virtual staff will help the team better understand not only themselves but one another. In most cases this team will never meet face to face and this activity would work wonders in our staff meetings

  • Jennifer Batt

    I am a teacher by trade, but often struggle with parts of the job.  In the off-season, I am a manager, which uses another set of skills.  It would be nice to know more about firing on all cylinders in both jobs!

  • Sherri

    I am especially interested in this information because I am in the process of setting up a board to establish a non-profit ministry in my county. I am praying for God to provide guidance about the make-up of the board. We need to have a balance of complimentary skills and talents and I think this will help us to look for that in different ways. 

    Plus, isn’t it just fun to take tests that analyze your personality? I love it when I do this and read the results and can just say, “oh, okay…that explains a lot!”.

    I actually have a Facebook page now, so I’ll post there today. 

  • Calvary’s Way Ministries, Inc.

    We are a new ministry planted about 4 months ago.  God is blowing our minds and adding souls to the Kingdom as well as to the church daily.  This book will be a huge advangement for us starting from the ground up.  It will give us insight on how to build a team, how to recognize and utilize the strengths of our core team.  We’ve been in ministry where we were crushed because people saw and capitalized on our weakness, and never dug deeper enough to see or to know our strengths and the gifts that God had given to the body.  So, tThank you so much for sharing and giving the opportunity to one of many that will appreciate this gift.

  • Blnpursuit

    We have a small team of three. Each person brings unique talents and skills to our team, but, of course, on small team we each have tasks that are outside of our strengths. I would love to be able to identify my team members ‘edge’ to insure that they are operating within it. Currently, we have a ‘detail person, and a ‘get-it done person’ and a ‘sales person’. But it would be benefital to not just group like task together, but to base tasking on a team member’s role.

  • Liz

     I  definitely see the logic in encouraging and complimenting someone’s strengths.  Often people know where they are weak and get embarrassed or frustrated when others focus on the weakness because, in most cases, they have struggled with it (unsuccessfully perhaps) before.  But to go for someone’s strengths?  Build them up, make them stronger and you’ll have a stronger team.  I’m definitely going to check out the book.

  • Jsivyer01

    Hi Michael,
    As a pastor I have committed myself to working with marketplace Chrisitians.  I have been facilitating groups on leadership development and now have secured a role in the local chamber of commerce.  I too loved Discover Your Strengths and would love to read Marcus’s new book and see what I can do to integrate it into my ministry.

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    I love the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. I’ve written on my blog about playing to your strengths (http://bit.ly/roVOsl) – I believe that is the only way to maximize your impact. Sure, we want to improve on our weaknesses, but our strengths have much greater growth potential.

    The new book looks fantastic. I enjoy assessments and believe they provide powerful insights into our lives. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

    • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

      Hey Jason – whenever I see ‘improve on our weaknesses’ my ears prick up!

      I’d gently nudge towards exploring the thinking behind that.. 

      Peter Drucker said something like “Your job as a leader is to make the strengths of your people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”

      Why do you suppose he would he advise that, as opposed to even including the idea of “improving your weaknesses” ?


      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        I don’t think Drucker would say that you never work on your weaknesses, but that you focus 95% of your time on improving your strengths.

        You can make marginal improvements in the areas that are “weaknesses” for you, but you’ll make huge leaps in improvement in the areas that you are gifted.

        • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

          Hi Robert, it’s one of the more common quotes attributed to Drucker.

          But the question really is – why work on your weaknesses? Sure – work on making them irrelevant – but why work on improving them?

          That’s not what the most successful people do, according to the Genius Study by Jay Niblick..

          All good food for thought challenging..  ;-)

    • Joe Lalonde

      Jason, I’ll be checking out your blog shortly. Thanks for sharing it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1496777650 Melody Burroughs Reid

    I am a big fan of Marcus Buckingham, after hearing him speak at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit several years ago.  I am a graduate counseling student and can see how this information could really help me and subsequently my clients, as I understand my strengths and to use them effectively.  I hope I win!

  • Scott

    Having been together for seven years now and enjoying significant annual growth our team is sinking into a rut of identifying problems we may never solve well rather than expoiting our strengths to our maximun advantage. This book may be the catylist we need to re-launch. I hope so!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Myers/657601368 Sandy Myers

    I love assessments and also felt that Strengthsfinder was a revolutionary book for me.  My top strengths are Input, Belief, Futuristic, Strategic, and Postivity.  I would love to continue to learn how to best utilize my strengths at work.

  • http://www.cathieostapchuk.com Cathie Ostapchuk

    Being involved in leadership development for women with a faith-based organization for a number of years, I see a high percentage of those women come for training lacking confidence, not seeing themselves as leaders and not sure who they are or what they bring.  Having clarity means you know who you are and how to ask for what you need.  Having clarity moves you from a place of feeling under-resourced, or “I don’t have enough” to knowing you are over-resourced and you have more than you need – and are therefore able to offer what is in your unique-ability using your God-given tools – to serve others.  Marcus Buckingham’s  work is one of the best tools for gaining clarity that I have worked with.  What makes you unique? is in part answered by the strengths test and affirms that you will bring something no one else in your offering to your team and your organization.  Having this Standup book will further take the concept of uniqueability and inspire confidence in women that what they bring matters and who they are matters.  I can’t wait to have it for myself! as I am in the middle of transition and am seeking convergence and clarity on moving closer to the ‘one thing’ or the sweet spot, that will help me pour out my life, in service to others.

  • Jimfitz2

    This should be a great read for leaders and for those who want to lead.  We all have strengths that can move us forward, but unfortunately, so many leaders try to put everyone in the same box.  If we take the time to understand that people have different areas of expertise, we can make all of our teams, our families and our churches move forward to reach full potential.  Think about a football team.  If every player was suited to be a running back, there would be no one to block.  Not everyone has great speed or quickness, but that does not mean they are a valuable part of that team.  They have a very important role, and it’s up to the coach or leader to discover it.  Teams also change, and leaders have to adjust to use the personnel they have on hand to do the work they are capable of to achieve the goal.  I believe this book can open our eyes to that.

  • Nickandkaren

    My wife & I have imigrated to Holland in our 50’s after successfully leading several growing churches in New Zealand. We are here to plant churches that plant churches in Western Europe, Amsterdam is our base. While this has it’s challenges (as we have left family & friends in NZ), we know this is the right thing to do in this season of our lives. Our role is to find, coach & mentor European leaders, who will plant churches, or be on a church planting team. Actually we are aiming to plant networks of churches! It’s a big dream, and I/we need all the help we can get to do the job well.  I am looking forward to reading stand out, as I know it will help me and others in our role. 

  • Pjohnno

    I’m about to reforma new team after major restructure and shrinking of our firm. I really want to march forward by playing to my strengths (whatever they may be)!

  • Layner311

    This book sounds fantastic, and the premise of it is a “duh, how come I never thought of focusing on my strengths?”.  We all have natural, God-given abilities, yet I still spend time comparing myself to others, and trying to measure up.  I need to focus on the strengths and abilities I have been given, and move forward making the most of what I have!  Thanks for sharing this book.  If I don’t win, I’ll be buying (did this just take me out of the running? ;)…

  • Michael

    My church uses Marcus’s StrengthsFinder test. I can’t wait to read his new book Thanks, Michael for getting the word out!

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Seems like an effective way to make sure you and your team are doing what they should be doing. If I win this book, I’d probably take my leadership team through it. Not many of them have extensive leadership experience so this would most likely be a game changer for them.

  • Bill Rattner

    StrengthFinders was very good at helping teams work together by Identifying what motivated us. What was missing was the recipe to cohesively put all those strengths into a high-functioning, productive team. StandOut provides the tools to go to market.

  • http://www.newlifenw.com Scott Reavely

    I was just talking with a young Moldovan Seminary president over lunch today. both of us were lamenting our lack of understanding of other of other leaders who can’t articulate a vision for their ministry. This book would help him and me. I am oversees this week, but normally I am involved in raising up young leaders through our church. I am a pastor. In addition, I am the chairman of the board of a seminary in the states. The multiplier factor you mentioned is of special interest to me. i am doing all I can to multiply myself and my team in ministry. Thank you.

  • Dw150

    Leadership is the key to followership.  If I want better followers, I need to be a better leader. I look forward to reading this book.

  • Greg Hodge

    Thanks for sharing this new book. Didn’t know that was out and I enjoy Marcus fresh focus on Strengths. Much better way of focusing rather than weaknessses!

  • http://www.sageministries.org Merritt Johnston

    After more than a decade building our ministry to girls/young women in the Central United States, we are now expanding throughout the country. We are blessed that God is bringing great people to us, but it’s critical that we understand one another’s strengths as we strive to build a cohesive team and follow a unified vision. Having referred to Now, Discover Your Strengths for years, I believe this new resource will be a critical tool in our leadership and ministry toolbox during this season of our calling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gracefulrain Christi Brown

    That sounds like a fantastic book.  Thanks for your reviews Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/malcolmtyree Malcolm Tyree

    Buckingham and others like him are going to help us achieve new realities where we move from frustration to celebration because they are reveling the path of strengths to us.  Increasingly we are being challenged to find our niche and it seems this kind of work will only drive us further into this.  As a pastor I’m constantly trying to help people find their place both as in the ministry of the church and in their career.  A resource like this can go a long way in equipping people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47100757 Tiana R. Brown

    Marcus Buckingham’s work and the strengths philosophy has helped me a great deal with developing leadership, team and morale in my workplace. This new book can only build on the firm foundation that he has laid with other books such as First, Break All the Rules and such. This book will help my team learn more about themselves and position them for a new level of success, at work and in life.

  • Anonymous

    This type of insight is simply invaluable. Like personality tests, insight into who we are increases understanding and helps improve communicaton. The key though is sharing one another’s information, not reading our own once and tossing it in a drawer. Instead, hang it up and reference it before and after you meet or work with team member. This helps commit it to memory. Another important part of sucking the value out of information like this is leadership embracement. Leaders should openly discuss it and challenge their teams to use it.

  • Pamela984

    I have always thought concentrating and strengthening what you do best was the right approach.  I am anxious to read this

  • John Friesen

    I oversee two Bible Conference centers and our leadership teams have just completed the strengths finder assessment in May and now we are going to begin designing our training and development programs around this. This book is timely in supporting the design of such training!

  • Anonymous

    What? Another book by Marcus Buckingham focused on helping me use my strengths effectively?  Do I really want  to be more effective, leave a greater impact, and more successful?  Hmmm…I will have to think about it…. OK, YES ABSOLUTELY I DO! 
    I would love to get this resource not only for myself but also to benefit my staff team that I lead. 
    I am confident it would help me serve them better as a leader as well as increase their leadership and influence as well.   Thanks for your post and  your leadership Micheal….and Sic em Bears!

  • T4Compassion

    As a new leader of a team of 6 I have already made a number of mistakes – but thankful for grace :-) I need to learn how to understand how my team members are all different and how to utilize ther strengths and not assume they are the same. Or at the very least figure out of I should be a leader at all! :-)

  • Focused-Achiever

    I look forward to this next and deeper step to my 5 strengths as defined in Now Discover Your Strengths and the Strengthfinder test. The concept has changed my thinking about not only who I am and where I fit, but to accept others for who God has created them to be. To further identify my “fit” may help narrow my eclectic career and identify how I can most effectively contribute in the last phase of my journey.

  • Kirk Weisler

    Marcus Buckingham has helped to change countless lives for the better.  The magnifying effect his book has had immediately on leaders as they now have tools and insights to better understand themselves is just the tip of the iceberg.   When those leaders begin to treat, understand, coach and encourage their people with the focus on strengths…WOW!  Can you imagine those who used to go home feeling inadequate, discouraged and even depressed.  Thinking they weren’t good enough, they would never “get it” or that just “didn’t have what it takes”.  His books cannot be touted loudly enough, read widely enough or operationalized deeply enough.

    I have evangelized his books like a rabid disciple since I read the first one ..nearly 10 years ago.  Because of their power and potential to give leaders greater clarity and confidence personally and culturally in their stewerdship to lead, lift and bless lives.

    If I had to sum up what Buckinghams books really offer in one word…it would be HOPE

    I commit to you Michael, and to Marcus that I will redouble my efforts to inspire 10,000 leaders to read, learn, and live the principles taught in this STAND OUT book (as well as his others)

    Thank you for all you do… I am better because of your strengths serving the world

  • Shelly

    Hello from drought stricken Kansas!! Though the weather is dry my desire to learn is not!  I’m looking forward to reading this book as I seek a new career path after a challenging life circumstance on the farm.  It is difficult for people to see their own strengths and as I help others, as well as myself, target what those are this sounds like a great help in clarification. Thanks for the suggestion and this offer. Sincerely~

  • http://www.devindabney.com Devin Dabney

    It is always great to know what people you consider “leaders” and “mentors” are reading.  As an aspiring entrepreneur and leader, I’m sure there are many nuggets of information that I can apply in my current and future endeavors.  I will be adding information about this book to my Evernote account whether I receive a copy or not.

  • http://twitter.com/JonCrossroad JonCrossroad

    We have been looking to increase our leadership team but have looked at the candidates from the wrong perspective. This resource is just what we need.

  • http://thestrandedstarfish.com Joe Kleinwaechter

    I pray for the day where Marcus takes his And Clifton’s Strengths Movement to our High Schools. We need to abolish the old tests that tell our kids what they should be when they grow up and give them authentic insight into the strengths they should be playing.

    Imagine how few college majors would be changed mid-stream if entering freshman knew what their strengths were.
    Marcus has fundamentally changed how I choose jobs and build teams. I wish I would have had this insight when I were in HS!

  • Mike Fitzpatrick

    Right now, we are in the process of evaluating our youth ministry – I am the senior high pastor – and how we will most effectively move forward. I think this book can help answer some of our tough questions of responsibilities based on strengths…

  • KmuntzIng1

     This could help my team by further honing down the gifts, strengths and talents each one brings to service so that we can maximize our efforts for kingdom, individual, and team growth.  Buckingham always brings solid content that is practical and applicable.

  • Kendra

    My department is full of extremely talented people. Besides not having
    enough time to get everything done in a given day, our second biggest
    challenge is appreciating our own strengths and those of others on the
    team in a way that allows for truly collaborative work experiences. I
    believe this book would be a valuable tool to help us address this

  • Steve

    I know  that in the world of ministry people have assumed roles/job that are placd on them leaders.  These could be strengths, but often they are not.  A book and testing process that Marcus would offer thorugh this book could offer daylight in the for people who have been in the dark regarding their gifts and talents.  I would be able to add this reources to my teams in the church for greater effectivness for the Kingdom.  

  • Nathan Creitz

    I’ve already benefited from Marcus Buckingham’s first book. However, it has been quite awhile since I intentionally positioned myself to operate in my strengths. As I work with the elder board at my church and as I launch out into some new speaking, writing, and consulting opportunities in New England churches. Thanks for the opportunity to get this book!

  • Robert Johnson

    It would help our team understand ourselves and each other better.

  • http://twitter.com/GambrillCom Dave Gambrill

    As a John Maxwell Team certified speaker, trainer, and coach I often encounter people who really don’t fully realize or understand their strengths. When I’m trying to teach leadership, it slows us down a little when people aren’t sure where to concentrate. I believe that we should work on our strengths to make them the best possible, and outsource or delegate our weaknesses. I think this book will help team members better realize their role so that the team can reach greater heights.

  • Coach Lynne

    Although I look forward to reading this book & benefiting from it myself, I am writing because I believe it will help my husband in his role as lead pastor. He will be able to put the material into practice in his own life and will also use it as a team building tool with the elders at his church who want to better understand the contribution they can make to the life of the congregation. Thanks for making this opportunity available!

  • Edchoy

    I would LOVE to read this book and thank you for writing about it Michael. I heard Marcus years ago at the Leadership Summit and read some of his stuff then. I’m SURE this book would help solidify my understanding of myself and help me focus more rather than scattering my attention. This would equally apply to my team, which is not focused on strengths as it should be. Thanks for a chance to get a copy!

  • Gavin Bajin

    Knowing your strengths and how you can maximize them is not only the key to personal productivity but also one of the pillars required to build the new economy.  One based in part on Tribes and connectivity.  I am looking forward to reading Marcus  Buckingham’s next book, thanks for brining it to my attention!

  • Momstheceohere

    Love the way that man thinks! Great reads.

  • Michael Harrington

    I’m interested in this book (and the test) for my team!  Living as Americans overseas in Europe, we face everyday cultural challenges in addition to normal challenges on the job front.  We can easily get wrapped up in spinning in circles trying to meet the status quo, but in playing to each of our strengths we could move forward as a cohesive unit.  I’ve loved Buckingham’s past works and have changed a lot of my own thinking as a result.  This one sounds like it could push our team as well.

  • Jacques Bornman

    Hi Michael

    Being aware of your own strengths, and of team members, and actively finding ways to work from it, increase motivation, ownership and ultimately results. Standout will be helpful in understanding the different approaches to situations and challenges based on their leadership strength role. It will help to intentionally link with another leader with the appropriate strength role when needed!  Marcus’ book will help it readers “Standout” wherever they are! 

  • Anonymous

    Personally I am at a crossroads in my life.  My wife asked me, “What do you really want to do in life?”  My first response was “Surf!”  But quickly followed that by stating, “I want to influence people and help guide them in discovering their destiny.  What God has designed them for.”  I’m looking forward to reading this book.  It will be a great asset to myself as I move forward, as well as a resource to walk through with others.  Thanks for your insights and suggestions.

  • http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    So many folks want us to spend time dealing with our weaknesses.  The problem with that is that the effort to do so takes twice as much or more as does improving the areas where we excel.  Take that time and build your strengths; find others who handle your weaknesses well and grow the organization with strength.

  • Dave Byrum

    I am a United Methodist District Superintendent, so I supervise and coach 100+ pastors. (I know, way to many to supervise adequately ….)  I would think this book could be helpful to pastors who are willing to be intentional about growing (this is probably our biggest hurdle … being willing to do what it takes to grow. Each of our pastors is required to participate in a peer covenant group. I could see this as as a compelling for such a group to work through together, because accountability is a big part of the covenant group experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Veronica-Jones-Brown/100000079863939 Veronica Jones-Brown

    The review makes me really want to get the book. Marcus has an appealing writer’s voice. I’m sure I’ll a lot from studying the book.
    (The blog post said: “Leave a comment below. Answer the question at the bottom of this post.” I can’t find a question. I looked several times before writing my post, but I can’t find it. SORRY, if I did not complete the post in the proper format.)

  • Jeff W

    Some years ago, someone gave me a copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0.  The premise was simple but revolutionary….and we all thought “Rudy” was a great movie! Anyway, I wasn’t surprised by the results of my strengths test, but it gave me a vocabulary to use and labels to apply and catalyzed how I viewed my work and where I invested my time/energy.  I loved it so much that we had our entire staff take it…and as a result we re-worked job descriptions and moved my assistant into a new role, where she could fully deploy her strengths (she was high “woo” but was in a largely administrative role where she wasn’t getting client contact and the relational aspects that she needed to be fully effective).  The principles there made us all much more effective, which also made everyone feel better about their work, as they were “fully deployed.”  When I changed vocations, I had my new team take the test and even in annual reviews we discuss whether folks are fully engaging their strengths.

    I went on to read the other books, including most recently, “Strengths based Leadership” which has been incredibly helpful in building our team and learning how the strengths work together, as we seek to recruit folks with gift/strengths that will compliment the existing team.  This is simply great stuff!

  • Tony Moore

    It may not have been written specifically for a ministry team such as ours, but I think we would benefit from understanding the principles you describe and from learning how other people may see us. I don’t think we are much different from any other team.

  • Jim Kane

    I am glad to see this book coming out because of the fact that it focuses on our primary leadership roles. I have taken several versions of the Strength Finders over the years and have found it to be very consistently descriptive of my strengths. Now having this volume will help me and others to have a clearer picture of our strengths related to our leadership style.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mercyfish Jason Fisher

    As a Worship & Creative Arts Pastor, I am always working with creative (read *sometimes sensitive*) people to develop their talents and skills.  And because I can’t do it all myself, I also need to develop leaders who can also help others develop their strengths.  This book looks like a great read to help me with my leadership development skills.

    I’m even more excited about reading this book because my wife and I will be moving to a new church in October with new people and new challenges.  I would love to have these concepts “in my toolkit” so-to-speak before I get there so that I can start my new ministry right!  

    As a side note, thank you Michael, for all of your mentorship and advice… even though this is my first comment, I’ve been reading and absorbing your blog for almost a year now…. it has been one of the tools God is using to mold and shape my life.  

    And NO I’m not complimenting you just to get a free book!  But it would be great….


  • Mike Kinkead

    Think people should find and exploit their natural God given gifts/strengths this books sound like a way to do so.

  • http://twitter.com/weinberg81 Dave Weinberg

    Looks like an interesting and potentially helpful read.  Thanks for doing another giveaway.

  • Anonymous

    As a teacher, I am always looking for the best way to teach my material. I think a lot about teaching effectively has to do with working within your teaching style and personality while trying to improve. This book sounds like it might help identify those strengths. I wonder how well it would apply…

  • Marty

    Since seeing Marcus Buckingham at Catalyst and using his Strength Finder material on many occasions, this will be an excellent follow-up to further determine the best way for my team to work together, leveraging their very best for the Kingdom. 

  • Peter+

    As a priest and pastor of a local Anglican church, I have recently found myself stuck in terms of my pastoral leadership and in terms of shepherding our parish into its next phase.  StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work, will make a difference for me an my parish in two ways. One, it will clarify where I need to focus to move our parish forward. Two, it will enable me to identify where I need to “back fill” my weaknesses by leaning into the gifts and strengths of other team members. Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Aaron

     My strengths, Futuristic, Communication, Activator, Maximizer, Belief. When you map these out with your team, every time you meet together a quick glance tells you how to steer this discussion to stay on track and productive. It would use this book to discover and refine the edge and multiplier for each team member.

  • Thad Bergmeier

    I am a new senior pastor (8 months in) and took the Strengthsfinders before I came here. I have had my other staff take it and would love to follow up with this book. I love the idea of building on people’s strengths instead of making them into someone they are not. This is helpful as we continue to build our staff.

  • Jason Feffer

    I am a total geek for assessments like these.  That’s because I believe the abundant, kingdom life is the life that each of us was uniquely created by God to live.  I think we struggle in the church to free people up to be who God created them to be.  We have a tendency to expect people to fit into a small set of well defined boxes.  This influences the serving opportunities we offer and the even the way we expect people to follow Jesus as his disciples.  Often the boxes we expect people to fit into correspond with how God wired us.  We can be a little egocentric that way. I don’t mean to be hypercritical.  I think it is natural to act this way unless we are intentional to learn about other profiles and temperaments.  That learning opens us up to be more conscious of ways that people don’t fit in our boxes.  It challenges us to help people engage the church, small groups, serving opportunities, and even Scripture and prayer in ways that connect with the unique individual God created them to be.  I am working on an approach to discipleship that encourages people to follow God in a way that connects with who they are created to be.  I know this book is focused on helping people engage in their workplace, but I hope that there is something I could glean from this book that would help me discover how people engage in church and discipleship in different ways.

  • http://www.culturesmithconsulting.com cherylsmith

    Now Discovery Your Strengths was revolutionary for me. It gave me the language to understand what I knew to be inherently true about myself and the courage to “go for it!” Just last week I recommended it to an MBA student and do so often. 

    The newest book, however, looks to be a bit more streamlined. I think it could help my team/any team more easily digest some incredibly accurate information about where the strengths are and how to put them together for the good of the organization.
    Can’t wait to read it myself!

  • Priscilla Richter

    I am a leader engaged in team building in two very different organizations.  It’s going well in one, not as dynamic in the other.

    I’m always looking for ways to deepen my team-building skills.  Following your blog has helped me enormously, Michael. Thanks for all your good work.

  • http://www.janellrardon.com Janellrardon

    Michael, I love it when God directly answers my prayer. On March 5, 2011, in front of an event I had planned for women, “The Freedom from Fear Event,” I had a total, very public, meltdown. Oh, no one in the audience really “saw” it, but I quietly became unglued from the inside out. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. A/V failed. Timing was off. You name it. Even while I was speaking, I heard two women whisper, “Wow, she needs help.” I stopped my message and actually looked at them and said, “You have no idea.” After two trips to Thailand in Nov 2009, my eyes were opened to the horrific world of sex trafficking. I came home and prayed fervently about what to do with what I saw. So, after months and months, I rallied a small band of women and we started a small movement, “The Gathering Delegation: Women Helping Women Across the World.” Our first “Orange Event” (orange being the color of freedom from sexual slavery) in July 2010. It was a great success. BUT, in the midst of all of this, I realized my great weaknesses as a leader and began focusing on my WEAKNESSES instead of my strengths. Of course, I believe Satan, the great deceiver, desired no more than for me to FALL FLAT ON MY FACE and throw in the towel. Well, I did. BUT, the last few months, since that public meltdown, God has gently helped me reassess, through several resources-your blog being one-and get back on my feet. On August 18, I opened the doors of my heart and my home to start again. Fourteen women showed up to learn how they could help fight the global scourge of sex trafficking. It was amazing. Humbly, I admitted my weaknesses. BUT, this time my focus was NOT on my weaknesses, but on my STRENGTHS: vision and voice.

    All that being said to say a big, honest THANK YOU for your blog in general and for THIS blog post. I don’t know how I even saw your blog in the first place, but thank God. You bring resources to my attention that are priceless and TIMELY. Your words serve as a training tool and healing balm to this leader’s weary, weary soul. I can’t wait to take this test and get this book. For so long I feel as though I have been balancing spinning plates in an effort that none crash. But, on March 5, they crashed, I burned, and I fell to my knees. Marcus says, “Clarity is the antidote to anxiety.” OH YES!

    Once again, thank you. I’ve been wanting to send a HUGE THANK YOU for weeks. This post forced me to do so. PLEASE keep offering your wise counsel and advice. This leader of women is rebuilding her strength and summoning the courage to RISE TO ACTION.

    Blessings upon blessings!

  • http://www.smithellaneous.com Becky Smith

    As a pastor’s wife, my days are filled with people and their accompanying strengths and weaknesses.    Of course, my dealings with those people are filtered through the lens of my own strengths and weaknesses and I often find myself wanting to better understand  how all of those dynamics work.    

    My husband and I were just talking yesterday about his ministry strengths and weaknesses and wishing for a way to grab hold of new insight in that area.  This book sounds like it was written just for us–well, us and everyone else who has ever taken a look at who they are and who they want to become.  

    (And by the way, I am a relative newcomer to your blog and have found it to be an amazing source of encouragement and challenge.)

  • Jfaulknermartin

    I think it was the 70s band ELO who sang: Don’t Bring Me Down. When teams are led according to strengths, life giving permission to live into their uniquely created state (Psalm 139) provides pleasure in performance. Like the lead character from the movie Simon Birch kept reminding his friends, “I have a special purpose!” Living into our strengths as a team isn’t a downer, rather it is an acknowledgement of who we are particularly and corporately to achieve something we could never have done alone. In a word: Synergism.

  • http://bschebs.com Bschebs

    I have read “First..” and “Now…”, taken the tests and the 2.0 test with work,  but that is where it has always stopped.  never any clear way with how to move forward with the data.  I think this would be a great book for both my leader and myself to read and then take to our team as we all know our Strengths but not really the best ways to leverage them in the best ways.  Thanks for all you do Michael.

  • Sararichards

    I was just sitting down to go through the Strengths Finder Assessment for the second time when I saw your blog! As a Kids Pastor, I lead a staff of 4 and volunteer team of 200. I am always looking for ways to get to know myself better so I can lead others better. And working at a church, we are always looking for ways to stretch our budget, so of course I’d jump at the chance to get this book free! 
    I’m excited to see what Buckingham does in this book that is different from Strengths finder. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremylandon Jeremy Marshall

    I work with a residential discipleship/leadership program (WinShape) and we equip all of our students in learning and leveraging their top 5 themes.  We are looking for ways to help them take the next step, and this could be that step, both for our students and our staff.  Thank you, Michael, for being a mentor from a distance!

  • Charlie Pharis

    The new Buckingham book sounds like another excellent read! I think it would help this 50-year-old guy focus on how best I can contribute in the years I have left! Looking forward to reading it!

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    I love these type tests.  I just took a temperament test the other day, and had two friends take it about me, and we all got the same results. Finding out our temperament, spiritual gifts, myers briggs personality, and I’m sure “strengths” can only help us get a better self-image of our gifts and abilities.  Sounds like a great book.  

    *Because I don’t work outside the home, I’m not entering the contest. Hope it blesses the winners and their companies!*

  • Scott

    This sounds like a great book. This book could be helpful in managing expectations – especially my own in relation to my team. When I know someone’s strengths, I better understand who he is and have more realistic expectations of what he can do. Often I get frustrated with a team member and often that frustration is reveled to be an area that is not a strength. Knowing what to expect from team members and identifying how to maximize each person’s strengths benefit the entire team and our purpose.

  • Nicwalker111

    My team and I work in a field that is inherently self-centered-academia. However, because we are field-based, grass roots educators that thrive on partnerships, we must balance individual academic pursuits with effective reliance on our various strengths. I think an inventory, starting with me as the chief servant-leader, can put new perspective on our roles as team members. I look forward to reading Standout for myself.

  • Tim Blankenship

    Its so easy to get caught up in doing “work” without ever thinking about the consequences. I believe this self assessment would cause me to pause and be intentional about the effects of my “work”.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    My apologies if I don’t use the terms right, but I sense the book would help me at both a macro and micro level. At the macro level, it might give better clarity on where my strengths fit within my organization–am I best suited in my sales position or should I serve in another way or, in the end, are my strengths best suited for this type of organization at all? Is my bent toward research, study, writing, and ideas suited for insurance?

    More likely, it would help me on the micro level: How can I leverage my ‘edge’ and ‘multiplier’ in my sales role? What are my blindspots to what I might do better to serve my clients and management more excellently? If I’m modeling certain successful people in my org, then perhaps something like this would help me to tailor that toward my strengths vs. theirs.

  • Ryan

    This book looks great. I’ve read a lot of Marcus’ strengths-based thoughts, and this should continue to inspire and help people grow. I’d love to read this as I’m moving into a new sales position within the next couple of weeks. 

  • Ulikc

    I really appreciate your insight! I’m at a crossroads, really trying to figure out what my strengths are for the next phase of my career life so I’ll definitely get the book!

  • http://www.youthleadersacademy.com Rachel Blom

    I’ve been a big fan of Marcus since I heard him speak at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit a few years back. His earlier book Now, Discover your Strengths was a real eyeopener to me. The concept of focusing on your strengths rather than you weaknesses was so exhilarating that it truly energized me to change my role as a manager then and later as a youth leader. I’m very curious about his new book Standout, as it is undoubtedly once again filled with theoretical and practical wisdom. I think the Standout test could give me even more insight into my own strengths and how I can use these in youth ministry to improve my serve. And this is definitely one of those books you want to read with your whole team, have everyone take the test and then see how you can let everyone use their strenghts. What an amazing empowerment that would be!

  • Becky

    I am a former pastor now serving as Development Director for a local nonprofit. I have thoroughly loved and benefited greatly from both of Marcus Buckingham’s previous books. This new publication could be a major tool for turning our non-profit staff around! By working together utilizing our unique strengths, we could rock!!!

  • Mike B

    I have been in retail sales and customer service for over 15 years. I have been especially “luke warm” in the past 2 (moving to physical therapy assistant school soon).  I believe I need assistance to know my edge while I am still here.  Most importantly, I want to share the wisdom I learn onto others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000186252482 Dan Rivisto

    I have used self-assessment and role assessment test many times with teams and groups and what intrigues me here is the subtle distinctions which the author seems to point out with often misidentified roles i.e. leader and coach, subtle difference. I believe teams who understand their individual roles and others’, perform better especially when matched with understanding how to best communicate with the other types.

  • Tobyanderson

    Can’t wait to read. Especially as I consider launching a new business to follow my passion in a new industry as my last 20 yrs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=737558076 Jonathan Rinker

     What leader is not keenly aware of their need to grow as a leader? Thanks to Michael Hyatt for recommending a new book with a unique contribution to managing people, including yourself. I’m looking forward to reading “Stand Out: Find Your Edge, Win at Work,” by Marcus Buckingham.

  • http://www.churchthought.com Matt Steen

    I love how it sounds like he is refining Strengthsfinders.  Over the last ten years or so whenever I have been in serious conversations about a job opportunity with someone, my Strengthsfinder assessment would be included with my portfolio as a way to let people know what they were potentially getting themselves into.  In some cases, this saved me (and them) from being incredibly frustrated, in others it helped to make a great fit.  

    I really look forward to seeing how the nine roles operate, and seeing if I am right on my first assumptions about myself… and building on what Marcus shows me about myself.

    Thanks for doing this!

  • Brooklyn Lindsey

    I’m really interested in reading this book–sounds great!

  • Brooklyn Lindsey

    Sounds great!

  • Carla

    our church has a core curriculum that includes a whole class series dedicated to the Strengthsfinder 2.0. We then sign up for ministry opportunities where we use our strengths.It has made a huge increase in unpaid servant effectiveness and numbers of those involved as well as encouraged folks to promote their ideas for new service opportunities (we have over 200 opportunities now). 
    For me, it was a great understanding of why I do what I do and like what I like and ummm avoid what I avoid?! and as I interact with people in my chosen area of service  it is helping me know my limits and when to either delegate or ask for help. The online tools have helped me interact with others more effectively and challenges me to get out of my previously churchy judgmentalism (ashamed I have to admit that). I can see where this new book will be a great resource to continue to develop myself and those I work with (and live with!) and I  hope our leaders will use it as a follow up class. 
    Any church would benefit from using the Stengthesfinder 2.0 and I imagine this would be a very logical follow up. If we start with out leadership in the right places then bring in our congregations (or levels of our organizations) will we not logically become more effective and better able to do what we are gifted and called and empowered to do?

  • http://twitter.com/GTBlogScott RSCarson

    Sounds great. Our company is going through Collins “Good to Great” and this concept fits well with “Get the right people on the bus”………….. sometimes you have the right people on the bus but they are in the wrong seat. Finding your edge can help you figure that out. Thanks.

    twitter: @GTBlogScott:twitter 

  • Duke Dillard

    This sounds good. I did Strengths Finder but felt I needed someone to help me take it to the next level but did not have that person. I was not sure how to practically use what it said. From what you wrote it sounds like he does that in this book. I’m eager to learn.

  • http://www.churchwebsites.org Brad Hill

    This sounds like a fantastic follow-up to StrengthsFinder. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my 5 top strengths, but have also wondered how to really put them into action.  I’ve also wondered how to facilitate something like this across my team.  It sounds like this new book will be a great action-oriented way to do all of that.  Thanks for the review!

  • Jane

    I think that building on your strengths can have an impact on your weaker areas too. Focusing on your stronger areas is bound to build your self-confidence so that your weaknesses don’t have such a negative impact on you as a whole.

  • Anonymous

    This sounds very comprehensive.  I would like to try this in two areas:

    a)  I pastor a small but growing church.  It is essential that we place people in positions where they can maximize their impact.  I also am trying to focus on the roles in which I add the most value.  This book sounds as if it can help me clarify what those roles should be.

    b)  I would also like to figure out a way to help my five daughters maximize their strengths.  We have recently changed our educational approach (three of the five are home schooling) so we could have more flexibility in helping each one succeed.  It would be great to see what insights Buckingham’s book would give in this area.

  • Thomas

    By better understanding myself, I can be a better leader and better develop those on my team.

  • http://twitter.com/worklifecreate WorkLifeCreativity

    I really enjoyed Strengths Finder, but did not have the time or bandwidth to implement its recommendations. This comes at the perfect time for me as I begin to create my own career again, and assemble a team of like-minded people to create something remarkable.
    I believe the primary benefit would be for us to make sure we have our ladder against the right wall, before we start climbing.

  • http://wkevingilbert.me/ Kevin Gilbert

    Thanks for sharing Michael. I think this book could help me discover my edge. I’ve done some of the personality tests and leadership strengths test before, and they’ve helped to some degree. I like the premise here that the test can help you find your edge and learn how to leverage and capitalize on that edge.

  • Leah C. Morgan

    Well immediately I’m curious about the disparities between an Equalizer and a Pioneer and now want the fiction version of how their combined presence worked to frustrate Michael Hyatt until he found hope in their reconciliation. Or non-fiction. I’ll read the non-fiction account. Of course I’m interested in unearthing the depths of me, but also fascinated in the theory itself. I’m imagining it applied to fitness and the physical body, and see overtraining and imbalance.

    I love coming here for thinking material. Thanks for offering it up.

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    As a fairly new manager with a staff of 4 direct reports, this book looks like a godsend to me.

  • CoachEchols

    I’ve got a team of 5 20-somethings who are learning about their leadership skills and how to leverage their strengths … We’ve walked through MBTI assessments and StrengthFinders, so we would love to take the next step forward with this book at our next team retreat!  Pick me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Brown/638112009 Shelly Brown

    I have a ladies ministry called, Shelly Brown Ministries: Forever Changed! I’ve discovered through leading this ministry and running ladies’ meetings the depth of how uniquely gifted each of us are. I read Strengths Finder about three years ago and it was only at that point in my life that I learned the principle of focusing on our strengths in stead of trying to strengthen our weak areas. While that principle goes against natural thinking, for those who embrace and apply it, it really is transforming in working toward fulfilling dreams and your calling.

  • Jim Huntington

    I enjoyed the strength finders test and it helped me regroup and move forward through a challenging leadership situation that I am still working through. I look forward to the new book. I have appreciated your insights as will and have passed them on to my daughter who is a senior in college majoring in creative writing.
    Jim at Dale Roy

  • Dan Fuoco

    Marcus has helped us accomplish something we wouldn’t normally take time to do – pause and reflect. Obviously, he incorporates his knowledge and wisdom but at the core, the assessment is a self-reflection of our actions in given situations.
    With the high-paced lives we live, we wouldn’t typically sit down for a self-evaluation.
    Having an evaluation is crucial for viewing and harnessing our strengths while focusing on improving our weaknesses.
    Social Media Marketing is still in its infancy and having a book that might help in defining our social profiles would be a powerful strength in defining a future — You must know who you are to know where you’re going.

  • http://twitter.com/rickhubbelltimc rick hubbell

    Hi Mike,
    I am interested in the book for team application/group study. Would love to “earn” a copy by engaging in the process you suggest. (cool marketing, by the way) It continues to be quite interesting to see you forge ahead, post CEO. It doesn’t surprise me that pioneer came up high for you!


  • Brett Busacker

    I am a couple years out of college and still trying to find the correct “fit” for my passions in the ever struggling economy. This book could help me identify and learn about what my true strengths really are so that I can pursue the right opportunities. 

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    Knowing your role is the key to success. If I know what skills I bring to the table and have the opportunity to maximize those skills for the good of the team, then we’re all successful.  The great basketball coach, John Wooden, had a knack for finding each player’s “spot” on the floor and then building plays around that place on the floor where the players would yield the best results.  That’s what I believe the experience of this book will do for the reader.  Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I’m anxious to see where I land on the spectrum and then begin using the information on how I can improve myself and my work environment.

  • Drsksolomons

    If Team members operate in their strength zones the performance of the team is enhanced.

  • http://allthingsloss.wordpress.com Kevin Mackesy

    As a person who feels somewhat “lost” on his career path, this book could be a huge help.  I’ve recently had some clarifying vision for what I want my future to look like.  Finding out what my strengths are would serve to give me sharper focus for the path ahead.  Rather than focusing on “shoring up” my weaknesses, I’d be able to build on my strengths – finding passion and purpose all at the same time.  If I ever find myself building a team, I’d know what mix of talent to shoot for. 

    Thanks for the review.

  • Anonymous

    Something I’ve felt for a long time is that you can only fake interest for so long. Your true self will eventually find you out. Taking a test like this scares me because it could possibly reveal that I’m not where I need to be. Which then requires a change. And who wants to change after nearly 13 years in the same profession and industry, right?

    At some point, not acting is becomes the impetus to change. I’m ready for that change.

  • Jviola79

    Starting out in a new position, it would be helpful for me to identify my strong roles & traits so as to be more effective in our church. Also from what you have shared, it would be helpful in putting a team together to help me. Thanks for the opportunity! As always, I appreciate the recommendations. I have learned much since finding your blog less than a year ago. I have discovered new authors too which has caused growth in my life.

  • JsHuston

    I am a HS band director and have been intentionally using Marcus Buckingham’s Strength ideas in the leadership training of my students since the book was published.  After just finishing Dr. Tim Elmore’s  iY Generation, I feel even more compelled to build these concepts into the lives of my students so that I can do my part in investing in the next generation of leaders.  From what you have described, this wood be a valuable asset to my leadership training toolbox.  Thanks for considering my efforts to do work that matters.

  • Rod Jurado

    As a college athlete it was obvious that the team performed best when each person’s strengths were capitalized … I head Marcus at a conference a couple of years ago and it was a blinding flash of the obvious — why do we shove our team into arbitrary slots?
    So I took the strengthfinder and realized I would be more successful as a consultant sharing personal insights than selling canned training programs..  I’d love the opportunity to read and share these new insights with the people I consult with and help them first figure out what their strengths are and then how to best use them in a team setting. 

  • Vgungor

    Too often we focus on what we do poorly. By discovering and focusing on our strengths we’ll have greater impact and will be able to assemble teams who can accomplish so much more by bringing those strengths to the table to complement other team members. Who wouldn’t be thrilled with a team of strengths rather than a team of weaknesses!

  • http://twitter.com/cnirish Carl Irish

    I really found the Strengths Finder book to be a valuable exercise in understanding what strentghs I have as a leader and worker as well as understanding those of my colleagues.  This book sounds like a next logical step to executing in a more effective manner as well as positioning myself and my team for greater success and fulfillment.  I look forward to it.

  • Art Good

    Can’t wait to read the book!  Definitely at a place professionally where I need to discover who I am! 

  • Yahya Bakkar1

    I believe anyone who is in a leadership position can benefit  others by being a positive example of what they want to see in the real world. I work with a skilled team for my speaking career and I am constantly reminding them to stick to their strengths and unleash their creativity. However, sometimes I can be a crazy micromanager  and that can leave a negative impact. My intention in reading Standout is to understand my own strengths so I can create a very coherent environment with the relationships that I build and remind them to do the same.

  • Perry Holley

    I just began a new role where I work and I have been struggling to find where I can best add value. Your description of what this book can teach about my specific strengths and how I can best use them sounds very interesting and like something I can use immediately.  Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1022252513 Valeri Gungor

    What team wouldn’t be thrilled to know and use their strengths instead of getting by on their weaknesses? Knowing what those strengths are makes it possible to build a cohesive and fully effective team. Great post.

  • Amanda Plewes

    I’m excited Marcus has another book coming! Strengthsfinder has been immensely useful to me as I’ve started my career, and I’m excited to read Standout!

  • Kurt

    Sound like a great add to our staff read list. Thanks Michael – Kurt

  • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie (Lionstand)

    Working with a team of youth leaders requires constant attention to who is strong in what area. For me it’s not about just getting the job done. It’s getting the job done while developing young leaders to do better than you can.

  • http://www.crossfocusedmedia.com Shaun Tabatt

    I have used Strengths Finder with my teams in the past couple of years and feel that ‘Standout’ would be a nice follow up to help me continue growing as a leader / manager and definitely looks like a resource I’d consider using with my team for professional development in 2012.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbenson2 Dan Benson

    Like you said above, people grow and improve faster when we encourage their strengths instead of correcting their weaknesses. It’s like a coach of a sports team. You don’t try to make your smallest fastest player an offensive tackle. You want to help be the best cornerback or running back or wideout he can be because that;s where his strengths will be best utilized. I don’t lead a team right now, but I could see pulling together some friends and going through this together. I know, from your description, I would benefit fromit.

  • Grant Adams

    Our team at work (probably like many out there) is feeling pretty stretched thin these days.  It seems there is more work to do there is time to do it; and while we do our best to prioritize, there are still important things not being done well (or at all!).  I would love to learn more about my own strengths and those of my teammates, so we can be more thoughtful and intentional about how tasks are distributed.  If we were all operating in the area of our strengths more, I would expect we would not only be more satisfied and happier with our jobs, but would also be able to accomplish greater things as a team.

    Thanks for the opportunity to think through some of this.

  • http://twitter.com/edsedge Ed Johnson, Jr

    sounds like a good read, always want to improve self for effectiveness… challenge is in directing the efforts of others… 

  • Ben

    Buckingham always seems to get it right.  Thanks for the post.  I look forward to reading the new book

  • http://twitter.com/RobertJohns Robert Johns

    I work in my university’s Career Center so a big part of what we do is help students discover their strengths and weaknesses and find ways that they can utilize their strengths to build a career that they love. This book would take my understanding of this topic to a new level.

  • Billheckard

    Sounds like a great tool. I’ve been on medical leave for 2.5 months (treatment for cancer). This time has given me much time to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses. I’m going to check out his previous book and this one to better enable me to lead my team when I return to work. Thanks for reviewing this!

  • Bobcatbill22

    Michael Buckingham and the Strengthsfinder movement have been instrumental in my understanding of how to lead myself as well as the teams I lead. Getting a deeper understanding of how I am best equipped to use my strengths can provide even more direction on how best to serve my team members. So excited to see this book is out!

  • Nancy

    As a former teacher/librarian now in publishing, Marcus Buckingham’s books have been the single most influential source of help moving my thinking to a business mindset in a way that maximizes what I did best in the classroom, but initially saw as a detractor to my success in the publishing arena. Can’t wait to read this book and continue my journey.

  • Edwina Cowgill

    I read “Now Discover Your Strengths” a life-changing book. I’m always interested in and looking for ways to improve mylife, my leadership skills, as well as the lives of the people who are in the realm of my influence at any given time. I’m certain that Mr. Buckingham’s latest book will add value and help me to continue to improve my skills.

    Thank you for this opportunity!

  • http://twitter.com/ChadEBillington Chad Billington

    Thanks for the review.I’m an associate pastor in my church who is 35 years old.  I think it could help my team(s) in three ways.

    1) I’m a young leader, by getting an ‘edge’ on some of my skill sets, I stand to make a more focused and helpful contribution to my pastoral team by doing what I’m best at. This can serve me here and should I go elsewhere.

    2) Knowing more about Marcus’ ‘roles’ and ‘edges’ will help me to lead up. I can use what I learn by sharing it with my senior leader. Giving him principles (and sharing the book) could help him to align our staff to better serve and lead our church. He has coaching sessions with all his staff regularly, so this could be a tool I would share with him.

    3) The role of a pastor is to ‘equip the saints for the work of the ministry’. That doesn’t mean pigeonholing people into ministry slots, but helping people discover what God designed them to do. Learning more about how to do that makes me a better equipper.

    I’ve heard Marcus at the Leadership Summit (I’m going to the Canadian broadcast next week). I’d love to have a chance to get an early read on this book, and share it with those I serve with.

    Thanks again,

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    This sounds like a great book – I look forward to reading it.  Years ago, my wife and I taught a parenting class at church.  We had young children at the time so we weren’t qualified, but  I learned much from preparing for the class.  The first lesson was on the relationship between courage and encouragement. Basically, it is the same philosophy you describe in Buckingham’s book: encourage everything your child does right and downplay shortcomings.  It has made a profound difference in our family.  Last year we adopted two Beagle puppies and promptly took them to obeience school.  Guess what? The same thing applies to animals: reward the good behavior, ignore the bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1494101384 Spencer Broce

    Thanks for the post.  Self-assessment is key to positive growth in faith, life and leadership.  Look forward to the book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.beckman14 Sarah Beckman

    My husband and I often have had this conversation over the years…the one about either beating people with a stick to try and get better performance or the opposite strategy: encouragement. This book sounds like a great way to explore the latter approach.  Looking forward to my free copy!!! 

  • Joshua Encinias

    I work for an upstart Christian college in New York City. Leadership has undergone changes in recent weeks, leaving me to develop my job without much guidance. I’m pioneering our communications/social media strategy. I would learn a great deal from knowing my top tier strengths. I need to know where to invest my energies as our diminished staff size doesn’t allow me much room to experiment without purpose.

  • Rev_jbt

    I would be interested in discovering my top two strengths. It would help me to not only Lead my church more effectively but also my family. I would appreciate your consideration.

  • Cshultz

    “Stand Out” may be what I need to help be learn how to get “a seat at the table” in my organization.  I want to learn how to leverage my strengths for the good of my current organization as well as future organizations.  In order to do that I need to learn from you how I can “stand out”.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the thoughful review of the book.  only now getting into leadership roles I am encouraged by the wealth of information out there but overwhelmed at the same time.  I wonder – how does this compare with the strengths finder book and survey?  Or more specifically the leadership version?  I have only gone through the one but I again – I am encouraged that their are others like it.  Thank you and God Bless!

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    You are welcome. Thanks for taking the time to express it!

  • Claudia Volkman

    Loved Now, Discover Your Strengths – this new book sounds awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/twelvetwodesign Designer Rob Russo

    As a Creative Director, I would assume (or hope!) that one of my top two strengths would be “Creator.” But it would be interesting to take this assessment. This sounds like a great book!

  • Josh Gunkel

    Thanks Michael, I appreciate what you are doing with your blog.

    I work on an innovation/product development team at Hallmark.  We are responsible for coming up with new solutions to our consumers needs and wants.  To accomplish this we are in very diverse teams made up of writers, business people, finance, creative, engineer, and others.  Each as you can imagine with our own personalities and work style.  It can be very challenging remaining on the same wavelength sometimes.  I feel like this book could be a great tool for this team to function more effectively and efficiently in working to accomplish our goals.  

    We already use the strengthfinder tools but I believe Standout should take it to the next level.

    If I am one of the winners I will definitely put it to good use.


  • Jonathan

    You’ve been reading my mail again :).  Focusing on strengths instead of weakness will be an interesting exercise.  Based on the books I’ve read on your recommendation in the past, I’m looking forward to reading Standout.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dion.govender Dion Govender

    Sounds like a brilliant book.  I often think that people (myself included) are far too hard on themselves. Focusing on their weaknesses rather than their strengths. A lot can be said around knowing/understanding your weaknesses but I also believe that focusing on your weaknesses keeps you ‘comfortable’ and not pushing boundaries. I would love to read what the book has to offer regarding focusing on your strengths.

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    Self-assessments when used wisely can be tremendously valuable in leading your department or organization.  Knowing how you are “made up” allows you to focus on the things that bring value to you, and your organization.

    I look forward to reading this book!


  • Mulheron

    I am interested to see if it will my team perform better

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=665978660 Steven Hocker

    I am always encouraging others to learn more about themselves, and to be honest with who they are. This is a great reference I’ll be sure to pass along. Ciao!

  • Diego

    i’m a fully believer that we should build our competencies on personal strenghts. The difficult is if everybody has the ability to have a sound knowledge of themselves.

  • chuck

    I’d love a copy of the book, as I’m 4 months into a search for a new job. It’s important that I find the right position that builds on my strengths so I can help others find and build on theirs.

  • TrishRyanOnline

    You said it best: this book helped you understand some things in your personality which you’d had difficulty reconciling in the past.  On our team, we have conversations about this all the time, how we wrestle with that feeling of having different characteristics inside of us seemingly pulling in opposite directions.  Making sense of this would be SUCH a breakthrough for us, individually and as a team.  I’m a fan of STRENGTHFINDERS and would love to test STANDOUT.  Thank you!

  • Mark Rhoades

    As  a Maximizer with Ideation, I am fired up to get the newest strengths stuff. I have preached the strengths gospel to everyone I know.  Our volunteer staff of more than 240 have taken the inventory, understand more of their strengths, and our organization is stronger for it.  We understand “one another” so much more.
    (Communication, Maximizer, Ideation, Empathy,WOO)  Spell check does not like Ideation

  • Dale

    I would absolutely love to read this book – sounds life changing

  • Jordan Cauley

    This will give my team the tools to play to our strengths and focus on the future

  • Joey

    I’m looking forward to the new book.  Thanks for sharing this book I always look forward for your insights on leadership and developing yourself for your purpose here on this earth.  I loved the previous books by Marcus, I had my family take the strengthsfinder test to help me and my children to focus on what makes them so unique.

  • Toddsandel

    Thanks for promoting his new book.  I absolutely loved his last book, The One Thing as he most clearly articulated, better than anyone before, the very unique difference between a great leader (one obsessed with executing a better future for the organization) and a great manager (one who sees work as an opportunity to best develop people).  I look forward to his new challenge.

  • Joel Schuster

    As I lead my team I find most people I get do not know their strengths well enough to play to them, never mind how to build people around them who are strong in areas they are weak to better compliment their ministry.  This sort of work would be great for me as a Lead Pastor to better tweak and build a complimentary team so that I can be freed up to be the person I am best at being.  All win when we are set to go like this.  

  • Jim Bronaugh

    Michael, Thanks so much for this offering. As a potential candidate for a position in our organization, I  will be in an expanded leadership role. Any extra incentive that would help in that area is always welcome. I have enjoyed Marcus’s strengthsfinder test and explanation in a way that is understandable. Looking forward to broadening my expertise with my team and making my contribution to the company the best it can be.

  • Sara Dawson

    I have been a reader for months…you might laugh…but I am a stay at home mom…ironically enough your posts have helped to improve my leadership over these little humans. With a 3, 4, 5, 8 and 19 year old life can become survival instead of goal oriented character training. There are many days where I don’t feel qualified. I am always looking to better myself so that I can be a better example and teacher. This book looks like it would be very helpful as I help guide one out of the nest onto the right path as well as for me as I will be returning to the work force next year.

  • MLin

    This may very well be an answer to prayer for me!  I have recently gone through a “career crisis”, burning out in a role as executive director, running a counselling centre that I have a sense isn’t meant for me.  But I would greatly appreciate direction on “what else”??

  • Bmann

    Our small staff team and board have already benefitted greatly from Strength’s Finder 2.0……hum I wonder just how much more effective we could be as we lead women in 360 churches in Ontario and Quebec?  I am looking forward to checking this one out.

  • http://www.timothyburns.com/ Timothy Burns

    If leadership is nothing more than the influence we have on those around us, then learning to lead is an issue of value to every person, not just those who sit at the end of the board room table, or stand in the pulpit. Learning to lead from our strengths is essential as we move into a more segmented, post-modern culture. Gone is the American culture which was most significantly influenced by assembly line manufacturing, which turned out identical widget after widget.  My success today means building on personal strengths and passions, and leveraging those talents as the unique person God intends me to be.

    Marcus’ book challenged the old paradigms, and encourages leaders to build teams which are interdependent on each others’ strengths. And his advice has it’s roots in God’s eternal truth. The Apostle Paul said that when each member of the church used the gifts that God gave them, then the church would grow up, mature to the full measure of what God intends it to be.  If the strategy was designed by the one who made the universe, chances are good that it will work in your life too. 


  • Dr. Jim Harris

    Without question, Marcus’ “brand” is one that delivers both high quality thought and practical application.  If as you say this is yet another extension of his already impressive volume of work, “StandOut” will earn thousands of “Shout outs” as well as inspire his readers to focus on (as Drucker so eloquently stated) “maximizing your strengths and making your weaknesses irrelevant.” Thank you in advance, Marcus, for teaching all of us how to do this.

  • Elizabeth

    Sounds like a GREAT read, one where it will really help me capitalize upon my God-given strengths. I took StrengthsFinder twice so would be very interested to compare the results.

  • http://www.kentrecommends.com Kent Faver

    Looking forward to reading the book.  I think it will be an invaluable resource for operating my business and work team, admin team at church and my local civic organization.  I think assessments of this type can be life-changers and energize our ability to focus on personal strengths,  not over-analyze group weaknesses.  Thanks Michael!


  • http://www.trudatmusic.com/raw brenten gilbert

    sounds like a great book to share across my team – we’re in the process of redefining ourselves as a group and expressing our strengths before gaining new business.

    thanks for sharing.

  • Chip Huber

    love hearing that this new book is coming out…we actually give the StrengthsFinder inventory to all of our incoming freshman in their first week on campus here at Cornerstone University…it is powerful to have them begin to seek to discover and employ their strengths after often hearing for a lifetime how they need to get better at what they aren’t good at…and I’m excited to use this new material to help build our student leader teams across campus!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angie.kinsey1 Angie Kinsey

    What a great way to determine what you have to work with as a writer (or anything else for that matter). It’s difficult to fit someone into the pre-packaged box, but it’s not so difficult to work with what you have and play to your strengths…as long as you know what they are. Thanks

  • David Roth

    Our non-profit, WorkMatters, is in need of this for me as the leader, for our staff, and for the marketplace ministry we lead.

  • http://wheretigerswill.tumblr.com Will Laohoo

    This sounds like a great book. I just got Go, Put Your Strengths to Work in the mail, and this looks like a good complement!

    I think this can really serve me and my team by helping us to each focus on our strengths instead of trying to spend so much time working in areas of weakness or mediocrity. If this is a good resource, I would probably also recommend it to friends who are trying to figure themselves out in terms of career fit.

  • http://tommylane.net tommylane

    The ability to build  on someone’s strengths instead of harping on their weaknesses is something that appeals to me. After all, it is discouraging to someone to concentrate on what they are unable to do. I would rather encourage than demolish someone’s self esteem by concentrating on their weaknesses. Not only would this book be helpful to me in how I treat others but it will give me insight as to how to teach those same principles.

  • Helen Heiskell

    I think the only way to improve as a leader is to know myself. I am currently working on coaching with my team and look forward to taking the self-assessment and reading this book together.

  • Brian

    Identification can lead to inspiration which, in turn, can lead to implementation. This sounds like a great opportunity to hone my focus (as well as that of my team) and help shed the excess baggage that keeps us from more fully pursuing and living out our God-given purpose.

  • Tinameier

    Marcus has shown us great things in his past books. I’m excited to see what he will teach us to improve ourselves, our teams, our companies and our customers

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=181101504 Kristin Cole

    I am a young 20-something director and continuously looking to hone my leadership skills to better serve those I manage. I took the Strengths Finder test a few years back but would love to have the insights from this newest book to shed more light on my own skills and challenges. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  • http://tommartinatl.com/ Tom Martin

    I operate a Subaru dealership in Atlanta and I would utilize what I learn to make sure I’ve maximized strengths and skills with role and responsibilities among the staff in our store.

    On a personal level, I’m focusing on what the other-side of chemo (just finished 8th cycle) will look like if I transition from my current career to something entirely different, and I can’t think of a better resource to utilize in making this decision.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

  • Brian Beatty

    I’m excited to read more about the book in hopes to maximize the strengths of my team. I think our assessments and goals are generally comprised of what people can do better on instead of capitalizing on their strengths and moving forward to take more ground. Thanks for the heads up about the book – I hope to win a copy!!!

  • David

    Sounds like a great read and would provide insight into helping me to sharpen myself along with others in a group setting. Thanks for the review!

  • http://twitter.com/wolmattm Matthew Melville

    This will help my team by focusing on their strengths.  Helping them identify their strengths & not focusing on their weaknesses.  This is a challenging concept that I want to implement!

  • http://twitter.com/TCLAIR Tom Boisclair

    Our team could use Stand Out to help us increase our efficiency and effectiveness as a team.  It would also help us grow in influence  as a team and as individuals in our organization.  I look forward to reading and implementing this on my team.

  • Mwr4sixsigma

    As a newly-minted Manager asked by my company to lead our quality team and quality strategy, I would appreciate the opportunity to use this tool to build on the strengths of my team. One of the best bosses I ever had built his team in this manner. He recruited people he had met over the years and that he knew could not only fill the technical roles he required but also had complementary skills such as are described above. His special ability was to bring together a group of people who were very different tempermentally (random creator VS linear analyst for eaxample) and fashion us into a team that not only got the job done but enjoyed it as well.

  • Jamesdshort

    Our small company is at a place where we are evaluating each members roles to determine the the most productive use of talant. With an aquisition on the horizon it could mean sucess or failure. I look forward to learning more about this approach to team building.

  • goangstrom

    This sounds like a great read and a way to build team continuity. I’m always looking for a resource to help my team grow and appreciate the review and chance to got a copy!

  • Anonymous

    I to have taken the strengths finder test and had our church staff take
    it as well.  We spent time discussing the 5 strengths of everyone and
    also weaknesses in those strengths.  It has helped us become more aware
    of how to include each other in decision making and carrying out
    projects.  I have also found the book strengths based leadership to be valuable as well.

  • Mike

    Marcus’s books are so timely for me at this point in my life. Looks like I’m a little late, but I’ll defnitely be picking this up!

  • Phyllis Dolislager

    My son lost his job. I would like to give this to him.

  • Cherkalb

    It seems we still spend way too much time in organizations focusing on people’s weaknesses and how to eliminate them.  Instead, we should spend our time building on our strengths.  This book seems to be an excellent place to start.

  • BainterJr ?=^)

    I feel like I know who I am — this I am confident. Having some documentation to back it up and to explain how and why, and what I can possibly do with it, will be helpful for all around me, be it my office environment, family, social circles including church and other non-profit associations. 

  • Judy Marshall

    As a 50 something team member of a large church staff, I want to continue to assess where I can make the greatest contribution. I’m certain our team will utilize this learning tool as we all explore ways to align our roles with the person we’ve become.

  • @chrishennessey

    I would love to read this book and have another resource to learn how our team can best work together. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/SoderquistChuck Chuck Hyde

    Buckingham’s prior work has proven to be reliable and valid.  Can’t wait to see this latest work. 

  • Dot Bast

    The City of Delray Beach leaders have read all of Marcus Buckingham’s books and we have benefitted greatly from them.  And in June, we kicked off a mentoring program for 10 high potential employees who are being developed to move into management positions in the future.  Part of this year-long program involves working our way through a reading list and I see that I will be adding Standout to the list.  A complimentary copy would be appreciated since we try always to be good stewards of the public dollar.  Thank you for the opportunity.

  • http://bobbymcgraw.com Bobby McGraw

    Thanks for posting this Mike! This looks like a great read! 

    Our organization is reevaluating the way our lead team is structured and how we function. While we recognize that we all have weaknesses we could shore up, ultimately we need to play to our strengths. I think this book will help us help one another find our personal sweet spots and how to lean hard into them. I look forward to reading and taking the assessment!

  • Gillianmcshane

    I will be encouraging my 17 yr old son to read and take the strengths test before he embarks on a post secondary education.

  • Bob Baldwin

    Bob Baldwin

    We spend so
    much time focusing on our weaknesses that we forget to celebrate our strengths.
    This book sounds like a great way to accentuate the positive and create a positive
    and productive environment for your team.

    Bob Baldwin

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Schramm/1593699310 Tony Schramm

    I am a HUGE fan of Marcus Buckingham, and have used his strengths concept at the workplace, at church and at home, with great results. People are thrilled to be encouraged to work towards their strengths instead of being brow-beaten to focus on their weaknesses. I look forward to absorbing StandOutand putting those ideas to work.

  • Jeff Mingee

    Thanks for your various leadership insights and for promoting books like this one! I’d love to have the opportunity to read through the book!

  • Dave Loney

    A team is most effective when everyone knows their individual strengths and is focused on staying in them, AND when the rest of the team is supportive and holds the others accountable to utilize their strengths fully.

  • Marcus Bigelow

    Having discovered my strengths in Strength finders, I’m looking forward to figuring out the practical applications.  I think that the top two will be easier to keep top of mind than 5.  I use the Strengths Finder with clients almost every week.

  • Kevin Tracy

    Love Marcus’ books. This sounds like another in a line of great ones.

  • Rburt96

    By learning and forming a strategy to use our strengths rather than our weaknesses we can accomplish things that we never dreamed of.  Having another tool to do this and a guide to go by we can profit the company, our own lives and those lives of the people around us that we serve.

  • http://twitter.com/thejimturner Jim Turner

    I think this will help my team by helping us understand which jobs we can excel at, and which ones we should delegate. I think that this is a SUPER important part of having an effective staff and team.

  • Craig

    Thanks so much for writing about Marcus Buckingham’s new book, I am anxious to read it!

  • Kyle Mendenhall

    As a college basketball teacher-coach I am often contemplating and left wondering “how can I use each young man’s gifting to maximize their their ability in life and on the basketball court?” As Michael said, I catch myself trying to improve on their weaknesses, instead of focusing of building on their strengths. I desire to be teacher-coach that equips each young man on my team to become men of integrity, character, empathy, and kindness that once they are finished in my basketball program will be equipped to change the world for good. After reading the description of the this book, I think it would be amazing insight into equipping not only myself, but helping each man see their own personal gifting and strengths.

  • Tammy

    I read First, Break All the Rules for a college course and felt Buckingham and Coffman had put to words my own frustrations as an employee. Now that I am in Direct Sales as my singular profession, I find it is easier to talk about leading than to do it effectively. I attract people and gain loyalty from them as customers but seem unable to transfer that inspiration to team members. I am currently challenging myself to read 100 books this year and whether or not I win this copy, it is on my list to read now. Thanks.

  • Angie Schwartz

    Identifying and engaging in discussions about strengths with my team will help build a greater understanding of why we are great and excel in certain areas and have weaknesses in others.   It will provide an opportunity to develop a plan where we can better serve our customers and the team by assigning key tasks based on the talents that each team member brings and manage those tasks where we are strengths deficient.  

  • Janicelwright

    This sounds like a fascinating approach to team building. Our company is having extensive growing pains and we have been looking for new and innovative ways to lean on strengths. It only seemed like the natural thing to enhance since those things are already their strengths. We decided to worry about the weaknesses later!

  • Darien Gabriel

    Michael, it would help me better raise my four daughters to build on their strengths. It would help me better disciple people and equip leaders in our church as well. I loved Now Put Your Strengths To Work!

  • Tracy Suter

    I think this could help me and my team as we are consistently looking for opportunities for different individuals to lead different projects.  The leader (by title) does not need to lead every project.  In fact, that approach would be limiting.  Individual projects should be lead by people on our team with the best skill set for the task.  Discovering and better understanding those skills/strengths would help us greatly.

  • Traanderson

    I found the insight in Strengths Finder crucial to keeping me focused on what I do best. When opportunities open up or others ask me to serve, I can refer to my strengths and determine what new paths are appropriate for me. My husband and I run a business and this new book will take us to the next level with our employees!

  • Therese Thull

    Thanks, Michael! I had just put an absolute, nonnegotiable hold on all book purchases until I catch up on the next couple books on my list. I now have to do something I rarely allow my self and that is an “exception”. After listening to Marcus (thanks for including clips for us!) I think I would be doing myself and my staff an enormous disservice if I did not move this book and assesment directly to the top of my list.

    Therese Thull

  • Bonnie

    This looks like some analysis I could really use!

  • Mary Carlisle

    StrengthsFinder 2.0 has been a pivotal tool in crafting a team that can play towards each person’s strengths. After cataloging our personal strengths into one visual, we got a bird’s eye view of the areas that we can maximize. I can’t wait to read this new book from Buckingham! Being a learner with the strengths of strategic, futuristic, developer, and achiever, I’m always looking to learn more about leveraging strengths and effective leadership styles, as I get the chance to not only work on a great team of individuals throughout the year, but to lead a team of 30 or so individuals each summer.

  • BJ Stricklin

    As a leader of a team of leaders, knowing how to put my strengths to work would not only benefit me, but would also exponentially benefit those I lead and those whom they lead.  
    Strength Finders 2.0 was a game changer for me!

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanmanafo Jonathan Manafo

    I’m in the process of developing community within the church.  As you can imagine finding and developing strengths is most of my role as a leader.  The book would be very helpful.

  • Steve Burrow

    I already use StrengthsFinder for leading my team, and this next book would be huge!  I manage a team spread out geographically, and having this book as a development tool will help me make sure everyone on our team is not only playing into their Strengths, but performing roles on the team that will maximize our effectiveness! 

    Thanks for making sure we were all aware of this book, Michael!

  • Steve_karum

    I thoroughly enjoyed Buckingham’s first book and this sounds like a great next step.

  • Curtis O Fletcher

    Interesting timing on this book! Over the last two years our entire team has gone through StrengthsFinder and it has become part of the on-boarding process for new team members. During that time we’ve also implemented a results-only-work-environment. As a part of THAT process sub teams are responsible for deliverables in their areas.  This book would seem to be the perfect tool to take us to the next level in terms of how to even more closely align duties on our sub-teams, the components on individual service level agreements, and individual’s strengths. Based on how you describe the book here it IS our next step in order to put into practice the knowledge we have from StrenghtsFinder in a targeted practical way to not only boost job satisfaction across our team but performance as well.
    And, as if that wasn’t enough, my wife and I have spent the past week trying to find practical application of StrengthsFinder in terms of how it applies to job categories!

  • Rocky

    I like Buckingham’s previous books. And now, on the cusp of building a team to start a new church, this book sounds like  great tool to discover and uncover the strengths that the team members have and put them to the best use. 

  • Rick

    This concept could be an incredible help to an individual or a team.  We’re taught early on when we receive our report card that we need to work on our weaknesses.  We spend so much time trying to become well-rounded we’re not sharp at anything.  We need to discover and develop our strengths so that we can do what we do best!

  • http://smalltimestyle.blogspot.com Lauren

    I think this book would be very helpful for me right now.  I am moving into a position in my career in which more is being asked of me as a leader and am nervous about being able to do so effectively.  I think the test would be helpful in evaluating what my strengths are, as well as helping me to be aware of my weaknesses, which will be able to assist me as I move into this new position.  Definitely something I will be putting on my to-read list!  

  • Anonymous

    Michael – I first encountered Marcus Buckingham five years ago and much as you did, through the original StrengthsFinder.  The book was recommended to my leadership development class by a CEO we were benchmarking.  I found the book incredibly insightful. Since that time, focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses has led me on a different and more fulfilling career path.  I intend on getting StandOut, whether I’m one of the lucky 100 or not.  I’m intrigued by the premise of the book, and I’d like to understand the evolution from the 34 strengths areas in StrengthsFinder into the nine natural advantages in StandOut, and how that compares with other approaches I’ve encountered over the last five years.

  • http://profiles.google.com/carl.flynn Carl Flynn

    As leader of a team of creatives in a university setting that includes a number of student assistants, discerning and understanding our particular strengths and how they help contribute to our team’s success is vital.  I appreciated the helpful insights that StrengthsFinder provided and believe that working through the insights in StandOut will only enhance our operations.

  • Kennedymoore

    I recently started my own business and am determined to succeed. I believe that knowing and taking the correct steps are essential. Sounds like this would help me make a great start in the right direction.

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like this book, when applied to the ministries I volunteer in at church and sales departments I work with at the office, would greatly help me become a better and more effective leader. That, in turn, would then help the rest of the church staff or work group because I would be able to share these things to help all of us “StandOut.”

  • Kevin

    I am in my second year as a middle school principal, afer 29 years of teaching high school math and coaching varsity basketball.  I have so much to learn about teamwork and leadership.  I would enjoy the opportunity to read this book. 

    Thaks for the chance.
    Kevin Weaver                  HOLD FAST!  II Tim. 1:13

  • http://markjmartin.com Mark Martin

    As a church leader, I am constantly enlisting volunteers in the work at the church.  I want to better understand this concept of positioning people where they will excel in their strength.  I hope to receive a copy of the book.

    Thanks for reviewing the book!

  • Lisa T

    I have been a huge Buckingham and Strengths fan for many years.  I have personally taken Strengths assessment three times now over a period of 6 years (just checking to see if they stay the same, and only one has changed!)   I’ve already taken STANDOUT assessment too, go figure since I’m an assessment nut that I would have done it too, before the book was out!  Needless to say, I’m excited to get my hands on the book.  My focus and strengths have led me to start a new business where I can impart this information to high school students in hope of inspiring them to find and develop their strengths and their life calling – so that they may better influence the world for Christ!  Hope to kick it off in 2012!  This book would be a blessing to me! 

  • JMW

    I believe it would help me to determine my areas of strength & also help me identify my teams areas.

  • http://chriskamalski.com Chris Kamalski

    I just got married 3 months ago to a wonderful South African woman, and we are in the process of discerning our next leadership opportunity with a wonderful community of missional people in Vancouver, Canada. We have the opportunity to rebirth a community that forms and develops leaders throughout a major urban center in Canada, and are thrilled to consider how we should build our team. I cannot think of a greater way to deepen this development process than through a copy of this book.

    Thank you for the opportunity, Michael.

    Chris Kamalski

  • DrBob

    Allow team members to fill roles that play to their strengths and keep them out of roles that require skills in their weknesses.

  • http://twitter.com/Francarona Fran Carona

    As a Clinical Psychologist I am always interested in new assessments.  One of my passions is helping people discover their God-given talents and a career where they can use these strengths.  I would be very interested in a book they could pick up and then take an assessment.  Thanks for always bringing us great resources, Michael.

  • Matt

    I’ve taken my team through “The One Think You Need to Know” and we have definitely bought in to the importance of playing to your strengths. We’ve also taken personality tests, but still found ourselves coming up empty on how to exploit our strengths. I’m excited to see how this might help me and my team!!

    • Matt

      That would be “The One THING You Need to Know”…my bad!

  • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

    I’d love to use this book with my fellow teachers to see what our top strength roles are and how we can better tag-team with each other. On a boarding school campus, we each have to wear many hats; how much better it would be to wear them based on strength roles than random assignment!

    I’ve been a teacher for over two decades…curious to see if one of my top strength roles is Teacher or something else!

    • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

      So, lacking the gift of patience I bought the Kindle version. My StandOut online assessment code arrived via e-mail immediately.

      I’m as impressed with these results as I’ve been with the StrengthFinder. Not only do my top two strength roles fit me perfectly (Teacher and Provider), the discussion of my combined top two roles is illuminating: I’m an investor, and my “currency” is people.

      (I’d still love a free copy of the hardback book to give to our school chaplain who I know would use and love it!)

  • http://twitter.com/john_mims John Mims

    Michael, thanks for sharing this review.  Can you tell me if the e-book offers the assessment, as well?  


  • Dr. Frank Buck

    Coming from a background in education, I realized long ago that our evaluation systems universally focus on weaknesses. In fact, including strengths is generally a mechanism to keep the evaluation from coming off as being too negative. Some of the best writing I have seen on the subject (by people such as John Maxwell and Peter Drucker) emphasize playing from your strengths (and doing so in a way that makes your weaknesses irrelevant). Having an entire book with this theme as its center would seem to make a significant contribution to the literature for ANY field. For the educational community, it can certainly change our focus from turning weakness into mediocrity and instead focus on turning that which is good into true excellence.

  • Kristina Vandiver

    Thank you for this post!  I recently stepped into a new leadership role and am trying to practically and strategically think of ways to incorporate the strengths of the individuals on my team for the benefit of our company and our customers.  The book could accelerate my learning and help me to avoid some pitfalls.  Overall, I think better utilizing people’s strengths would result in individuals finding a great amount of joy and purpose in their work.  This would result in higher levels of productivity, more meaningful relationships on the job, better products, quicker/more enthusiastic response times, and happier customers.

  • elise

    What a novel idea…to perfect our strengths and well, strengthen them. Seems so often we are trying to do it all and strengthen our weaknesses, which is an uphill climb. I am working with a team of four very different women. We are working on the development of a ministry website that will provide/foster Christian community across denominations, age groups, and interests. We want to provide an events calendar that will inform and unite. We are starting this in the Northeast, because we see a particular need here to encourage, support, foster fellowship throughout a region that is notorious for being spiritually dead. We are together in our vision, but we haven’t quite figured out who should play what role. We are about to reconvene after a summer break and I’m sure this book, together with the assessments would get us on a productive, effective, clear track. Sounds awesome!

  • Jstanley

    I have the privilege and high responsibility of leading a church of 4,000 outside the four walls of the church. I work strictly with volunteer teams and need to know how to best utilize my edge and multiplier to maximum efficiency to help our people reach our community and world with the greatest message of hope ever told. I’m guessing the book “Standout” could go a long way toward making that happen.

  • Ebyounts

    I think this bk sounds great. As an author without representation so far I’m kind of a team of 1…I’d love to learn where I can improve.

  • Becky Kiser

    My husband and I are stepping into a new ministry opportunity together with Apartment Life. In addition to that we are considering serving in a big leadership opportunity through our church. Needless to say with all of that we want to know how to work better as a team as we start working together outside of basic family life. We want to do it well. We want to bring glory to God through what we are doing so that others are attracted to Him through our efforts. As well as how to lead others in our new ministry ventures. We are about to have a lot of different people we will be leading from all walks of life.

    Thanks so much for your leadership. We’ve learned so much from you. Can’t wait to read the book!

  • http://twitter.com/allison_rivers Allison Rivers

    Sounds fascinating!  I’ve been taking these kinds of assessments lately trying to reposition myself for my next phase in my professional life.  This sounds like a great addition!

  • Halelly

    I look forward to getting a free copy and reading this book! Thanks! :)

  • Anonymous

    We are a small team of two – husband/wife design partners – so it’s extremely important to our success in business & marriage for us to both understand our strengths and be willing to serve each other through those strengths to enhance encourage & compliment instead of hinder/frustrate each other.  Buckingham does an awesome job of presenting ideas in ways that we can apply them in our daily work & lives.


    I am starting a new job this week and this book would allow me to really find those strengths in a time that can quite intimidating. The assessment could really set the stage for great discussion, build immediate rapport and find out how my new team and I will mesh. As always, thanks for your insights. 

  • Kenny

    I would be very appreciative of recieving a copy of the book “Standout.”  Identyfying my strengths, while helping others identify theirs, would be an asset for our community.
    We work with students in our local schools in career and personality assessements.  This book would be a useful tool.  Thanks for the opportunity to allow me to personally grow.

  • Marv

    If groups are meant to function like a body, my team will be dramatically strengthened when each of the body parts is operating in their area of best strength. Can’t wait to see how this can move us to an even stronger position

  • Jan Noel-Smith

    Sounds like a timely book. I love my work, the company for which I work and our mission. At the same time, I’ve been here 9.5 years and it’s time to kick it up a notch or 10 .. it’s too easy and comfortable to fit into my role (rut!). I’ve been working to expand my boundaries lately, and this book should be a great help!

  • William Hancock

    I think this could my team and I in so many ways. The greatest way is by seeing each others strengths first and not only focusing on correcting the weaknesses. This book sounds challenging and I would love an opportunity to read it.

  • Nana Gregg

    Very excited to check out this book! The StrengthsFinder test was spot on!

  • Scottgeddis

    I often use the Clifton Strength Finder as a tool to build organizational engagement. Standout is a tool for the same purpose. People need not be well rounded, teams do. Standout will help teams identify where each member can standout and contribute to the team.

  • Karen Kuchel

    I found the same thing in doing Marcus’ tests, including this one, in that they helped me reconcile some contradictory things I found in my strengths.

    In terms of teams, I love the way this provides a framework for valuing other strengths. Often we think of strengths different to our own as not as good or useful, but I love the way Marcus frames each strength as a potential positive contribution to a team. It’s a really good basis for true collaboration when you value what everyone else brings to the table.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jgraylion Julia Graylion

    I have used the great information in Marcus Buckingham’s previous books, and I look forward to reading Stand Out. As a teacher of secondary students, there will be a lot of opportunity for me to spread hope and encouragement among the next generation. Thank you for being so generous Michael!

    Here’s to Standing Out – no matter the job description, no matter the economy, no matter the season of our lives – because we have a plan and understand how we’re most likely to respond to the challenges we face.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beau.sorensen Beau Sorensen

    The better you know yourself, the better you can be led.  I think that this could help me with that and also knowing my team better and what roles I should put them in.  It’s another arrow in the quiver like Strengthsfinder.  

  • Chrischrishoffman

    We know each member of our team brings unique value… This will help us have a common language about those unique contributions and thus will accelerate our growth as a TEAM!

  • Bob

    We will work better as a team if we play off our strengths!

  • Becky Kiser

    Michael, I just had my annual review, team leader in the IT department of ExxonMobil, yesterday and my primary focus this coming year is to focus on better managing my team. Today I started looking for resources to help me train them, more specifically to better learn how they work well and maximize it so that we are more effective and they enjoy their job more. I have personally read Strengths Finder with my wife and we have applied it in our marriage, but I haven’t brought that to my job yet. Now is the time. Thanks for the recommendation of the book!

  • Cjharrisone

    I was very much impressed with StrengthFinders and the research that it has provided.  We are in the midst of transition on a number of levels of re-aligning full-time staff, as well as, identifying and evaluating lay leadership on a number of levels.  This book would provide great insight in those areas of placement, leadership characteristics, and alignment with vision and future direction of the organization.

  • http://www.Hart4God.com Tim Hart

    We’re currently revamping our student ministry team at church and I would love a tool that would help each volunteer examine their giftedness in order to put them in the right seat on our bus!

  • James

    I would hope that the book will help me to focus on strengths and what is good to help to revitalize my team as we struggle in a company to get enough investment and generate cash.

  • Johnclose4th

    We are a small organic lawn care company celebrating our 2nd year anniversary.  We have achieved monumental growth largely due to the wisdom of people like Marcus Buckingham, Seth Godin, Dan Pink and the brothers Heath.  In a saturated industry, we have Stood Out.

  • Edie Claiborne

    I’m a pastor’s wife, and it’s always a unique challenge to dicover how God can best use me in the particular church setting in which He’s placed us. I’m looking forward to the insights in this book and learning to how to better support and strengthen the church, and specifically how to be a support and encouragement to those with whom I share leadership in the church.

  • David Piggott

    I must have been living in a cave as I just discovered Now, Discover Your Strengths this summer! I purchased Strengthsfinder 2.0 and completed the assessment. This has really helped me focus the last two months and I have almost doubled the amount of time I work in my areas of strength. My top two are Responsibility and Relator. Now with StandOut, I can improve upon my early sucesses from with strength focus. Thanks for the review.

  • Phil310

    Wow…serving as a Lead Pastor of a church that is growing radically, I would love to explore the roles that Buckingham lays out in StandOut.  Win it or not, it is definitely on my ‘grab and devour’ list for our team here at Faith!  I can’t wait to see our ‘edge’ and to better understand how to lead through this transformation process.

  • Snandez

    This would be great for my team here. Then we can play to each person’s strengths and divide the work better.

  • Jgraham

    I am constantly looking for tools to encourage and build the people I serve.  I believe that getting people to function at their best – where they are highly gifted results in people who are productive, fulfilled and growing.  I think this book would great add to our toolbelt of encouraging growth in those we serve/lead.

  • ChuckC

    Can’t wait to read this book. Teams “win” because they have talented people working together. This book will help us build better teams.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=556374630 Kendra Stites Ogroske

    Currently I am searching myself for where I want to be. By being able to explore further my strengths I believe this will help direct me in my career path. I have enjoyed his previous books and would love to read this one as well!

  • Neil

    Michael, Thank you for sharing this book!  I have spent far to long trying to correct my own weaknesses as a primary way to increase my value to the team. It is incredibly refreshing to think about capitalizing on the natural strengths God has given. I am excited to read StandOut! 

  • Erinr Woods

    I am a dreamer that got stuck. Strengthfider has helped to bring clarity to who I was made to be, but I have much farther to go before being unstuck. I think Standout could be another step towards the wide open spaces.

  • Debbie_Bateman

    I can not wait to read this new book! Marcus I am sure does it again! The best tool to improve performance is via assessing.

  • Ken Turner

    Our ministry is a Christian camp (Fort Bluff Camp in TN) and we are experiencing tremendous growth. As we stretch and grow, it is imperative the we understand our strengths and maximize those areas. 

  • Tbump

    A someone who as struggled somewhat with my leadership style and how best to lead, I think this is a must read and a must do! I look forward to getting this book and doing the test. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Julie Perrine

    I’ve already started using this with my team and it’s AWESOME! I’ve been a big promoter of the StrengthsFinder tool with clients, now I’m using it as I build my own team. We just started having each member do the StandOut assessment which takes this to the next level deeper and it’s been very helpful for each person on my team but also for me as the leader to make sure I’m  doing all I can to support their success which in turn supports mine.  We’re all doing what we are the best at…we all love what we’re doing…and it shows in the work product and the progress we are making on a daily basis now. I never wanted to “hire” people to support my biz because I’d had such awful experiences with it corporately.  Now I’m contracting with numerous team members and it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences ever…I believe in large part because we’re all working fully in our strengths every day. The StandOut assessment helps each of us put not only words around the great value we each bring to the team, but it provides strategies for applying that information to make an immediate impact and take our performance to the next level. That’s priceless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1124420430 Jay C Petel

    I’ve always been impressed with Marcus Buckingham’s thoughts on leadership from the first book of his that I read, First Break All of the Rules. When leading teams, I have used what I could from his findings and have found that my teams respond favorably to my leadership. This book sounds as though I would be able to dig deeper into understanding people individual strengths and how to best apply their strengths to projects and tasks. I feel that Meyers-Briggs and some of the other “personality” tests don’t really do the job and many times management focuses on what you lack rather than what your strengths are. This will allow people to get into the place where they can make the biggest impact with guidance on the how and not just learning what your strengths are. Deciding how to apply your strengths is something at a whole new level. While it is good to know what your strengths are, getting help in understanding how to apply those strengths is something that has been missing.

    It has been a building-block approach to learning and this is the next course in the program.

  • Kenn Parker

    My name is Kenn Parker. I am the National Director of Church Planting for our denomination. I have read Marcus previous books as part of the curriculum for the Masters Program in Leadership that I am taking. I too have adopted/adapted many of his theories and concepts in the workplace with great results.  I know that according to your description of the book, it will be of tremendous value and applicable use to me, the team I lead and the many church planters I help train and coach.

  • Michayla

    It is important for myself and my team members that we understand our strengths so we can leverage the diversity of our talents. Understanding how we can do this will not only benefit our team, but the entire organization. 

  • Caroline Lewis

    This can help my team by developing an understanding of the top two strengths of each person and ensuring that each of them are able to play to their strengths. It will also foster a climate of trust and togetherness as people share the strengths and possible development areas.

  • http://www.brianhagman.com Brian Hagman

    I am an avid reader and always looking to find another great book to add to my library.  Very excited to dive into this one.

  • BZ

    I’d like to give this to my daughter who is starting out on her career.  She is on her second year of her first job out of college and has to coordinate and work with many different people in different functions.  As a psychology major, I’m sure she’d be interested in this book!

  • David Smallman

    I am a missionary in Brazil and I was just this morning discussing the Strengths Finder material with my teammate (who just returned to the field from his furlough) as we planned out our strategy for the rest of the year. How interesting, then to check my email when I got home and find this discussion of (and chance to receive) this new book. It would be extremely helpful in organizing our individual ministry focus areas as we move ahead in this church plant!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Jackson/1119559965 Ken Jackson

    33 yrs old and feel like I’m finally getting on the right track after discovering your blog, Life Plan book, and having already taken the Strength’s Finder assessment several months ago.    Definitely interested in this new book and am working with my wife to set goals and take the next right step towards achieving them.  Thanks for the inspiration…

  • egwolfe

    Looking forward to learning what this means for me. I want to be a good steward.

  • http://www.melissahatfield.com Melissa Hatfield

    I’m away on a week’s vacation with one of my major goals being to truly get to know and embrace my strengths, the way God wired me, and to think about how that works (or doesn’t) with my current ministry position.  Our team needs to be shaken up and I think identifying and focusing on our strengths will give us a fresh and strong foundation for a new approach to leadership and ministry.  

    Thank you for continuing to challenge and lead us to be all God has wired us to be!

  • alk

    StrengthsFinders literally changed my life. I had never seen anything like it. Since discovering it, I have had multiple opportunities to help individuals and teams using this resource. I love the idea of taking this a step further and helping others to maximize who they are and live fully within their passions and strength makeup.  What can I say, I’m a Developer!! 

  • Laurie Jayne

    Woah!!! I need to share this with my team immediately… Would love to have this book :)

  • Cindy Molina

    Thank you for this opportunity to get a free copy of StandOut. I have always been a loyal fan of Marcus and have tried to spread his Strengths Revolution to anyone I come across. As the VP of Leadership Development Training for an organization filled with “gotcha” managers, I constantly find opportunities to help leaders improve by focusing on strengths. As a lifelong learner, I always appreciate the chance to gain additional insights into myself and I agree with you, Marcus has developed a style that reflects a perfect balance between theory, research and real world, practical advice. Thank you for your time and consideration!

  • William McNeely

    This is a timely message.  As I look at the next stages of my life and career, you think you know what your strengths are.  But to have an objective and research approach would be great.  Finding that edge is what most people need to take it to the next level and find that place where they can fulfill their purpose.  Thanks for sharing, Michael!

  • Brandon Becker

    As a young leader, I am constantly looking for ways to engage my strengths in ministry and also shore up some of my weaknesses. I really enjoyed Strengths Finder 2.0. Looking forward to reading this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lori-Tracy-Boruff/1630483795 Lori Tracy Boruff

    From your detailed review Michael, I believe Marcus Buckingham’s book  StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work  would help me build confidence that could conquer all the hurdles of building a business. As I build a Hope101.net team, the wisdom taught in his book would guide me to  people that compliment each other to take Hope101.net to the next level. This would avoid unhealthy competition that ruins businesses and lives. Sounds like a win-win for everyone!

  • Lzinc

    This could help me & my team by clearing the air for us & making things simpler. Looking forward to this book!

  • TJ Adkinson

    Thanks for the giveaway! As a young leader, hopefully this book will provide me more insights into leadership and what I should and should not do.

  • http://www.love-laugh-learn.com Deanna

    Often we clearly see the gifts and strengths of others, but are blind to our own. 

    This book could be a great starting place for the people in my organization to begin to see the whole picture – themselves included!

  • Jocelyne Sade

    I am 58, and having to return to the working world. I want every edge possible to help me make a smart re-entry. I believe my personality should come into play when choosing a line of work, and this book sounds like it would be very helpful.  Thank you for the opportunity!

  • http://twitter.com/RobaSorbo Rob Sorbo

    I work in the World Missions department of the national office of the Assemblies of God. Every penny I save and every project I work on directly benefits missionaries all around the world.

    By gaining greater understanding of my strengths and my performance at work, my office and I will directly help the Kingdom grow all around the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lori-Tracy-Boruff/1630483795 Lori Tracy Boruff

    From your detailed review Michael, I believe Marcus Buckingham’s book  StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work  would help me build confidence that could conquer all the hurdles of building a business. As I build a Hope101.net team, the wisdom taught in his book would guide me to  people that compliment each other to take Hope101.net to the next level. This would avoid unhealthy competition that ruins businesses and lives. Sounds like a win-win for everyone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammholmes Sam Holmes

    I believe this book would be very beneficial to my team. I lead a team of volunteers who serve in various capacities and also have varying career paths. Not only would this book be eye-opening to many of them, but it would also accomplish a couple things for us as a team.

    First, working through the book would help each person to begin to recognize the strengths that lie within them. This would bring a greater sense of both purpose and fulfillment in their personal lives and career paths. This would create energy in each person that would then transfer into their work and service on the team. 

    That brings me to the second benefit. Recognizing and growing in these strengths and roles would create more synergy and cohesion within the team. This would then transfer down the pipe to each person my team members influence. 

    I whole-heartedly believe that once we can pick out our inner-strengths and what roles we fit into, the influence we have increases tremendously. And for that reason, I would really enjoy working through this book. 

    Thank you for this opportunity. 

  • Craig Dale

    I ca see a great applicatoon with in church teams both paid and unpaid…need to read process further. Thanks for the great review.

  • Brian

    StandOut will help my company by allowing me to pinpont individual strengths and maximize the potential of each individual and subsequently the team as a whole. Too much time has been wasted trying to mold people into what they are not instead of helping them build on their God-given abilities.

  • DLake108

    I appreciate what Marcus Buckingham shares. It’s not only helped me personally but has helped me recognizing my kid’s strengths. My wife and I homeschool them (mainly her :D) and want to steer them in ways to use their giftedness as well! 

  • Sandershall

    Michael Hyatt,

    Since I have joined your blog site, I have developed the courage that I needed to be confident as an upcoming author! I have already completed the Strengthfinder Test; just last week (recommended by my Life Coach)and it has allowed me to stop focusing on my weaknesses and cultivate my strengths. This book “StandOut”; would initiate the “OUTPOUR” the “TIPPING POINT” of the push that I need to move me into the destiny  God has already designed for my life!  This is the step (obtaining this book; StandOut) I believe that is apart of the plan! I believe nothing, nothing is by coincidence but always by divine order. Literally, my mother witnessed my excitement as I was reading your blog today about obtaining a free copy of StandOut! Michael Hyatt, I need and want this book for FREE; this book is the Wisdom I have been praying and waiting for!!!

    In great expectation,

  • Ruthie Dean

    Looks like a great book! Learning about strengths and weaknesses has helped me run towards my full potential and stop getting bogged down and frustrated in tasks that fell in the “weakness” category. Of course we can’t always work on what we’re best at, but 75% of my job now uses my strengths. Can’t wait to learn more!

  • Danknight

    StandOut sounds like just the book I need, as I approach my pre-retirement phase and begin a more active leadership role in my local political riding and in my church. I’m looking forward to assessing the test results against my own experience and if valid, then figuring out how to implement it in both our riding and church.

    Thanks for the review.

  • Robin Whitson

    Love the Strengthfinders model. We use it in our consulting as well as in a job seeker worshop – Career Transition Workshop that we help run at Oakhills here in San Antonio. It really helps people identify and utilize their strengths both in the workforce and in job hunting. Interested to see this new book.
    Love the review…. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericscottmiller Eric Scott Miller

    I have been a fan of Marcus Buckingham since hearing him speak many years ago. I have recently been questioning my career choice and options for future growth and have hit a brick wall in my own analysis. I think this book will be beneficial in making some important decisions in my future in order to maximize my strengths and to better understand myself.

  • Horvath

    Always have been a firm believer in focusing on building our team’s strengths rather than trying to change and/or improve their weaknesses. As a recent start up firm, my team can use these concepts to define roles further and exude confidence in each and every personality of the team. Looks like a great read, looking forward to it! Thanks 

  • Sarah Dunn

    We are a small business with some very great components, but we aren’t fitting together quite right.  I know we could be a “well-oiled machine,” and maybe this book can help us!!

  • Rejoicingrose

    I am so excited about this new book!  We are pastors going through major transition in our lives and mnistry.  Focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses is so key to continueing strong in the calling of God on our lives. 

  • Jwalters

    I am a coach to pastors and church planters and have used the previous strengthfinder and found it very valuable personally and with leading church staffs. The ability to evaluate a church planter’s strength is invaluable. So I’m really looking forward to reading Marcus’ new book and taking the new assessment.

  • Rob Crawford

    A copy of Standout, will help me chart my course in my changing career. As I transition from a technical role to a project management role, I need assistance to figure out what the next step is.

  • Stephan Swart

    I look forward to digging into this!

  • Brad Mitchell

    One of the top things Outreach Magazine has highlighted in the latest issue on the 100 fastest growing churches is the importance of Leadership Development. Too often churches will get a godly, competent CEO type man or woman and then relegate them to collecting the offering or handing out bulletins. Or a young person with leadership potential will be asked to mow the lawn. I love the work Marcus does in helping identify and build up strengths. This book will be helpful for our team to keep focused on their strengths and as a leader, it will enable me to free them up to lead as God has wired them. I’m too late for the free book, but still grateful for the information, Michael. Keep up the good work–love your blogs, evernote, literary info etc. Your tips strengthen me as a leader!

  • Cani4x

    Through his book Goals my Council, after reading as agroup, decided to radically rework my Jobe Description.  It has made a huge difference in the joy factor of my ministry.  Can’t wait to read his new thoughts. 

  • Gerry Gifford

    I’m looking forward to a continuance of improving myself, as well as my team through your instruction and assessments with your new book, Standout. I have already read two of your books, as well as enjoyed your video, “Trombone Player Wanted”.  Over the last few years, you have “redirected” my entire  approach to management, both of myself and team members, by understanding the need to identify and build upon strengths rather than focus on improving weaknesses. This has proven to be a much more successful and rewarding effort.
    Thanks for your insight of what makes us “tick”.

    Gerry L. Gifford

  • Reininger Jeff

    Great stuff.  This would totally transform the team I work for!  I think the last 2 books my bosses read were “Now, Know Your Weaknesses” and “Blend In”!

  • Swershing

    This will be a great help in moving my team tot he next level.  We were having problems working together as a team, and we brought in a consulting company that used DISC as a basis for improving team function.  It was revolutionary.  This new book will enhance our now much more effective team.

  • http://www.PaidToTalk.com Candace

    It seems that sharing this information with the work team would aid us in seeing the value in our coworkers.  We do tend to focus on the faults and not the gifts, both in ourselves and others.  Stressing the abilities in ourselves and others would definately be productive.

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive Joseph Sanchez

    Here’s a question. Do you think a persons strengths change over time? I can say that there have been some changes in my life since I last took a self-assessment and I wonder if my strengths would be the same from several years ago. Either way, I’m sure understanding my strengths at the moment would be a tremendous help to me as I work out some quirks both professionally and personally. 

  • liltane

    It is important to always be discovering more about myself. God made me unique and if I think I have discovered it all by now, I am underestimating Him.

  • Zachary Cochran

    I work in an environment where “team” means the local sports group. I’d love to find a way to build camaraderie in my workplace, but I’m the youngest in my office (22) and morale is down because a number of people have left recently. As I hope to get an MBA in a few years and manage numbers of people well, it would be helpful to build on what I already know about myself (my strengths): responsibility, positivity, connectedness, learner, and belief. Thanks for your consideration.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed his Strengths Finder 2.0 book. It showed where my strengths were and they we almost spot on. If this book builds on that material, then it would really help me out. We are in a transition at my job and I think some of the tension is related to roles and misunderstandings of them.

  • Paige Tucker

    I think it would be more postitive to build on strenghts then try to develop weaknesses.  it lets you use people and be used for what you already have an ability to do!

  • Wendellr

    It can provide a place to start.  Start with your strengths.

  • Grantwillreply

    Thanks for sharing a post on this new book.  I’ve seen Marcus speak at the Global Leadership Summit and immediately picked up “Go Put Your Strengths To Work”….  It was a paradigm read for me.  It helped me realize what I am good at…  and what I am not.  It’s amazing how inexpensive it is to pay people to do the things you don’t like to do (Administrative for me) so you can focus on your Strengths!  I recently completed a Predictive Index survey and would like to compare the results!

  • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

    This book would help the teams I’m on to better understand one another’s area of greatest contribution and also to force us to consider how we might adjust roles, shift responsibilities, and ultimately improve results. It would probably also show us areas that we need to hire for or potentially tone down.

    For me personally, it would help me with the question: how well am I aligned job-wise to who I am as a person?

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.gedon Steve Gedon

    I think the assessment of strengths is a more positive direction than only looking at weaknesses and showing people where they’re failing. Maybe we just aren’t gifted in those areas.

  • http://www.samluce.com samluce

    We are in the middle of a re-org at our church and this would be a great tool to help clarify some things. 

  • http://daredreamermag.com Ron Dawson

    So I’m going to offer a critique. Quickly reviewing thru the comments, it seems I may sound like a lone dissenter. But it’s no fun if all the comments are “Love it, love it, love it.” :)

    First I want to say that I think Buckingham’s work is terrific. My wife and I have read his books, listened to his tapes and watch Trombone Player Wanted. So, I don’t doubt the book probably has something positive to offer. But honestly, I really did not get it from the video. I’d be curious to get your take on this Michael.

    First, there’s a huge swing in quality from Trombone Player Wanted to this video. That short film series (directed and produced  by the Nooma video creators) was not only cinematically beautiful, but wonderfully used the narrative to tell a compelling story and illustrate what he was talking about.  Now, I know the scope of a book promo is not the same, but I don’t think that means the quality had to suffer. So much content competes for our eyeballs, if something doesn’t stand out, it loses. Look at Tim Ferris promo for “4 Hour Body.” It’s short, compelling, and makes you want to READ THAT BOOK. (I won’t include the link, but just do a search on YouTube for “Tim Ferris 4 Hour Body Trailer”).

    Second, in this video, Marcus makes some statements which kind of sound inherently obvious. Like, when he says, “Standout gives you situations then asks, what would you do? what would you do, what would you do? So, your results are a summary of what you would do.” That just struck me as funny. Of course that’s what the summary is. You just said it three times in a row. Then he says, “Your results may not surprise you, or they may surprise you.” I guess what I’m saying is that the writing doesn’t seem very strong.

    So Michael, you’ve been in this biz a long time, what affect, if any, does a strong (or weak) book promo have on its success? Does it matter when you have such a well-established author like Marcus? In my mind, I have to say, I think his branding was hurt by this video.

  • Anonymous

    I read Now, Discover Your Strengths from Buckingham and was blown away by it.  Focusing on strengths makes so much sense. I think this would help me as I try to develop a team for my business.  Having each person understand their strengths would be incredibly helpful!

  • http://www.icubook.wordpress.com Mischelle007

    As a new publisher, I am in the learning/applying mode. I am trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can. In the process I am learning about my self and obstacles I need to overcome. A copy of this book will not only help me, but those I am trying to help.

    Love to be one of the hundred!

  • Mark Haines

    For nearly 30 years of ministry as a pastor, I’ve been told, “We really appreciate how you do X so well but we wish you’d improve Y and Z.”  I want to set my people and myself free to do what God designed us to do.  This book and test sound like good tools to accomplish that.

  • Hwhite86

    I have personally experienced this in my recent experience at a company. Upon reviewing my work in the past year, I realized I was way too focused on what I could improve on, rather than working out of my strengths. This idea is IMPERATIVE to a successful team. I definitely will be checking out this book.

  • Wslay

    I am a big fan of MB. Because I am an activator i will do whatever it takes to get a copy of his new book. His books have really helped me understand my strengths and my roles.

  • Lucinda Mason

    We’ve been using Strength Finders in our ministry. I’ve been pleased with how it has helped me understand my daughters as well.

  • http://bdentzy.com Bryan Entzminger

    I’ve absolutely loved every one of Buckingham’s books so far.  As I’ve learned more about myself (a continual quest for me) I’ve become more effective personally and professionally.  I’ve been able to focus more on developing areas of strength to offer my absolute best to the team, to my family, and to my Church.

    Knowing even more about the key roles people play, the ones I play, and how to understand others could really take my performance and the performance of my team to the next level. It would let us know when we’re playing roles that are not a great fit and allow us to concentrate our efforts where we can really blow the lid off of our potential.

    I can’t wait to learn more about this and to begin sharing it with others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erinevans Erin Evans

    Thanks for writing about this book – I had the opportunity to see Marcus in May at the ASTD International Exposition.  The first thing I did after his keynote was buy assessment keys for my entire department.  (By the way, I am an Equalizer and a Connector!)  I don’t know if it’s the Connector in me (or because the book is so good), but this is the kind of book I want to give to everyone I know. 

    I am excited to read the full version of the book and act on ways I can optimize my strengths.

  • Daniel

    We are in the process of bringing on an administration intern for the first time. We are looking for a good way to help her identify her strengths so that: A) we can assign jobs that she will succeed in and B) we can help her set herself up for future success. “Standout” would help us accomplish both goals, and would be the first step in helping out team as a whole identify how we can “win as leaders.”

  • Ryoung

    I work for a medium multinational in the UK and we are currently doing quite a bit of self-assessment work. As part of my role, CRM and database marketing, I am in the habit of measuring the effect and uplift of out processes. Buckingham’s previous books were fantastic and I believe the testing included in this new one could be very beneficial to myself, my immediate team, and our entire organization.

  • Jmp

    Everyone should know what their strengths are.  Strengthsfinder and Now Discover Your Strengths helped people self-identify their strengths.  I have my top five strengths posted on my wall next to my desk to remind me every day.  

    Now with StandOut, knowing your strengths is taken to a new level.  Knowing your strengths is a great start but we also need to know what our actions are/should be based on our strengths.  I’m excited to see StandOut help me and my team apply my strengths to real concrete actions.  

  • EGB

    I lead a fledgling ministry to community college students and this book couldn’t have come out at a better time! Most of our student leaders are in a period of transition, both personally and professionally, or they wouldn’t be here, so this information would hit them right where they are living right now. Many of my students have been beaten down by the economic downturn or just life in general, and they doubt that they HAVE strengths, much less that they can use those gifts to impact their own lives and the lives of their fellow students. The voices they usually hear are telling them they aren’t good enough; I think this book could help counteract those voices and encourage them to be the strong, effective leaders God designed them to be. 

  • Tracey Daniel

    I work for a non-profit organization, a church.  I work part-time and have 2 full-time roles – one is database manager and the other communications director.  Those are pretty much polar opposites. I’ve expressed a desire to scale back and only have 1 of these roles but I’m confused as to which I am best suited for.  I enjoy them both.  I wonder how my strenghts can best utilized to expand God’s Kingdom.  SO – after reading your review of this book I’m intrigued. As I was reading your review I thought “yeah, I don’t have time for a book like that” but by the end of the review I am interested. (Good writing!)  SO I hope I win a copy.  I don’t get paid enough to purchase one. :) Thanks for all your great leadership lessons.  I learn a lot from reading your posts!  Have a GREAT day!

  • Tracey Daniel

    I work for a non-profit organization, a church. I work part-time and have 2 full-time roles – one is database manager and the other communications director. Those are pretty much polar opposites. I’ve expressed a desire to scale back and only be responsible for 1 of these roles but I’m confused as to which I am best suited for. I enjoy them both. I wonder how my strenghts can best utilized to expand God’s Kingdom. SO – after reading your review of this book I’m intrigued. When I first started reading your review I thought “yeah, I don’t have time for a book like that” but by the end of the review I am interested. (Good writing!) SO I hope I win a copy. I don’t get paid enough to purchase one. :) Thanks for all your great leadership lessons. I learn a lot from reading your posts! Have a GREAT day!

  • Greg Gordon

    I believe it will help my team realize their own strengths and start the path to developing them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erinevans Erin Evans

    Thanks for your review of this book – I had the opportunity to hear Marcus speak at the ASTD International Conference in May.  The first thing I did after his keynote was buy assessment keys for everyone in my department.  (By the way – I am an Equalizer and a Connector!)  I don’t know if it’s the connector in me (or if the assessment is just amazing), but this is the kind of book that I want to share with everyone I know.

    I am excited to read this book and continue to optimize my strengths!

  • Gwilton72

    Peoples strengths are not always obvious and resources are not always used to their full potential. Empowering people to really contribute their fullest will only benefit them and the organization. This book sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to dive in to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1132383117 Allison Link Reis

    The way business is being conducted and the type of business is changing which provides new opportunities.  This would allow us to re-evaluate existing roles and allow team members to shine where they do the best which is a win-win for everyone.  I did the strengths finder with my team awhile ago and it was very helpful to identify our strengths and try to work with those.  I agree that picking on your weaknesses year after year gets you no where.

  • Twalker

    I am excited to discover and see what this book has to offer!  I desperately need ideas of developing and strengthening the team I oversee

  • Legend23

    I am quite intrigued to read this book and in some way try and see how this culturally stands up to our team over here in Thailand. Whilst our nationals team are all Thai, they are from all over and their worldviews are so diverse. I am wondering if implementing these theories works in this sort of situation.

    I enjoy working within my strength zones and I know that is also where I need to do most of my work because I want to get from a 7 or 8 to a 10,  not a 1 or 2 to a 3. Then I would like to see our team make steps along that path. Where they can understand their strengths and work on them. This will then hopefully lead us to having square pegs in square holes, the people fitting where they need to be for most benefit.

    Thanks again for putting the resources out there and in the hands of passionate people!!!

  • Shannon

    I first learned about Strengthsfinder when I worked at a university, and I loved it (well, I love personality tests, and we used those in hiring and relating to prospective students). It identified my own and my co-workers top 5 strengths, and we learned how to capitalize on these in our work and how to form and function as a team!
    I will be heading back overseas as a missionary who works with the unemployed soon and would be so excited to understand more about Standout and my top Strength roles. This would help me to understand out teams’ differing but essential roles and contributions and how to be impactful in those areas. We are just in the beginning stages of starting this ministry in a new area and in working as a team, so I believe this would be extremely beneficial not only to us but to the local ministries we will be working with and to our potential students in job skills development (one of our ministry areas).

    Because of my love of personality tests and seeing how they help us to understand ourselves and how we relate and communicate with others personally and in all of life (workplace, etc.), I can see the potential of incorporating some training in personalities and Strengths roles. For students who have never been employed to learn value in themselves and identity in Christ along with having their Strengths roles identified would possibly be mind blowing! They would be able to learn that they are good as these things and uniquely made with gifts to contribute not only to the workplace but to their families and communities!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.white Mark White

    Can’t wait for this latest book. I’ve read all of Marcus’ books and reviewed “The Truth About You” online. I have no doubt this will be among his best. 

  • Davis

    Accentuating and concentrating on the positive aspects within a person is always a good start. So much of the world is critical and looks at what we can fix. I am excited to read the book and see how to enhance the positive. This could help me and my team by concentrating our efforts on the positives, without dragging people down. We need to get past that and move forward. I especially look forward to put this into practice. Too many “experts” give good theory without any real practical application.

  • Houstonsupertech

    Thanks Michael for the book 

  • Carterclan5

    I am an asst principal at a high school in Miss. This school district went through a major leadership issue last year. The teachers in this district need to look at who they are and what they believe. This book could help us identify the leader we are using to build our kids.

  • Carol York

    I’m in the unique (for me) position of leading a team of QA analysts, developers and service personel as a peer.  None of them “report” to me, and thus I don’t have much direct control over their actions.  I’m constantly struggling to figure out what my role is and how to make it all work out.  I believe this book would help me build on my strengths, identify the strengths of the individuals on our team and ultimately would help us to build a better product by building a better team.  Thank you for this opportunity to win a copy of this book.  It sounds like an excellent resource.

  • Sampatty

    It is always a good thing to get a better idea of the people you are working with whether they are above you, below you or alongside you.  As you better know your strengths, this only increases the synergy for any organization to grow stronger and healthier.  For you to know your strengths, this will give you more confidence (not cockiness).  I like what John Maxwell said once, “spend more time on your strengths than on your weaknesses.”  I don’t know about you, but I like to spend most of my time working on what I am good at rather than on what I am not.

  • groth

    Thanks for sharing the review of Marcus’ book.  I’m familiar with his work on strenghts and my team actually tries to incorporate an understanding of each others strengths in our day to day work and in our overall performance management.  I can see where his enwest work would be helpful to us in moving to be an even better performing team!

  • Tammyhelfrich

    I love this idea! Looking forward to reading it! I would love a free copy!! :)

  • Daniel Page-Wood

    I was able to hear Marcus speak earlier this year at the Habitat for Humaniy National Affiliate Conference in Atlanta. He delivered an insightful and relevant message that inspired the whole room.

    I’m looking forward to learn how I can StandOut and take my professional and volunteer roles to the next level.

    And here’s the thing to remember, as we take ourselves to whatever our next level is, we need to also empower and encourage those around us to do the same!

  • Olufemi Ojo

    Thanks for this oppurtunity, I believe this will help me and my team in so many ways. Being a pastor for several years now, I have come to know that deploying a greater percent of your energy and time on your strengths often pays off than devoting it on your weakness. We all  have strengths and weaknesses weather we like it or not, work on your areas of strengths, it only makes you stand out. I look forward to reading this great book.

  • http://darensirbough.tumblr.com Daren Sirbough

    I know in my teams that I could definitely use a similar principle in encouraging other peoples strengths and where they have done something good.

  • Andieola

    How can we not be interested in this topic?  If we “teach” leadership, we shoud be constantly and consistently evaluating our own leadership and striving to be the example we tout.  I am looking forward to this book as I am framing my entire career around strengths and leadership!!

  • Scott Bills

    Have been a fan of Marcus Buckingham’s material for several years, using it with a men’s group I had been previously affiliated with.  Today may be the pub date,  but I picked up one copy of StandOut at Sam’s Club last week and can’t wait to go through it with my staff.  Seems to bring the work of Now Discover Your Strengths to a whole new level.  Excellent work, Marcus, and thanks Michael for bringing it to our attention!

  • Matt O’Brien

    My team of 7 just took the Strengths Finder 2.0 and discussed. . . good stuff but we want to continue learning how we can better work together ,benefit from one another’s strengths, and understand each others gaps.

  • Mike Mullican


    Like you, Now Discover Your Strengths represented a whole new perspective that changed how I manage others and set my personal development priorities. In team environments, whether at work, home or community, it is so easy to gravitate to the irritation created by the weaknesses presented by some or all of those involved; and that can really create disproportionate energy and attention being expended trying to fix or manage around those weaknesses. I am looking forward to reading how Marcus furthers this idea in helping us identify those unique factors that can set us apart, and have greater impact. There are real tangible and intangible benefits that teams can enjoy when we can start to call out and develop those edge factors in each other. 

  • Tricia

    I have read all of the strengths books and implemented it into as many departments at work as possible through my role as employee dev mgr. Strengths have helped us a lot but we still have much work to do. My strengths are communication, strategic, futuristic, maximizer and individualization. Can’t wait to read the new book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.kennard Shane Kennard

    Personally, I am in between a church plant fail and seeing if God is leading us toward a new church plant attempt. One of the core things that I learned from our first experience is gifting/strengths and how you gather team members around you based on your weaknesses is key. This book will help in my self-discovery of how God has created me and be able to develop a team around strengths, not just gather people.

  • James Shotts

    This sounds like a great opportunity to take responsibility for the things I can control. Identifying and focusing on my strengths is also a great way to have a positive and contagious attitude. I think this book, and more importantly this concept, could move me closer to reaching my full potential while also giving me a tangible and effective way to share and encourage others to do the same.

  • http://twitter.com/dewayneneeley Dewayne

    First and foremost, I think it would help me understand me…personally, but also professionally. This would then guide me toward being more effective with my colleagues. Additionally, I believe this book could be helpful to me with regards to my roles with various volunteer responsibilities I have. 

  • Win

    Self analysis is always valuable.
    Jim Rohn says (paraphrased) don’t wish things were better make sure you are better.
    I would read the book for myself and then pass it on to the leadership team at our nonprofit which helps the disabled.

  • Maria Dorsey

    I have utilized the information from StrenghtsFinders in so many ways in my life  (professionally, relation-ally, avocation-ally, etc).    It has been so helpful to know, and expound upon, my strengths.  I actually think that I was awarded my current position because I mentioned StrenghtsFinders and the interviewer jumped on the mention, asking for more information about my strengths.  I can’t wait to experience more with Standout.

  • Anonymous

    I was fortunate enough to get to take the Standout test before the book was released. It made me realize that some of my leanings weren’t just thought up in my head, but actual strengths.

  • Carol

    In learning more about our strength and weakness we can learn to make better use of our talents as well as our skills. It would be interesting to know and learn more.

  • Regina Antonio

    Came highly recommended by a friend and colleague. Looking forward to reading this.

  • http://www.themindfulmama.com Pauline Magnusson

    My organization and team have just weathered a time of transition, and we’re still working on developing synergy as a group rather than just as a collection of great individuals.  It’s an ideal time, in my mind, to work on development both of the individuals within the group in the mentoring relationship I have with my direct reports, as well as discovering how building on our strengths might enhance our ability to work together.

  • Michelle S.

    This will help my team because our company also using StrengthFinder to better communicate and relate to each other.  One of my Michelle-isms is that every employee should leave a job with more than a paycheck in their briefcase.  I spend time with book clubs and leadership support to help each person be the best they can be.  Has done nothing but helped our organization.

  • Connie Dunn

    I work at a local community college. In the current economic climate, as we are tightening our financial belt, and watching many people retire while realizing we cannot replace them, we are needing to identify ways for individuals to STANDOUT and excel with their strengths. Many of us at the college have already been through the StrengthsFinder book.  However, I feel that this new book would help us proceed along the STRENGTHS pathway. We were honored to have Marcus come to the college awhile back and speak. He inspired many of us to leave our weaknesses on the side of the road, while  identifying and utilizing our strengths in all aspects of our lives. I would love to read Marcus’ new book and take it to Staff Development for their review as well.

    Connie Dunn

  • http://twitter.com/eccle0412 Jackie Anderson

    It is so much easier to see faults and address in a reactive way then to find and encourage strengths intentionally.  I get it, but would love to receive the book and learn to DO IT!

  • WWG

    Being in between jobs right now I think that this book can help me hone in on my strengths and find the job that fits me best

  • Jrbdanish58

    I am just begining my business “Fireborn Inspirations” and gathering my team.  I know that with this information and the opportunity to give possible canidates this test, I will develop a better team and have a greater opportunity to grow the business. Thank you.

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    I work for a technology company. We sell an IDX product to Real Estate Agents and Brokers across the country. I manage all of our digital media initiatives. This consists of community management, responding to customer inquiries, acknowledging our fans, and finding opportunities to connect with others. I also manage our Help Desk and Community, again, educating clients and answering questions.

    We have a separate Support Team and of course our Sales Teams. Sometimes, it’s a challenge to get them involved. At others, we come up with some pretty good ideas together. I think I do a pretty decent job of playing to my strengths and asking for help where needed. Still, I think this book would be an excellent read for me and I think I’d pick up a think or two to determine what type of environment I function best in. 

  • Four Eyes Edit

    I think this book will be helpful in any work situation, at an office or in an online business, I have a online editorial business Four Eyes Edit, and I need to demonstrate authority and leadership in my business to have clients trust me with their words and ideas.

  • Anonymous

    The more we can learn about ourselves and take sober assessment of our strengths, the better equipped we’ll be to serve our teams. Team members can understand each other better, and also cover for each other’s weakness if we go into it with eyes wide open. I’ve never met an assessment I didn’t like, and I’m sure this will be no different.

  • nate downey

    Would love to read this. I planted a church a year ago and we are at a stage where a book like this would be very helpful in assessing the strengths and weaknesses in our team

  • Jim Panten

    I believe this book would help me get a handle on how I can better help and influence my co workers. We all work in a world where were always trying to fix people and Marcus has helped me focus on others strengths. His wisdom had helped me build stronger relationships at my dead end job and make an eternal impression on others. Thank you Marcus for all your great books. Thank you Michael for providing 100 free books. May God use them all to impact others.

  • Eddie

    Great post/review of his book. Buckingham is incredible in print and live (experienced both). I believe the leadership/team landscape is on the verge… When people live in the “sweet spot” of their role(s) they will by nature create “stand-out” organizations and cultures. The leadership field is leveling. Hierarchy has all but diminished (where effectiveness rules). Thanks again for your consistently good content, Michael.

  • Anonymous

    This culture still emphasizes that people not have weaknesses, but that is simply impossible. We are all wired differently and will learn, grow, and function differently. Focusing on my strengths instead will be a game-changer. Also once you know how you are uniquely wired, you can then become a more effective leader and a better person. 

    Would love a copy!

  • Javed Tank

    I am very excited to read this book & try in real life as it says.
    I have already got my top 5 strengths based on survey from http://www.strengthfinder.con & after reading Discover Your Strength Now. I have also read Go Put Your Strength at Work & How Full is your Bucket (from Donald Clifton) & I was waiting for book like Standout & yes I am going to get one soon…. :) Javed Tank.

  • Bill Wickham

    I loved previous Strengthsfinder materials, but we are very excited about this book and assessment.  As a staff, we are currently asking the question of “are we truly working in our areas of strength” and wondering what it would be like if we spent most of our time simply working in the two or three areas that we best shine in and figuring out what to do with the rest of the responsibilities after that.  Excited about how this book might help.

  • Emily Tabolt

    If you understand your team’s strengths, then you know how to task them and can gain reasonable expectations on where they will succeed in a project. It also increases effective communication.  (I’ve found this works with personal relationships as well.)
    We did an exercise similar to this with one of our teams at work and it really helped team members to view one another in a different light. 

  • Stephanie

    As a team building coach working with college sports teams, I’m constantly looking for tools to help my clients win in sports and life. I like the thoroughness of this assessment as you described it and would like to experience it myself before recommending it to or using it with my clients.

    I always appreciate the resources you recommend…thanks for letting us know about this book!


  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    This could help me tremendously in the fact that I continue to learn more about myself and see from another perspective besides my view. Being able to read about strengths and how to put them to work is very important and something I want to continue to do and learn. 

  • http://twitter.com/revitup Roger Vest

    My staff tends to work alone in our separate silos.  I would love to hear how we can strengthen our collaboration

  • Mark Thayer

    Thanks, Michael, for your generosity. I’m working feverishly to transition into my first management position. This looks like a great resource.

  • Eagleeyes4himok

    So excite about your new book.  Amy Watkins

  • Anonymous

    I purchased and took the StrengthFinder assesment. It turns out that I am an Achiever on a team full of Achievers! I think this book would definitely be helpful in better leveraging everyones unique tallents and create more teamwork rather than competition.

  • http://marjoriepoff.tumblr.com Marjorie Poff

    This book sounds very helpful!  I  would be so interested in learning how to use my strengths to be more effective in sales instead of morphing into what I think others want me to be.  

  • BethMcKamy

    Sounds like a great book and I would love to get one, but I think I would need to read his other book first. I definitely will buy both and can’t wait to take the test. I love books that teach me something and this is an area that I need to learn more about, not only others, but mostly about myself. Thanks Michael for the post.

  • Tim Melton

    I am the associate pastor of an English-speaking, international Baptist church in Madrid, Spain. We have averaged 450 in Sunday attendance since last January. The congregation is made up of people from all over the world with varying occupations, economic levels, and spiritual backgrounds. On any given Sunday a business man from Brazil may sit next to a nanny from the Philippines, next to the Nigerian ambassador, next to a Romanian who is unemployed. We have 1 full time pastor and one part-time. The senior pastor is also a seminary professor. I am the one who is full-time. We love it this way in that the youth, children’s, music, and other ministries are done by those in the congregation.  It removes us from financial pressure and returns ministry to the people. The struggle is finding peoples giftings, recruiting, and training. The church is growing and we just have to get better at making the most of the people and the strengths of the S.H.A.P.E. that God has given them. If this books help us to that end we would be that much more prepared to be and do whom God has created us to be and to do.

  • Momarian

    Standout would be a great resource of focus as I transition from : workforce management for 14 years, stay at home mom for 18 years, back to the workforce in a troubled economy. As I try to distinguish God’s purpose for the next chapter of my life, I realize my strengths are His gift for me to use to glorify Him.  
    With time comes a keener realization that my actions are recorded  by my tribe of 5 children. They might, or not, do as I do, as much as the watching is a base for how they perceive their choices in the future.

  • Dennishafley

    I really benefited from the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell.  In it, he talks about three roles, connector, maven, and salesman.  It really helped me to understand that I was a connector and to ‘lean in’ to that role in order to be more effective.  From your description, it sounds like Marcus takes this concept to a whole other level.  I expect the book to also take me to the next level.

  • Michael McClendon

    Just from viewing the video and the comments on the book StandOut, I feel this book would help me in the position of educational training for our leaders at church. To help them and myself to know our strengths to be able to meet the needs of the people and the church. For to many leader waste time in area that are not their strengths and adding nothing to their professional and personal growth.

  • rachel

    can never get enough of marcus!!!! such amazing research and insight!!!! :) 

  • http://bahava.wordpress.com Katy

    Sounds like an awesome book–I loved StrengthsFinder and found it so intriguing.  I definitely think this would help add on to that as well as be a way for my team to connect.  I lead the Children’s Ministry team and I know that often on Sundays the day flies so it would be something fun outside of it to take time to go over and make sure that we are all using our strengths and coming together as a great team. I know God definitely has awesome things in store for this team and I’m excited about looking into this book regardless!

  • Casiday

    I have been a big fan of Marcus Buckingham since I read his first book.  His new book seems to be a wonderful leap in his philosophies that will help everyone who is in a leadership position to not only find their strengths so they can capitalize on them, but give them the tools to help those they work with to find and build on their strengths.  I have known for a long time that I should play to my strengths.  The problem that I – and others – face is that I am forced to guess what my strengths are.  Sometimes the expectations placed on leaders makes them think they are playing to their strengths, when in reality they are playing to a mid-level skill – or worse, a low-level skill.  As a pastor, I do plan to use this book to assist myself and the other members of the leadership body at my church.

  • http://www.balancingmylifeintechnology.com Abby Butts

    I think everyone on my team is on the right bus, but some of them are in the wrong seats.  It would be helpful to get some insights on how to play up our strengths to make sure everyone is in the right seat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1493080334 Colin Haas

    This is would be very beneficial for where I work.  We have big groups as a whole but break down into smaller departments.  My department head and myself have talked about setting something up to invest in each other during the work week.  Kind of like a devotional time you would have at church.  Definitely would be a book to use to start this out or even within the leadership group I am in at church too.

  • Anonymous

    I purchased and took the StrengthFinder assesment. It turns out that I am an
    Achiever on a team full of Achievers! I think this book would definitely be
    helpful in better leveraging everyones unique tallents and create more teamwork
    rather than competition.

  • Ryan Jenkins

    Marcus Buckingham changed my life when he wrote “Now, Discover Your Strengths”!  I understand the power of strengths and how honing those will make all the difference in my business.  Gaining further clarity and constantly revisiting your strengths is  an important step in personal development and confidence – I have no doubt StandOut will help me achieve that to a higher degree!
    Stoked to sharpen my edge!

  • CyndaP

    I am not currently part of a team.  In my two-person office there’s the boss and the worker bee.  I am that worker bee; it’s a role that suits me now, but not in the future.  I think this book will help me as I discover where I fit and where I can best contribute.  By the way, I’m not young, I’m just new to the workforce after staying at home with my children.  :-)

  • Charlene

    I really enjoyed the Trombone player and Strength finder by Marcus and so I would love to explore this option to use with my team. 

  • Anonymous

    Hi, Michael

    This sounds like an interesting and potentially very valuable addition to the Strengths series.

    I see two valuable concepts in your overview of Buckingham’s work:

    1)  Focus on the top two strengths.   In my earlier work with StrengthsFinder, I was trying to juggle more strengths and leverage them all.

    2)  Explaining the relationship  between the two combinations.  As I recall, earlier works focused more on each individual strength, but the awareness of how two strengths, especially your top two, work together is a real “force multiplier”.

    This book just went on my “Read It, Stupid” list:)


  • Bjw618

    on my strengths was something that one of my mentors challenged me to
    start doing back in January. I could benefit from having those defined
    even more clearly. I have also started (within the past month) started
    working with a team, as I have started a new position. It would be great
    to help them identify and work on their strengths so we could work even
    better together!

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive Joseph Sanchez

    Wow. Is it just me or has this blog really exploded over the past few months? I can’t believe how many more comments there are in comparison to past blog posts. Neat!

  • TValle

    I think reading this book will help find my best fit in our ministry team based on my strengths! Can’t want to read it!

  • http://about.me/colinmichael Colin Michael

    Although my “team” is just my son and I, we have to constantly assess our relative strengths and make sure that the right person is doing each task. Both DiSC and MBTI have helped us to get unbiased insights, some of them surprising (e.g. he is more wired toward people skills and leadership than his old man.)  And DiSC especially is helping me to understand how to communicate effectively with him so that “division of labor” is very clear. The more insight we have on each other, the more effective we can be in delighting our customers.

  • http://mysimpleinspiration.com Christopher Jones

    I saw Marcus at a training conference back in 1998 in Chicago. He was introducing his new book “First Break all the Rules”. I have been a fan ever since. Like you “Now, Discover your Strengths” completely changed the way I look at where I spend my time. I simply don’t worry about weaknesses and have been developing my strengths ever since.

    Yet another refinement of understanding strengths is a great way to center my focus.

  • Kevin

    Focus on the positive always seem to empower more than refining the negatives

  • Kati M.

    Definitely something I will look into (even without one of the free 100 *smiles*) I think it will help me understand how to further my career. 

  • Kim

    We have been using Strenthsfinder for about 8 years in our office.  Everyone takes the test during the hiring process.  It has been extremely useful in understanding staff’s natural strengths (we use in conjection with the Kolbe Index). Strengthsfinder tells you what to focus on and Kolbe tells you how to take action.  Can’t wait to read the new book!

  • Kris

    There’s a lot of buzz around this book. I’m excited to read it, since I’ve been so influenced by Buckingham’s other works.

  • Steven Ibbotson

    Obviously it would help an organization to have individuals with a variety of the skill sets, not 9 advisors or influencers, but no pioneers or teachers.

  • Glenn Lawless

    “My fully-exploited strengths were of far greater value to our organization than my marginally-improved weaknesses.”  – I read this on a post shared by you..it got me thinking “what if every team shared their “Edge”?” with each other? I’ve never read Buckingham and this might be a great opportunity.

  • Wendy D.

    Love Now Discover Your Strengths and recommend to clients all the time. Looking forward to this book!

  • Alan ‘Brand’ Williamson

    Having read and implemented much of the content of Marcus’ previous books, I’m confident that StandOut will help me and my social enterprise colleagues develop our personal brands.

  • http://twitter.com/mrmerlot Adam Roades

    I’ve enjoyed Buckingham’s books in the past as well as his talk at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit one year. His approach to focusing on your strengths resonates with me as both a worker and a leader. The companies I have worked for subscribe to the traditional approach to “people development” in which you need to excel in every area to succeed in the org. This is often more frustrating than helpful and doesn’t seem to result in a more productive workforce.

  • DLeslie_AZ

    What a great and timely resource!  I am eager to get my copy and complete the assessment.  Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • http://lifeengaged.net Joseph

    I’m young in ministry and at work. It seems like over the past couple of years I have been TRYING to figure out what I’m best at. Am I best at speaking? Am I best at planning events? Am I best at leading others? Some people know exactly what they are best at doing by the age 26. I have to be honest and say that’s not me. Whether I win the book or not it seems like a book that would help me figure out what I’m best at. God is still revealing who I am, to me. I’ve never taken a “strengthfinder” test so it may be something that will do me well. Being able to find my strengths that will help me better serve our youth group as I am a youth leader at my church. I also am working to get in to leadership with the company I work for. Knowing my strengths will allow me to better others in everything I do. 

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the book Michael.

  • Eric Oleson

    I’m glad to see another tool being published that will help people discover their strengths.  I’m particularly interested in the distinction between strengths and roles.  As a pastor, I have used strengthsfinder and other assessments for myself and my leaders.  Standout sounds like an invaluable tool for my role as assessment director for church planters .  Marcus is great to read, watching him on the Oprah show in iTunes was even better.   Looking forward to this.

  • Karin Holmgren

    Thank you so much for sharing this book. We also use Strengthsfinder in our office, and the positive focus has made a difference in our daily work. We have a white board in our shared space that lists each employee’s name (including the CEO and Founder) and their strengths (there are 8 of us!). We are looking forward to taking the new test, too! 

  • Samantha kondratowicz

    Can’t wait to see where my strengths are and how to use them.

  • Anonymous

    I purchased and took the StrengthFinder assesment. It turns out that I am an
    Achiever on a team full of Achievers! I think this book would definitely be
    helpful in better leveraging everyones unique tallents and create more teamwork
    rather than competition.

  • http://virtualeventsuccess.com Leesa Barnes

    I have to admit – I’m a bit wary of tests that aim to put me in a box with a pink ribbon on top. Every test tends to say the same thing about me. On the one hand, this shows that these personality and skills test actually work. On the other, it feels like a sense of conformity to me.

    While I may not like these type of tests, I know it does wonders for understanding the people on your team. And because I operate an association where I certify individuals in a certain skill, I’m anxious to learn what makes each individual tick and how I can make them the best they can be.

    For example, if one person is not pulling their weight on a particular task, is it because they’re lazy? Or, is it because they’re an implementer deguised as a Provider? And how does my style help or hinder each person on my team? 

    Leadership is not a word, it’s a responsibility. And I aim to use the right tools so I can effectively lead my team.

  • Nick

    This sounds like a great resource for our staff team. We currently use a spiritual gifts finder, DiSC personality profile, and your life development plan for staff development. This book would be a great resource to add to this process!

  • Flores251

    Great opportunity to move my team to next level.

  • http://www.shespeaks.com Carol M

    We are a small company on the edge of explosive growth, trying to figure out how to achieve scale.  We’re implementing “process” in a scrappy group, and need help figure out our best structure to achieve great results and grow our people.  Thanks for the opportunity!  

  • Mike Tucker81

    Love marcus Buckingham’s works. Have read his stuff for several years now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    I find it very challenging to focus on my strengths and not get bogged down in attempts to fix my weaknesses. I struggle with the temptation to try to go in all directions at once. After reading this review, I think the self-assessment might help me see which role is the real me. Maybe that knowledge  would help me to put more energy into more productive projects. I know I need to do a lot of things if I want success as a writer, but maybe there is a more effective way to focus myself than treating all tasks as if they are equally urgent.

  • SMArnold

    I gleaned so much insight when I read StrengthsFinder, and I believe this new book could help me better navigate my career path while I’m still in my early 30’s.  Plus this would be an excellent book for our development team as we get ready to navigate into a new capital campaign.

  • http://stevegagne.wordpress.com/ Steve Gagne

    I took the Strength Finder test while in college; and it was very beneficial. Now, I am in the beginning stages of leading a new church plant, and we are praying about those who will a part of the team used to establish the church.

    This would be an awesome tool to help build a team that is balanced and well equipped to tackle the task ahead of us!

  • Bill

    Thank you Michael for fresh ideas, introductions to inovative thinkers, and your devotion to excellence.

    I started a new company nearly 2 years ago. Having sales, management, and production experience is not enough to succeed in today’s market. We need to continually evaluate, assess, and improve our strengths in order to help those in our organization fulfill their calling in God.

    My family and friends gained much from my studying Strengths Finder. From your recommendation of StandOut, not only will I benefit but my team will excell as we focus on utilizing our strengths, evaluating how we fit into the team, and how best to position ourselves for the upcoming season.

    (Quite honestly, should I be so fortunate as to get a copy from you, it will probably go to my one of my team. This sounds like a must read.)

    Thanks again.

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    My organization is going through a lot of changes, and not all of them are being communicated to us. This book could help me understand my strengths better and lead my team this this change.

    I once worked for a company that claimed to be a “Strengths Based Organization”. On my first day, they gave me a copy of “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and had  me read it, take the test, and submit the results. Then they stuck me in roles that were more in line with my weaknesses. I started to believe the “Strength Based Organization” thing was a gimmick, or like that character in “The Princess Bride”, they kept using the words but didn’t know what they mean.

  • http://www.facebook.com/audrey.l.godwin Audrey L Godwin

    Great review of the book.  I loved Strengthfinders and have my 15 year old discovering his strengths.  This sounds like the next step in my personal development for leading my company, my team and serving my clients well.  And of course, a great tool for my kids to help them develop their inner leader without it being a “Mom” thing.  :)  Looking forward to devouring this book! 

    Thank you. I always appreciate your insights.

  • http://www.reachinghurtingwomen.com/ Tamara

    Always looking for ways to improve myself, you came through with something great yet again! Thanks for sharing.

  • Crg

    I’m about to take on the task of trying to revitalize a declining church, need all the leadership help I can get and this book sounds like a tool I could use to capitalize on developing the potential leaders I’ll soon be working with.

    Thanks for all your great recommendatios and all the wisdom you continually share with your readers.

  • Scott Tydeman


  • Travislathrop.wordpress.com

    Excited about this book!
    Strengths is where it all starts….if only we could get more parents, teachers and companies to realize this!

  • Joe Lalonde

    I’m excited to get this book and see where my strengths may lie. Right now it feels like I am floundering trying to find what I’m meant to do and how to get there. I hope this book will help me with that.

  • TheHyperOne

    Awesome post. I was fortunate enough to take the StrengthFinder at work as my company worked with Gallup. I wasn’t aware of the new book. Sounds intruiging.

    • Joe Lalonde

      It definitely looks good. The promo from the author has gotten me pumped about it!

  • JHyatt

    As a young (mid-twenties) public speaker and director of a nationally replicated youth prevention program, I am constantly looking for resources to help me better lead my team and more effectively reach today’s youth.  This book would help me better hone in on my strengths as an influencer (have already taken Strengths Finder), discover my unique style of leading and equip me to build effective practices now that will build a solid foundation for my career.  

  • Anonymous

    Perfect timing! This year I read Now, Discover Your Strengths and completed my strengths
    assessment (Strategic, Woo, Communication, Ideation, Input), then I bought the Gallup books (StrengthsFinder 2.0, How Full is Your Bucket? and Strengths-based Leadership) for my staff and brought in a trainer/facilitator for a half-day exercise, assessing our strengths and learning how to leverage the strengths of others. 

    I’m on the cusp of a major career transition, changing roles and (possibly) direction. It would be great to target my search based on consideration where/how I will have the most impact. 

  • Flores251

    This will help move my tea to the next level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.janine Andy Janine Mason

    Ive greatly benefited from Strength Finder so can’t wait to get a copy of this book. Thanks!

  • Jeff

    Anytime I can hone in further on my strenghths and gifts always will make me stronger in leading. As well help me to identify the key roles I need to huge to fill my weaknesses.

  • Nancy

    Identifying strengths is important for leaders and team members both. Having a tool that will assist in  identifying strengths provides quicker access to that information. Helping others develop in the areas in which they are strongest encourages them and provides them with more opportunities for success than trying to work on weaknesses. Having success in an area in which one is strong can also translate into making lasting improvements in weaker areas as well.

  • Jennifer Raushel

    I’ d love a copy! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Suzanna-Mayo/100001310982206 Suzanna Mayo

    It appears you have aligned with wisdom traditions such as ennegram archtypes, the medicine wheel and biblical gifts of the Spirit to deliver a practical path for success.   While some will pick up the book out of the desperation to discover the secret of  “getting ahead” in a topsy-turvy economic world,  they will be deeply touched and empowered in a surprising way. 
     By  capitalizing on our deep need to be contributers, Stand Out  leads people to embrace their uniquely positive  attributes as part of a larger design.  There is suddenly “breathing room”  and practical steps to  implementing true identity into their everyday lives.   You effectively  replace a reactive, fear- based” competetive model  with a healthy self-worth, interdependency model.  Thank you for piercing the  “self help” market with something that will actually help people! 

  • Tmo

    This sounds like an amazing tool to be able to finally evaluate yourself and find your strengths and weaknesses which may or may not have been already known and build on these.  I believe we often get stuck in a rut or categorize ourselves, especially in the work place, and  often times hard to move past being labeled.  I would enjoy having these tools to use to help build a better workplace in my world.

  • Travislathrop.wordpress.com

    I read about this offer on your twitter feed. Excited about the book. If only more parents, teachers and companies would focus on improving strengths instead of weaknesses…

  • http://www.wmarkthompson.com W. Mark Thompson

    Looking forward to this book!!

    I believe this is a great tool to help hone my strengths and help me become a better leader. Leadership is where the health of the business and team starts. To strengthen our leadership is to help strengthen our business. Would love to check the report and dive deeper into those nine roles.


  • Vony Ackley

    I really appreciate any tool that helps me identify my unique strengths, especially when practical applications are included! I’m 52 years young (I finally realized how young I was when I turned 50!) and am so excited for the 2nd half of my life. I desire to impact people positively and have put all my focus on that. Please consider me for the free book giveaway of ‘StandOut’.
    Thank you Michael and Marcus,
    Vony Ackley

  • pchu

    I have taken the Strengthsfinder test and am interested in learning more about how my strengths can be put to better use. Thanks for sharing this!

  • kim arnold

    I am a 46 year old stay-at-home mom that just finished homeschooling her 18 year old twin daughters after 11 years.  I have been in much prayer about the next step that God wants me to take, whether it is full-time volunteering, getting a job, etc.  I don’t want to just do something for the sake of doing but want to be intentional and use the gifts that God has given to me for His purpose.  I am excited about reading this book to see what grand adventure God has in store for me as I enter this second phase of my life!

  • Dan

    Michael, thanks for the review.  I am interested in findingout where I am on the self assessment tool.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken an assessment such as this.  After a recent job change in June, I’m due to see if there is a better way of doing what I am truely enjoying now.  Thanks again.  I look forward to your daily post

  • Dan

    At Elim Gospel Church, we are always looking to help our staff exert the most positive influence on each other, and on the volunteer leaders that make our church run. We have spent the last 6 months or so working on developing a new “Ministry Partner” department within the church for the sole purpose of recruiting, resourcing, and reproducing volunteers. The material presented in this book would be extremely beneficial to us as we establish our method of plugging people into an area of strength, but also teaching them how to use their God given abilities to mobilize those that they influence. Thanks for sharing this book!!

  • Suzanneburden

    Yes, thanks for sharing on this. At 38 years of age, I am currently straddling between ministry (a pastoral church internship for my seminary degree) and contract writing/consulting for Christian publishers and nonprofits. This book sounds like a great tool in helping me assess my biggest areas of compentency, helping me with direction as I move forward. Would love to read it!

  • pchu

    (Sorry, I forgot the answer the question.)
    I will encourage my work team to read this book so that we can learn to work better together. I would be interested in learning more about how to develop my group personally and professionally and push at boundaries, without pushing the wrong ones (the “un-strengths”).
    Thanks again for sharing this!

  • http://barrypearman.blogspot.com/ Barry Pearman

    I too am a fan of Strengths. I found it quite revolutionary both personally and for the team I had. We all too often get distracted by our weaknesses and make them a focal point shifting us from what we were always designed and shaped to gift to be the world. Looking forward to reading this. 
    I am in a stage of transition from working as a Pastor in a Church for people with Major Mental Illnesses to being a writer/ soul carer to those with mental illnesses. Plenty of challenges that Standout might help me address.  

  • Jim Elrod

    I am a huge supporter of the Clifton Strength Finder and the work of individuals like Marcus Buckingham.  It is so easy for me to say this, because frankly it has revolutionized my life.  Knowing how I am made and knowing the talents that God has given me has allowed me to serve smarter and love deeper.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/lochuuho Loc Huu Ho

    Love reading your material! And surprisingly my first comment on a blog…

    So from being involved with various organizational and project teams, I’ve gone through other self-assessment tests that have indicated what my strengths and weaknesses are at the time. After completing such tests, and realizing what my weaknesses were, I would usually try to throw myself into improving those weaknesses as I’ve always been taught in school and life that I should strive to be well-rounded. However, in most cases it would take a lot of time and energy to achieve those (sometimes unrealistic) goals because heck in most cases I didn’t have any interest in those areas.  
    After reading this post though, I’m reconsidering how to approach my personal development by focusing on the areas that I’m more passionate and ‘naturally’ strong at rather than my weaknesses and going for the average guy. So I think the book StandOut would be able to better guide me in my switch in mindset, and to help with identifying and realizing what I could do with my strengths to better myself and the people around me.

    Also, after I would finish reading the StandOut, I would love to share this with the leaders on my dragon boat team and the non-profit organization that I”m apart of. I think that the  knowledge of understanding oneself and others would help create more effective and better role models in our society. It could also help with deciding how to empower others to be leaders as well.

  • Summer

    Marcus Buckingham is a fantastic writer with incredibly useful info.  Thanks for posting about his new book – what a great resource for people like me who are searching for their niche! 

    Thanks Michael for your blog – it’s chock-full of great advice I keep sharing w/ my husband.  I hope we cross paths sometime!

  • Steven Barnes

    By only knowing our best strengths and being able to sue these tactically will I be able to successfully help do what GOD has in plan for me. By learning this and showing others how to it will make me a better leader of all. Most importantly pleasing God helping other people.
    Steven Barnes

  • Jon W

    I am a young guy journeying with a downtown church in Guelph, ON, Canada. 

    I have had the opportunity to hear Marcus speak on two occasions.  His strengths based leadership movement is great stuff that can help infuse laser focused perspective on oneself and one’s role in a team.  

    I would love to allow Buckingham to speak into my leadership through the pages of his new book.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentTrickett BrentTrickett

    This will help our team figure out where to go after the strengthsfinder test. We know our strengths but have a hard time fitting them in to our daily work. In a non profit working with volunteers many of our staff are just doing the things they think they need to do rather than the things that will energize. Thanks for sharing this post!

  • Mike B

    Just subsribed to your email updates. Feeling kinda like a kid in a candy store! I’m fairly new to “management”. My whole understanding of leadership is mushrooming. I have a lot to learn and am excited to grab ahold of some of the resources you endorse. Thanks!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1318834879 Dennis Preston

    There’s just something about gaining self-understanding that is encouraging and empowering. I’m in sales (though an introvert), have taken the Strengths Assessment, and attended  a corporate seminar put on by the folks at Gallup who integrate the Strengthsfinder into sales, which was helpful. Though I could not define it before, there seemed to be a gap between knowing one’s Strengths and how to apply those in a specific role. For instance, the top salesperson and I had similar strengths, but had (unofficially) different roles within the company, as far as leading change in the organization and mentoring other salespeople.  So I think this book would be very helpful in bridging the gap between how to apply our Strengths and our work.
    I also think of leading a team where there are many different functions to be filled. Knowing folks’ roles would be hugely important in alleviating the “fitting the square peg into the round hole” syndrome more often than not. When people feel a “fit,” they enjoy what they are doing more often, are more energized/less stressed, and create a positive atmosphere that is contagious.
    Overall, this approach, like StrengthsFinder, focuses you on the inside first in determining how you work best, rather than finding just the right job “out there,” which often leads to frustration because doing so doesn’t address how you are specifically wired. I can see this approach leading to more fulfilled employees and team workplace experiences.

  • President

    I am the chapter president for the Washington american massage therapy association. I think my group of leaders would love to know what each of our strengths are. We have an amazing group of volunteers, and leadership tries to offer opportunities for personal growth whenever we get together for our trainings, this looks like it would be amazing for us! I want to read it today! I might even be able to use this at our upcoming leadership retreat the first of October. This looks like a great fit for our association, I will share this with the other presidents when I see them in October.

  • Adawson

    Is this a systemic issue too?  

    I.e., if much of today’s stress in the professional world is due to our jobs defining our “strengths”, rather than our strengths defining our jobs, then I wonder if Buckingham’s strengths assessment tools wouldn’t be MOST effective in the lives of ADOLESCENTS?  Countless pressures shape our teens’ ideas of “success” and “vocation” (often with very little consideration for their “strengths” as Buckingham defines them), resulting in haphazard and arbitrary life-decisions.  Is it their fault, or is the system negligent?Let’s set our society up for success by setting out young up to be fulfilled in their work!

  • Garrett Bonnette

    I am very excited about this book. I work for a non-profit and we are in the process of assessing our team so that we can begin adding additional team members. This book would be valuable to find out how we can best move forward in the future!

  • Missyandmusic

    Our church staff  is currently reading “Sticky Teams” as a group to strengthen us as a team.  This new book, “Stand Out” sounds like a great follow up, focusing on our individual strengths and how to best utilize them in a team setting.  I’m excited to give it a read.  Thanks for the review! 

  • Ray

    Standout is an excellent tool that is concise and applicable. I would like to incorporate Standout in my coaching practice.

  • http://justmerach.wordpress.com/ justmerach

    This book sounds great – I’m fascinated by this idea.   Having battled against my own weaknesses for a
    decade, I have been toying with the idea that it is a more efficient use of
    resources to focus on my strengths.  What
    I lack currently is clarity around a plan of execution.


    Initially, I would like to use this book in transforming my own
    priorities to remember to focus on those areas where I am strongest.  I believe strongly that with this focus, the
    value I add individually can be maximized. 


    Secondly I believe my personal learning would have a spill-over
    influence to my team, especially given another test I did that labeled me as
    the “Counselor” type.  My style currently is to be on the
    lookout for opportunities for targeted, appropriate and sensitively private counseling
    – one step at a time – where that is welcomed by my co-workers.


    Finally, as I gain more leadership responsibility, I expect this concept
    to be a foundational boost to a team organization: this is the core concept
    that enables a team to be greater than the sum of its parts.  Having a team of diverse strengths means we
    can cover each others backs by cancelling out our individual weaknesses, while
    displaying the excellence and dependability of having true – dependable, honorable,
    respectable – experts in every direction.

  • http://twitter.com/jaredcoe Jared Coe

    As a pastor a church in rural Colorado we are going through some transition right now.  As we look at our roles and responsibilities I think understanding this would help us focus in on what we should spend our time and attention on as well as what we need to seek help on.  Personally for me, these tests have opened my eyes to the blind spots in my life that I would just like to ignore, but shouldn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry nmabry

    I’ll answer the question with a question: does Buckingham address different strengths of leadership within different arenas?  I’ve enjoyed Marcus’s other books and am looking forward to reading this release.  I’m hoping to be challenged in leadership across different arenas including professional, spiritual/church, and personal/family.  

  • sld

    Ways in which we can leverage human resources within our institution will improve morale, increase productivity, and create a sense of community.  After reading ‘Strengths Quest,’ I have a heightened awareness of my teams’ abilities, as well as my own.  I’m looking forward to building on that knowledge by reading your new book.

  • Kendal

    I’ve been a Marcus Buckingham fan since ‘Now, Discover Your Strengths’ first came out; I love the positive, forward-looking approach. We have taken many of our leaders and ministry team members through it. I can’t wait to pore over his latest learning!

  • Randy

    I have used the Strengthfinders assessment with my team, and this book would be a great followup. I lead a team that is spread out over several countries, and we only meet together about 3 times a year. This book would help our team understand each other better and also how to maximize the God-given strengths of each person.  

  • Patty

    I am the President of the Ventura County Leadership Academy. We are always looking for leadership material to present to our cohort. Our first 2011-2012 session is this Friday in Oxnard, Ca.  Thank you for this opportunity!

  • Evan Heckert

    Michael, thank you for this update!  I’ve had his test recommended to me multiple times, but your post has convinced me to take the plunge here in the new future.  I would love the opportunity to be one of the 100 winners, but I’m not just looking for a handout – I’ll go buy the book either way, and if I do win my wife will get the other one :)  

    Thanks again for what you do!

  • http://pastoralized.com Eric McKiddie

    I read StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Strengths Based Leadership, and both books helped me in my role as a pastor. As an introvert, I have felt shorthanded in my ability to shepherd people, particularly in personal discipleship and visitation. These books taught me how to put my strengths to work in these non-negotiable aspects of pastoral ministry. I look forward to discovering these new insights from Buckingham to get even stronger in those areas.

  • Michael

    Michael – not sure if you will get to this or not, but I was not going to post, because of this one sentence you had about receiving this book . . . “If you don’t hear from me, you can assume you didn’t make the cut.”  I read that and felt, even at the age of 52, I don’t want to get knocked down any more than I already have in life.  I’m a pastor, and as a leader am always open to scrutiny and criticism.  Having endured the pain of a rough upbringing, I’m free in Christ, but thinking that even at the age of 52, I still wonder if I can “make the cut” seemed to be counter productive for my own spirit and heart.  Yet, in speaking with a friend, I thought I need to send this to you, and whatever you do with it, is up to you.  This is not meant as a criticism, but meant to show the fragile nature of the heart.  I do appreciate your blog and words of wisdom.  Blessings,  Michael

  • http://twitter.com/lisareid Lisa Reid

    The StrengthsFinder 2.0 book was literally life changing for me. I read it while between jobs, and due to finding my strengths, I applied for my current job, which plays directly into those strengths. My past jobs were misaligned with my strengths, which explains a lot to me about why things often didn’t work out as well as I would have liked. (Yes, I know Mr. Buckingham wasn’t involved with that book, but I also know his prior work laid the foundation for that book to be written.)

    This book sounds amazing — a way to learn more about how to take advantage of my unique gifts in my workplace. I’d love to read it!

  • K Fitzgerald

    I’m so glad I saw this post!  I’m a huge strenthsfinder fan (although I thought that was by Tom Rath? Marcus Buckingham wrote The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success).  Our youth ministry team went through the strengthsfinder assessment this year, and it was so enlightening. It confirmed us in some of our current contributions, and challenged us to pursue growth in our areas of talent. Now we are finding ourselves in the midst of some structural changes in our organization, and I believe the standout assessment would offer us some much-needed guidance as we explore how best to adapt to the changes. On a personal level I credit strengthsfinder with helping me land a job last year, one that is suited to my areas of strength! I would love to discover how I can get the edge as I build my career.

  • http://www.tomegggebrecht.com Tom Eggebrecht

    The two leaders of our team (myself as pastor, and our school principal) have had long tenures in our respective positions. We get along well, and basically move in the same direction. Yet there seems to be some disconnect in terms of creating a TRUE team amongst all of our staff. We have a tough, urban ministry, and we need to be a better team in order to move our ministry forward. This tool would, at the very least, provide a jumping off point for discussion, understanding, and unity. It could be a foundation to ignite some forward momentum. I would love to give it a try. It sounds as though it would be beneficial for everyone individually, as well as for our team as a unit.

  • Raynetta Cage

    What a positive impact on relationships, teamwork, energy levels, and productivity in a person’s business, work, and life if we were to focus on discovering and building each others strengths! 
    By knowing our strengths, me and my (future) team would be able to appreciate and respect the fact that everyone plays an significant role in making the business a success.

  • freda ramey

    Nothin’  fancy to say. Just want a book. Will say more after I read it. In fact, if I like it, I’ll say a lot to a lot of people!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1616855621 Jannice C R Rondon

    It would save time in trying to figure out how we can do things better; relieve frustrations/misunderstandings in doing what we need to do; and overall improve the quality of our relationships with each other, and the tasks that we are trying to accomplish together.

  • http://www.clemensrettich.com Clemens Rettich

    Thank you for this article. I have been following Buckingham’s work since ‘First Break All the Rules’. He has deeply informed my thinking both in terms of how I choose to develop my own career, and how I support my clients in strengthening their teams.

  • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

    One of the most popular attended sessions at the STC Summit for the past few years has been a presentation on using Myers-Briggs Type Indicator scores for effective team building. I get a lot from these tests. That’s why I was so surprised when a former company received so much push back when they wanted to introduce DISC.

    In my life I’ve gone through MBTI, True Colors, DISC, and Berkman. Each has given me something to streamline my role choices. I’m looking forward to completing the Mark Gungor Flag Page with our family next.

  • J Suisted

    I’m a Youth Pastor and a Youth Worker in a growing Youth Community, in a nice wee town in the middle of NZ. I often find myself trying to be a jack-of-all-trades leader, and that’s taken it’s toll on me as our Youth Community has grown over the past 5 years.
    I’d love to find out how to function better out of my strengths, and make me more effective in my Youth Work, and also be able to use this to empower others – volunteer leaders and youth – to live more fully as they were created to.

  • http://twitter.com/ronrobison ronrobison

    Fantastic, I look forward to reading the next book by Marcus. All have been influential in how I view leadership and communication.

  • http://twitter.com/sberb00 Steve Erb

    This would be a great resource for myself and my team as we look toward creating the culture where people use their strengths and create new and better solutions.

  • Kevin

    I’ve been struggling with my purpose and passion a lot the last few years and wanting to transition into a different vocation; but I don’t know exactly what that is yet. I’m hoping this book can give me some clarity and fresh insight. 

  • http://www.ivfaithatwork.com Scott Schimmel

    I’m really looking forward to reading this- I’ve read all of his stuff and loved it, and I use Strengths Finder 2.0 as the primary assessment tool to help college students think through their calling. Thanks for the review, Michael.

  • Rabrooks1

    I’d be very grateful to get a copy of Marcus’ new book. I’ve read a number of his earlier works including High Performaing Teamas as well as the Strengths finder. We make our home runs because 0f our strengths, as our weaknesses never get us there even with work.

    I want to sharpen my edge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MelissaMashburnMelsWorld Melissa Scarbrough Mashburn

    I am a HUGE fan of Marcus Buckingham and have been challenged and inspired by many of his books. I love digging a little deeper to see how I can use my strengths and gifts to better any team that I am on…as well as sharing them with my teams (at church, in my ministry or even within my family) to see how each of us fit into the puzzle. This looks like yet another incredible Marcus Buckingham success! I can’t wait!

  • http://twitter.com/joshlwood Josh Wood

    As a 22 year old church worship leader, knowing more of who God created me to be will help me draw closer to the God whose image I am crafted in. It empowers me as a leader, to be aware of my strengths in a new level (beyond what StrengthsFinder 2.0 did) so that I can lead most effectively. I believe that the more that I invest in myself, the more resources and tools I will have to invest into the team I have been entrusted to lead. 

  • Katherine Hyde

    I work with a small team for a nonprofit. We all have to wear many hats and take on more work than we can realistically accomplish. If we could all focus on our real strengths, instead of just our job descriptions, perhaps we could redistribute some tasks and all be more productive—and more satisfied in our work.

  • http://twitter.com/CurtTrotter Curt Trotter

    Strengthsfinder is a fantastic tool for understanding yourself and the way you are wired, especially when working within a team.  I’m anxious to see how MB expands on the concepts in Stand Out.  This is one that I’m sure our team will be reading in the very near future.

  • Jgordon

    We are reorganizing our team due to a vacancy. The book may help us reorganize by focusing on our strengths

  • CoachTamiD

    Following Marcus for years, I use his research to remind and further energize my team that we do use our strengths both in and out of the workplace.  Love to share and use his tool in my coaching with Leadership Education And Development.
    tami damian

  • Wfbsparky Wayne

    Hi there. The ways that a read like this can help me and my team is in our efforts to build a mi inistry up from a small group of a dozen people into a life giving church.  My wife was called over two years ago to the senior pastorate of this church in Scappoose Oregon that was started around 50 years ago and has gotten down to these few who realize it is time to do or die. About a year after we started there, I was a painting contractor, working on a job in Olympia Washington and fell off a roof and have become paraplegic and need to find something to do so that I won’t have to rely on Medicare and Social Security for the rest of my life.  So as you can probably deduce, this read would certainly help in both of the aforementioned circumstances.  Thank you for your time and God bless.

  • http://twitter.com/slimjustice Justin Blass

    In my community we strive to develop strengths based leaders. As an aging twenty something, I am troubled to see how many friends shut the door on believing they have value or talent which can be developed in life changing skills. Far too often I am prone to just ask the willing to take on any role, as opposed to helping them create the roles that best utlise their ability.

    The ability to help empower people to see where they can lead makes all the difference, I am encouraged by those developing tools for people to find the “right place on the bus. ” This tool could continue to help my team ask the question what do I have to give? And then maybe they can push past all the resistance that is keeping them from giving it.

  • George Lebeau Sr

    Teams are largely built on roles and chemistry.  In order to achieve this mix, one must first know each of the players and their roles (do othey belong on this team?).  This book seems that it would provide this essential information in forming a great team.  It certainly provides a great first step.  The chemistry is much easier to determine.  Getting the right people in the right place is much more difficult.

  • Gail M

    I loved StrengthFinders and now cannot wait to get this book and work it through with my team. I have always been fascinated by these kind of diagnostic tools, but have by far found Strengthfinders to be one of the most useful to really dig deep. 

  • John Loppnow

    As a pastor of Marriage & Family this would be very helpful to make me and the ministry more effective.

  • Pat Callahan

    I found StrengthsFinder to be one of the most enlightening “tests” I have ever taken. As a result of what I learned from my StrengthsFinder results, I am in the process of retooling my career into a new (yet related) direction.

    I would look forward to continue to improving the way I approach my work and life by reading STANDOUT.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Tammy

    Can you imagine tapping into each of your team member’s strengths so that each person is contributing and reaching their full potential? Sounds like the making of a winning team. StandOut sounds like a great asset for individuals and teams alike.

  • Mike

    Wow, this book sounds like something I need desperately right now!  I have a great job as a technology coordinator in a K -12 school district.  I have a lot of respect from my colleagues, but I am burning out day after day because I am not convinced I’m making a significant, lasting impact.  I am looking forward to exploring the resources you highlighted in this blog post.  In my job I am often in the position to lead other teachers, sometimes by example and sometimes through training sessions.  I love the idea of helping them find their strengths to better reach our students.  Thanks for sharing this!

  • Smcdonald

    I have a copy of Marcus Buckingham’s “First, Break All the Rules” on my desk right now, waiting to be read!! This looks like another very helpful book to optimize my leadership abilities!

  • Becky

    I am an educator who trains teachers… and this book seems like it could be brilliant for helping teachers to maximize their strengths and those of their colleagues and students. I would LOVE to read it!

  • Smithp

    I leverage Mr. Buckingham’s tools in my personal and professional life everyday:
    – Strength Finder
    – Putting your Strengths to Work
    – Trombone Player Wanted

    I look forward to applying Standout and finding my edge!

  • Nikki

    I think this would help me and my team by defining our strengths and weaknesses, and giving us some direction for how to proceed with our goals.  Our situation is very complicated in that my husband is a doctor and I work for him, so does our daughter (college age).  I’ve been battling advanced cancer for a very long time and somehow that has been our main goal, keeping me alive.  Our business has suffered terribly, economy hasn’t helped but to say we are barely making it would be a true statement.  However I feel it is my fault (cancer drains money and energy.)  This book could possibly help us in all areas of our lives as we re-group and try to build our business and relationships with each other.

  • NatoNoel

    Thanks Michael – I’ve followed Buckingham & Strengthsfinder through Gallup into his own consultancy, and have really appreciated everything he’s written. This looks like a great addition / supplement / enhancement to the classic Strengthsfinder profile. I’ll be buying it even if I don’t get a copy from your generous offer.

  • http://twitter.com/leocochran Leonard Cochran

    Marcus is always a great read. I’ve had chance to take the Stand Out assessment and it’s great! I can’t wait to read the book.

  • David

    Discovering your strengths reveals your inner motivation and drive! Then the team leader can cooperate with each team members inner motivation rather then continually provide external motivation! Brings the Strengths movement to Sweden!

  • Lcjteacher

    I’ve been using SF for the last 15 years.  I use it for everything – from pre-marriage counseling to hiring an employee.  I’ve used it with a lot of ministry teams.  This new book sounds like something that will add to my favorite resources.

  • Kathy Gayheart

    The original StrengthsFinder was an invaluable asset to our executive team here at Moms In Touch International.  I am very interested in using this new tool to take us the next steps in how to work effectively as a team.

  • http://twitter.com/AngelaBuikema Angela Buikema

    Standout and Strengths Finder could help when coaching our volunteer teams and in evaluating my own leadership style with them.  Also, knowing our entire leadership teams’ strengths can help us better divide and conquer rather than duplicate when we are already spread too thin.

  • Roxywiley

    As the director of Women’s Ministry in our church, this book will first help me to reassess & focus on my own strengths. Then it will help me as I seek to help my leadership team serve in their own strength & gift areas. 

  • Todd F.

    Looking forward to reading this. I believe it would help me pinpoint the strengths of my teachers, which would allow for more effective delivery of instruction to students. It would also help me to identify where I can delegate responsibility and have confidence that the job/task will be done.

  • Mark H

    I lead a young group in the tech team at my church and I believe using this book and the strengths test will help build their confidence and greater self awareness. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/chapswoodard ChaplainGreg Woodard

    My personal experience with StrengthsFinder was revolutionary for me personally. I can see this book being a great tool for helping me understand my teammates in my current role leading the staff in my chapel chaplain job.
    Knowing each others strengths would help us to look past each other’s weakness and help us to affirm what we are all good at.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnEchols John Echols

    This book will help my team by reinforcing ideas that I have been promoting for about 7 years.  I used to work on my weaknesses to achieve what I though was a “balanced life,” yet I always ended up short changed.  I focused on my strengths and looked for others to be a part of a team whose strengths were my weaknesses.

    It was difficult at first, because pride and ego were blinding me.  We all “want’ to be able to do all things, but we can’t.  Looking forward to sharing this book, especially with the young men of Boy Scout Troop 33.

  • Jwarren

    I lead a church staff of about 50 people. We too use Now Discover Your Strengths. This next book would keep the conversation going and grow our leadership development culture.

  • http://twitter.com/mrlanser Mike Lanser

    The team of people I work with is changing.  We’ve lost a few members, have picked up one new one and are on a search for another.  With some new people joining the team, it would be a great way to find out what each of our strengths are and come to a better understanding of how this new team can best work together.

  • http://twitter.com/AnIdolHeart Grant Jenkins

    StrengthsFinder was, and continues to be, a hugely valuable tool in my process of discovering how I’m uniquely wired. I’m eager to read Standout to continue that process for me personally, as well as to help those I lead begin that discovery process for themselves. 

  • Anonymous

    I think I have a tendency to want to be all things. I look at the list of 9 roles presented, and each one seems to speak to me as if that must be my particular strength. I know that this tends to lead me to try to overextend myself in a lot of areas. If I did have a stronger grasp of where my true strengths were, I’m sure I would actually be able to accomplish more than how I am approaching things now (by trying to be all things).

  • http://twitter.com/stellabonita Alexis | 성애

    I could help my team more by being more open to delegation. Because I’m a perfectionist and like things done a certain way, I tend to work on more projects by myself because I know the results live or die with me. But by not delegating, I’m showing an inherent lack of trust in my team. I’ve always lived by the phrase, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” but that isn’t fair to me or my team.

  • Cristina

    Knowing my roles lets me and others know what is the greatest value I bring yo the team. My two top roles are: Creator & Equilizer. I look forward to reading Marcus Buckingham’s new book. I want to become better at “Stand Out” roles. I’ve been a fan for six years or so.

  • pks

    I am a principal at an elementary school. This could be a great resource for staff to work better as a whole,in grade teams and committees. I would love for my parent club to check it out too! Looking forward to reading it!

  • http://twitter.com/kprichardson84 Kent Richardson

    “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and “Go Put Your Strengths to Work” absolutely revolutionized how I viewed my strengths (and weaknesses). Buckingham’s insights have brought clarity and focus to my work as a teacher, musician and leader. I hope “Standout” will help leaders further refine their roles and develop their strengths.

  • Babs

    Wow! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. While I have been peripherally aware of Marcus and First Break All The Rules, I never gave him or it the attention they rightfully deserve. I am looking forward to seeing how I list in terms of the Roles (knowing that there will be some that seem to be at odds with each other) and what to do with them!

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    My husband and I are a leadership team in ministry seeking to impact the church body in strategic ways. We have learned a lot about how we compliment each other and how our strengths support each other’s weaknesses. We’re looking to begin a new ministry soon in a growing church plant. I would love to read the book together as a couple and perhaps as a church staff to see how we best fit together. Sounds like a great resource!

  • S Squared

    We currently work in a Strengths-based environment and are now leading a series with students based on Marcus’s “Trombone Player Wanted” series.  This could be a valuable asset as we move forward in identifying what strengths to truly maximize.

  • http://thepelsers.com Amanda Pelser

    Every book that I’ve read of Marcus’ has been wonderful.  This was looks great too.  I’m finding my place after leaving my job a year ago – now a stay-at-home-mom, homeschooling my young boys, and venturing into self-employment (blogging) to help make ends meet.  I think this book would be a great resource for my current situation.

  • Philip

    I’d like to go through this book to better understand myself as a leader, and also understand how I am perceived by others.  This will hopefully help me better motivate my teams, both at work and at church.
    Thanks Mike!

  • Philip

    I’d like to go through this book to better understand myself as a leader, and also understand how I am perceived by others.  This will hopefully help me better motivate my teams, both at work and at church.Thanks Mike!Philip(posted link on twitter under @_phil_i_am_)

  • Michael Cabelin

    It would be great to learn how to be more valuable at work…

  • Dhidey

    First Break All the Rules–was the beginning of my journey of leading out of my strengths. I have been in my ministry position for over 30 years, but I am not done learning how to lead better, to know myself more and to figure out how to let others use their gifts! I will buy the book, if I don’t win it. I am a big Marcus fan!

  • Connie

    My boss introduced Strengths Finders 2.0 to us about 2 years ago and has been mentoring us ever since in using our strengths and realigning our tasks to best  fit our strengths.  At every semi-annual conference we have with the field, there is a new section about leveraging our strengths company wide.  I love how it has helped me understand why I perform like I do and how to identify people with strengths I do no possess to help me with projects. 

    Due to health issues, I have had to resign from this department and taker a lesser role in the company so I will miss this falls conference where she will be teaching out of the new Standout book.    Because I also had to take a significant pay cut and cost of medical treatment right now, I will probably not be able to purchase the book for myself.  I so want to keep learning and growing so that when my health turns the corner and promotion is possible, I will be prepared and up to speed. 

    Thank you for you consideration.

  • C.J.

    My boss introduced Strengths Finders 2.0 to us about 2 years ago and has
    been mentoring us ever since in using our strengths and realigning our
    tasks to best  fit our strengths.  At every semi-annual conference we
    have with the field, there is a new section about leveraging our
    strengths company wide.  I love how it has helped me understand why I
    perform like I do and how to identify people with strengths I do no
    possess to help me with projects. 

    Due to health issues, I have
    had to resign from this department and taker a lesser role in the
    company so I will miss this falls conference where she will be teaching
    out of the new Standout book.    Because I also had to take a
    significant pay cut and cost of medical treatment right now, I will
    probably not be able to purchase the book for myself.  I so want to keep
    learning and growing so that when my health turns the corner and
    promotion is possible, I will be prepared and up to speed. 

    My top 5 strengths are:  Activator / Belief / Communication / Intellection / Achiever – which drives my Learner, Ideation and Input coworker nuts…but she knows who to come to when she wants something done.  :)

    Thank you for you consideration.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    For me, if this book delivers the goods (assesses our strengths in a practical way), it helps to give focus to my efforts in the publishing world. My team, as shared a few days ago, is fairly small but knowing where I am/we are offers helpful advice on direction and any need for course correction.

    In addition, I will read the book and review it. I’ve posted my reviews with Amazon in the past and will continue this practice for books worthy of mention. You can check out my previous reviews here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3J1CMABLVQEYS/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview).

    Thank you, Michael, for the opportunity to grow through insightful reading.

  • http://twitter.com/andrea_zak Andrea Zak

    Looking forward to the new book.  The older I get the more I realize that my earning potential is tied to my unique strengths.  Focusing on being well-rounded will make a great generalist and average employee, but focusing on my strengths gives me the opportunity to be an impactful change agent.

  • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

    I am a researcher in Positive Psychology and strength finder was a great success for my team. I think that this book will be a win for any team.


  • http://www.davidfmckee.com David McKee

    I do enjoy self-assessments – maybe too much, sometimes.  But I, also, read Now, Discover Your Strengths and took the Strengths Finder test and found both extremely useful.  In fact, I revisit my report often.  So, I’m excited about Marcus’ follow-up and, while I don’t have a team (yet), I can see how this new book (an extension of the first, it seems,  and not a re-packaging) can help me take my strengths and actually use them.  Use them, first, to my advantage, and then to the advantage of others as my success puts me in a position to “exert my most productive leverage.”  Thanks for this opportunity, Michael!

  • Kreka3

    I have been a follower of Marcus Buckingham after watching him on Oprah.  This book would help me to help my team members to work towards their strengths.  It will also give me additional knowledge on how to work with each person in regards to their role and they will get to know me by understanding my role.

  • Eoghan Murphy

    Great review  Michael, it certainly seems like an interesting, enlightening and beneficial book to read.

    As ever keep up the good work.

  • Barbrichards

    In this day and age of beaten down employees where everyone lives in fear of losing their jobs, this book sounds like a great way to give them back some of their self worth.   

  • http://twitter.com/StephHovland Stephenie Hovland

    I’m working with a life coach, nutritionist, doctor, and other “support staff” to try to better myself. This would be a great addition to my team. I’d love to focus on my strengths, because my weaknesses are plenty (and frustrating!)

  • MorrisW

    I work in the banking industry and with all the diverse backgrounds and experience levels of my co-workers we are always trying to change each other or win the other over to “MY” side or “MY” way. This book will really help me as a leader in my company learn how to identify my strengths and then serve others by developing their strengths and not trying to change them. Thank you for this book review. I look forward to reading it so that I can add value to my employer by becoming a better employee by developing my strengths.

  • http://twitter.com/oarolin Oscar

    This will help me to see where my streaghts are at and help my team members know theres too. It would also help us identify people we might consider adding to the team. Looking foward to learn more.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    I first heard Marcus Buckingham speak at a conference  a few years ago after Now, Discover Your Strengths came out.

    I think my team would benefit from this book because we don’t currently use assessments like this and it would go a long way to helping us understands ourselves and how to interact better.

  • KJF

    I have been working in my “Strengths” zone since 2005 after reading “Now Discover Your Strengths”.  It has made all the difference in my journey through life.

  • Paul

    Do our strengths change over time?  Do my roles changes depending upon my environment or workplace or people I work with? How really flexible are these roles? Why the top 2 only? Seems an interesting book, but I do have some questions that need answering.  I do hope this is not a personality- type- box -you- in -type book. Umm. 

  • JC

    I consistently finding myself pulled towards my strengths both at home and work.  Therefore, it is imperative to understand what these strengths are and how to effectively leverage them as a part of a team.  
    I work at a college where I am responsible for the leadership development of 100+ students.  Within this group, I help select and serve as an advisor to the core leadership team.  I believe it is important to have a team that is well balanced with strengths among the group.  Additionally,  a better understanding of the strength roles would help my group build stronger teams that are better to equipped to serve the student body.  Standout will serve as a excellent tool to help engage in a strengths dialogue with the students and develop an outstanding team.  

  • Kelly Kellettconsultant

    I can’t wait to read this book and share it with my Careers In Motion ministry at my church. I have committed to go on a negativity fast…yes…a negativity fast. I’m only putting positive information into my brain and stopping the enemy at once if there is a second of conflict. I’m continuing my education in developing others as well as myself. I’m a motivator, an encourager, and I’m blessed for this.

  • http://krissiwyss.wordpress.com Krissi

    Our team will be helped if I can continue to improve in leadership! I have made the shift from reluctant leader to leader who needs/wants to improve. My husband and I pastor a church that is sort of a hybrid…church plant/multi-site campus. I have much to learn to help others reach their full potential in life.

  • MC

    Looks like this will be very interesting. I love self-evals.

  • Ben Levitan

    I have enjoyed working with strength finders – as has my team and family!

    Looking forward reading the latest thinking

  • http://twitter.com/deandeguara Dean Deguara

    I love the idea of the situational assessment that is included in this book. What better way to assess your team than to give them real decisions to make about real situations. Hoping to get a copy and test drive it by running my team through it. It would be great if everyone was operating at an advantage! Wow…what a concept!

  • Dolly Callahan-Roberts

    I enjoy your blog and this book looks great. I took the strengthsfinder test and found it didn’t tell me much that I didn’t already know. What I want to do now is learn how to work better within the strengths God has given me.

  • Anonymous

    I am sure this book is awesome.  I work full-time for Habitat for Humanity and we had Marcus as one of the presenters at our International Conference this past February.  I loved what he had to say about playing to your strengths.  As a non-profit, we are always understaffed and looking for ways to improve our service. The advice of Marcus is very practical.  His new book and corresponding assessment will certainly help me understand my personality and strengths better so that I can relate more deeply to the volunteers and families I work with daily.

  • Mark

    Our management team is trying to make sure we have the right people in the right seats to help us get out of this normal phase that our company is going through – and that is being too small to be big and too big to be small (a concept from author Doug Tatum).  I’ve done StrengthsFinder myself , but maybe it’s time for our entire team to do something like StandOut. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1260486620 Tracy Roop

    I loved Now, Discover Your Strengths.  Would love to get a copy of this one!

  • Ram RP

    I’d really like to read this book. A test about our strengths and also a follow-up on what roles would suit our strength scoring and also a detailed explanation about roles.
    I’d like to take the test and also learn what’s in store for me through my career and with the help of this book I can certainly take the help and concentrate on my strengths and use them for my growth through my career & also personal life.

    Thank you very much Michael for bringing us such great reads &  helpful information.

    -Ram RP

  • HDFlanagan

    I think this could help me and my team by helping us see where our strengths and weaknesses are and learning to capitalize on our strengths and work together to cover our weaknesses, both professionally and personally.

  • Codie

    I’m a stay-at-home mom which may not sound like much, but I’m determined to develop my children into fully functioning and contributing citizens…for this world and for eternity.  Standout sounds like it could guide me into leveraging my strengths for maximum productivity.  I’m anxious to read it…for myself and for the sake of the next generation.

  • Dlhalvorson

    We are a relatively new team so it would help us to more quickly learn each others edge and become a more productive team.

  • Ike Reighard

    Top notch review and you’ve created a great expectation to read Marcus Buckingham’s newest offering! I would love to help my Team find their “edge” and gain the multiplier effect, so please consider my request!

  • Anita

    It is always interesting and useful to find out more about yourself and what tools are best to use to work better with others.  Back in the day, the Myers Briggs shed light on personality, then knowing what generation you were born in helped you identify your perspective; now we can learn more about our strength roles.  Putting all this together, cannot only be useful, but extremely interesting and informative.  I look forward to learning more about myself and ways to interact best with my coworkers and staff.

  • Wm Spinks

    Wow, you’ve got your work cut out for you, Mike…over 1000 comments, so far!

    Mr. Buckingham has done a great job with his prior works on strengths assessment, and the science is well documented by writers like Daniel Pink and Harvard b-school faculty like Prof Teresa Amabile. This latest book would be a great help to us on the church staff I work for…would love to have to have a crack at it! Thanks for offering this to your readers.

    -bill spinks

  • http://twitter.com/rebeccagervais Rebecca Gervais

    Exciting addition to a great resource. I’m really interested to read this one and get my team on board with it as well!

  • Shelly Z

    One of the things that piqued my interest was the ability of the author to balance between theory and practice – I find this often is lacking in the workplace.  There is a lot of practice and teaching on practice but very often the balance of proven theory and research is missing.  The other key benefit I see is that after discovering the strengths, there is discussion on how to develop them over your lifetime.  The description is fascinating and I would love to have a copy if chosen. It would be a blessing. Thanks!

  • Ray Eickhoff

    I love coaching and mentoring people. To do so effectively one needs to be growing and pushing him or herself. Loved that Michael received some peace from finding out that he is an Equalizer and Pioneer. I am curious to see if I have as interesting an outcome. So I would be grateful to receive an opportunity to be selected to receive one of Marcus’s books. Thanks as always for providing this.

  • http://twitter.com/Avito_BZE  Avito Zaldivar 

    By identifying, then understanding what my strengths are, I am then able to understand how to add value in my job, my education, and even in my church as small group leader.  I also believe that as I understand my strengths, this will allow me to find areas, including careers, that better fit those strengths and focus on those areas.  That translates to efficiencies as far as eliminating areas that have less meaning in my life.  This is how I can then win in those areas of my life.

  • Travis Harmon

    In leading our church staff from being non-organizational to a mission-minded structure, we’re still struggling to get some of our ‘leaders’ to fully function in the ministries and gifts/talents God has given them. I desperately believe that StandOut could help us revolutionize the leadership in our church, and grow into the body of Christ that we’re called to be!

    -Travis Harmon

  • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

    Our team is often a launching point for young workers. It would be great to have this book in the tool kit to help the team be the best from early in their career.

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Michael, as usual an informative post. I am quite interested in reading this book because I suspect it will unlock some insight for me into my natural strengths and helping others capitalize on theirs. Thanks for sponsoring this contest!

  • Jeff

    As a pastor who wants to train and equip people for the work of serving both God and people, it is key to identify where people can most effectively apply their God-given gifts and skills.  Psalm 139 says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV)  Imagine the power in discovering for ourselves some of the patterns that God has knit into our personality as he wove us together, and especially to better understand the “edge” and the “multiplier” that he has given us, either by birth or by the experiences he gives us.

  • Kwblock

    This book could help me in two ways. First–personally, as I step out into the world of marketing and distribution of a book I have just sent off to be published (having been a somewhat insecure stay-at-home mom of six up to this point; with the Lord’s help a state I am growing out of!) I know I have leadership qualities and I am eager to explore, develop and use them.
    Secondly, this book could be very helpful to me as I collect and knit together a group of women to collectively seek out how we can, given our strengths and talents, actively contribute to the kingdom of God at large as well as in our own church body.

  • Crissy

    Focusing on the Standout attributes of each team member, and how they interconnect, would improve both productivity and job satisfaction across the board. Look forward to reading it!

  • Chris thurman

    So many in life and in many organizations focus their efforts on knowing and improving their weaknesses. I love Marcus’s approach to discovering and mastering one’s strengths. As a former college athlete, I once heard a coach say if you mastered one area of the sport, you would be an all-American, hands down. As a “coach” (leader) in a regional community bank, I can’t wait to read “Standout” and discover what strength we can master to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace.

  • David Ieno

    Hi this is my first time posting a comment here, I live in Mexico
    with my wife doing missionary work and are in charge of coordinating and
    organizing the work here with volunteers and other fellow missionaries,in
    reading your post about this book StandOut: Find Your Edge, Win at Work it
    sounds like something we could really learn from and use here in our day to day

  • Pastor Jason

    Evaluation should lead to application.  I am excited to work through the assessment and renew a focus on my strengths.  

  • Deborah Griffing

    Hello Michael:

    It is a pleasure to leave a comment! I met you very briefly at the Donald Miller Storyline Conference this past summer! That was a life-changing weekend!

    I have read most of the StrengthsFinder books in their various iterations, and they have profoundly impacted my work with clients. I am a psychotherapist and an Executive Leadership Coach. It is refreshing as a therapist to focus people on their strengths, despite the fact that it is often problems or unresolved wounds from the past that prompt them to seek therapy. They can lose sight of their strengths at times like these. In fact, it is often their strengths that enable them to move through crises more effectively. Focusing on strengths renews their hope and strengthens their determination to move forward in positive ways.

    As for executive leaders… I work with some scary-smart people who are already successful. Sometimes coaching focuses on shoring up weaknesses, but more often, clients are looking for new ways to employ their strengths in order to take their excellent performance to the next level. Brain research supports focusing on the ‘positive’ as we strive to learn new skills. StrengthsFinder assessments and books do just that and they give people a clear, valid, tangible place to begin! Sometimes the assessments validate known strengths, and sometimes they highlight previously unidentified strengths. Both are valuable for learning and growth. Teams particularly benefit from taking the assessments, as they learn to appreciate the wide complement of skills that each person brings to the the team as a whole. 

    Thanks so much for promoting StandOut! I enjoyed reading your summary.

    Deborah Griffing, PhD

  • Bernadette

    Hi Michael! I  think that this book will help my team in at least three ways:

    1. It will help us know our own strengths and start focusing on developing and using those strengths as opposed to just trying to fill in roles that are not based onour strengths because of urgent needs . This will help our team attain our highest level of productivity while maximizing limited resources available to us.

    2. It will help our team members support each other in areas where one team member’s strengths complement another’s weaknesses.

    3. It will help us help emerging leaders in our organization to capitalize on their strengths as we prepare them for  leadership roles.

    God bless you as you use your strengths to serve others all around the world!

  • DrJ

    I have used Markus’ Strengthfinders in the past for leadership training.  It is a great tool for team building.  I am interested to see how this new work interfaces with his previous work.  I am always looking for tools to help people discover who they are and how God created them. Thanks Michael for another great insight.

  • Eagledale50

    I can’t wait to read this book so I can sharpen my self-awareness of my leadership style and what to improve on.

  • Simon Fogg

    A big fan of Marcus’s. It would be great to build on the Strengths work that I and my team of Business Analysts in the Business Change team at Emerald Group Publishing Limited (www.emeraldinsight.com) did a few years ago. The new book looks to have more of a team focus than his previous work.

  • Pellumb Collaku

    I already posted in my facebook page a quote from this blog: “the most effective method for motivating people is to build on their strengths rather than correcting their weaknesses”.
    I have been following your blog for a while now, and it has been an inspiration for myself personally and has helped me in my role as a team leader with Campus Crusade for Christ here in Albania.
    Pellumb Collaku

  • James

    It is all about the team! Playing to peoples strengths to key to our success. I’ve read First break all the rules before Now Discover your strengths and this next book sounds fantastic on how to build on these foundations. People inherently can’t change no matter what you do. It is all about enabling people to do things they are already good at, facilitating them to be better! This is definitely one of my top 10 books and look forward to reading this next one! 

  • Dingheng0932

     Carefully read it again, well worth reading! I will continue to pay attention!

  • Dingheng0932

    Thank you to share! Well-written article! Carefully read it again, well worth reading! I will continue to pay attention!

  • http://www.shelleywalters.com Shelley

    I am my team. I am a single woman who left my job earlier this year to make a success of my own business, I work as a professional speaker and consultant on the topic of Social Media. Managing client expectations and knowing where to outsource and delegate are crucial to my success, this book would be wonderful aid.
    P.S. I love your blog, very practical – thank you for sharing!

  • Richeycom

    After reading “First, Break All The Rules”, then “Now Discover Your Strengths”, I found the results of the “test” to be spot on and decided to ask all the employees at my former employer to do the same. The results were outstanding after people better understood their style and how to use it to make the company a better place to work and the world a better place to live. I will enjoy reading my free copy of Marcus’ new book “Stand Out”

  • Radmanovic Aleksandra

    Sounds really good. I could use this book and what it offers in two ways: within the core team of a connectspot faith community that three of my friends and I have started a few months ago in Romania (connectspot.org) and in my practice as a life coach (I want to start group coaching) Thanks for the offer, such a good idea.

  • http://twitter.com/calinvalean Calin

    I`ve discovered Marcus many years ago along with the book
    First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. It was a huge step forward in managing my small business, hiring people and even raising my children.

    In the last year, I was challenged in many areas of personal growth (I have also discovered that I am more creative than I thought) which led me to a burning question: what exactly are my strongest points which I can use to have the greatest impact on those around me, in my business, church, family and friends? So I hope this book will help me to lay a good foundation to my next journey in life.

  • Kehkshan mnzoor

    Is this test difficult??


  • Joy Haynes

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this upcoming book. I found Strengths Finder to be a great tool.

  • Michelle R

    I believe that knowing what my teams top two roles are will help me best utilize thier strenghts additionally, I think it will be powerful for each individual knowing what thier “edge” is.  We really enjoyed the strength finder and this would be excellent follow up!

  • ED

    My team at work went through the first book/video (Trombone Player) and loved it!  The process we went through was very awakening to how effective focusing on our strengths can be!  I am excited to see how this book will help me to grow even more!!

  • http://amabacha.posterous.com/ Ronald Bach

    Working in a fast moving and  innovative industry – identifying and capitalizing on the strength roles of me and my team seems crucial. I would love a copy of the book to implement this in our organization! 

  • Kelleyfountain

    I am hoping this book will show me a path.  I feel my career has no direction and by learning more about myself, I will be able to see more clearly what my possibilties are.

  • Carterwarden

    I would love to get a copy.

  • http://craigtowens.com/ Craig Owens

    Having read all of Marcus’ books so far, I can attest to the impact they’ve made on my personal life. But what I’ve loved most is sharing his books and his assessments with others on my team, and watching the “light bulb” absolutely light up their lives. Marcus’ work is so encouraging and empowering. I cannot wait to share this one with my team!

  • http://craigtowens.com/ Craig Owens

    Having read all of Marcus’ books so far, I can attest to the impact they’ve made on my personal life. But what I’ve loved most is sharing his books and his assessments with others on my team, and watching the “light bulb” absolutely light up their lives. Marcus’ work is so encouraging and empowering. I cannot wait to share this one with my team!

  • Kari

    I am so excited about your blog.  My father shared it with me.  I am in a position where I will eventually be leading others and am excited about learning through your blog.  The ideas behind this book could change the way a workplace runs and make working more enjoyable for all employees.  Who wouldn’t love for their strengths to be continuously sought out rather than be torn down in their areas of weakness.

  • todddoubleu

    For the latest example of “playing to your strengths,” one need only watch the Men’s final of the 2011 US Open tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Djokovic’s ability to hit certain shots predictably and consistently is not only a strength for him, but the difference between winning and losing. Each of us can benefit from doing the same.

  • Daile Unruh-Peters

    Hi Michael,  I have been following your blog for several weeks now and am really enjoying it.  It is full of very useful information and practical tools for managing life and work.

    At this particular juncture of my life I find myself unemployed and am interested in reading Standout as a means of further clarifying where God is directing me to seek employment.  I also see it as a tool that I can use to diferentiate myself from others in my job search strategies and in person interviews. 

    Thanks for your blog . . . I will continue to read and benefit from it!


  • http://twitter.com/RobbyM411 Robby Martin

    I have proposed for years now that leveraging strengths, instead of pounding folks on weaknesses is the way to maximize potential. Our mutual friend, John Maxwell, was who I first heard this concept from. I try to get young, promising leaders to realize that if they will lead others, they will MULTIPLY their effectiveness and contribution. I try to get more senior leaders to realize that leveraging strengths of reports will MAXIMIZE their group’s accomplishments. I can’t wait to read Buckingham’s take on this subject. Maybe more will take notice of the concept based solely on the author’s credibility (which far outweighs mine).

  • http://twitter.com/johnwaldo johnwaldo

    I recently became the program director for an after school program in 15 schools, working with 1500+ kids and 120+ staff.  My executive director’s charge to me was “transform the program.”  Of course this means transforming the people.  We’re trying to create a culture of taking responsibility and one in which each program site’s team is well balanced.  In other words, that we have a multitude of strengths represented across each site.  I would love a copy so I can determine if this book could be part of our professional development strategies for our staff.


  • Lisa S

    The book sounds amazing! I have often struggled with my logical side and creative side. My natural ability to organize and administrate has served me well in my profession and yet I have discovered, if I don’t explore my creativity, I feel dried up. I’d love a copy of this book to help me better understand what my strengths are! 

  • http://luminarylearning.blogspot.com Bill C

    Looking forward to this one. If my entire team took this assessment and compared our standout strengths, perhaps we could increase teamwork by understand who does what best and working accordingly. You know, something like…”Let’s let Sara take the lead on this project…she’s an “Influencer” and we definitely need to gain acceptance for this project…”

  • Tom Rawls

    As a lead pastor fantatical about personal growth to have such a resource like “Standout” by Marcus Buckingham is outstanding. Can’t wait to read it and evaluate my stregth roles bringing the best to my church, community and colleagues. I’ll be challenged to discover my “edge” and make the most of it! Thanks Marcus!

  • Terri

    Thank you for sharing this new book! I am always looking for ways to improve myself and to share what I learn with others. I can’t wait to take the test and see the next steps of my progress to success.

  • http://twitter.com/tgetsa Getsa Tsikata

    I believe it will help my team focus on their strengths so that they can do more in less time  and take away the unnecessary rivarly

  • http://twitter.com/tgetsa Getsa Tsikata

    I believe it will help my team focus on their strengths so that they can do more in less time  and take away the unnecessary rivarly

  • http://twitter.com/deerspider Buck Webb

    I love Buckingham’s previous work, and I’m curious to see how his new one builds on his previous work. How do you see the two working together Mr. Hyatt?

    Also does it come as an e-book?

  • http://twitter.com/pauldz paul dzubinski

    I’m just one of your 162,214 subscriber :-). Thanks
    for impacting my life. Today you helped remind me that as I build a team
    to study the fruitful practices of European church planters that those
    team member should be picked for their strengths and asked to play to
    those strengths. Buckingham’s book would help us move in that direction even more. We’ll most likely get the book even if we don’t win one here. Thanks sharing!

  • PatriciaW

    Interesting.  Corporate personnel development is all about identifying what you don’t do well and putting together a plan to improve those things.  Capitalizing on one’s strengths intuitively makes sense.  I wonder whether the advice is to forget about those things you don’t do well, complementing oneself with people who are strong in those areas, or whether there still needs to be attention, albeit less, on improving weaknesses.

  • Lnichols3

    This book would help me with where to direct my energy.  There are so many new technologies tools.  Evernote, Nozebe, and many more.  I’m learning so many new ways to do things!  This could help me with which strength to focus on.  This would help me to eliminate distractions and do my best work.

  • Corey

    Hello Michael. My name is Corey Foster and I work with The Reset Agency. Our President Dave Jones would love to talk with you about our company and connecting together. Please check out our site at http://www.theresetagency.com and you can get back to me at corey@theresetagency.com. Thank you so much.

  • Travis Harmon

    I saw this link on John Piper’s twitter.

    -Travis Harmon

  • Debolivier

    Have loved strength finder – has given great insight personally, in my marriage and developing people. This sounds another amazing tool

  • Jeffsmithnc

    Sounds like a great help in leadership – starting with self. I’d love to give it a read. Thanks.

  • Tina Keil

    As Worship Director at Oasis Church, Nashville, TN I purchased StengthFinders 2.0 for my entire leadership team early this year.  The results have been invaluable to our growth and success!  Can’t wait for StandOut as I’m confident it will take our team to our next level!!  #welovegrowing #oasisfan #OCworship 

  • Tina Keil

    As Worship Director at Oasis Church, Nashville, TN I purchased StengthFinders 2.0 for my entire leadership team early this year.  The results have been invaluable to our growth and success!  Can’t wait for StandOut as I’m confident it will take our team to our next level!!  #welovegrowing #oasisfan #OCworship 

  • Mkester55

    Always good to have another tool to make the most of the life we’re given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dustinpetz Dustin Petz

    I have read two of Marcus’ other books and taken the first assessment, however, my struggle is to find ways to implement strengths-focused action within my ministry setting – both for myself and for those with whom I work.  In many ways this change of mindset (to focusing on strengths) could transform the whole of my ministry, including the equipping of lay persons of my church for ministry.  This is the basis for Paul’s teaching in 1 Corithians 12, even though we often will either focus on weaknesses or seek to place people into previously defined roles.  Things much change for me and for others, and I think this text could be a helpful tool!  Thank you.  Dustin

  • http://twitter.com/RoneiHarden Ronei Harden

    I subscribe to your blog and love the encouragement.  Hope I get one of your books!

  • Lisa

    I’ve been in radio for 30 years and one of the first things I do when hiring new staff is have them complete a strengths/desired strengths form.  (I prefer “desired strengths” to “weaknesses” because I believe that sometimes the things we are not strong in are just as important to the fulfillment of our calling as our strong-suits.)  When a person is added to the team, I connect them with someone who is strong in areas they desire to improve in.  I’ve always thought churches would do well to do something like this with some sort of computer program that could cross-reference the need to the nurturer.  Can you imagine how strong we would be if you could connect the family who’s just lost a son to childhood leukemia with a mother who has been through something similar?  A person, like myself, comes into the church 3 days after her last line of cocaine & says she wants to quit.  What if  the church, with a few keystrokes, has a list of members who are willing to help her, one on one, toward freedom.  An amazing database based on our callings, our strengths, our struggles, our talents, etc.  THAT is intentional leadership, Intentional ministry.  LOVE IT!

  • Nancy Ferrin

    I am a displaced worker trying to determine how I can begin again at mid-life.  I have “old” IT skills, lots of experience and a burning desire to serve the Lord, but I need to know how to leverage my strengths and find the “fit” He has in mind.  This book would be a great tool — a blessing indeed!  thanks for considering me…

  • Jessica

    I love self assessment first of all. I am always  looking forward to growing and improving.  I took the strengths finder test and my strengths are Achiever, Harmony, Responsibility, Learner and Input.  I work in an office where because of lack of leadership for several years, the team has been left floundering for direction.  I would love receive a free copy of this book, read it and take the test to identify how I can work with the group that I do now and make us a better team.  I am new to your daily postings and I am really enjoying them. Thank you for sharing your expertise with others!!

  • gary

    I know what my strengths are, but applying them to leadership at work has always been a challenge. I look forward to see what this book says on  the subject.

  • http://hurleystylee.myopenid.com/ Jason Hurley

    I’ve enjoyed your previous books, so I’m definitely looking forward to giving this a try too!

  • MarkHubbard

    Very intriguing….Thank you for sharing this book:).

  • Kelly Ford

    I love your blog!!

  • Karen Mcgraa

    I’m always open to new ways to help people discover their strengths and build on them.  I’d love to read your book and interview you on VCPWN Radio for WomensRadio.com.
    Dr. Karen McGraa, Media Psychologist

  • Anonymous

    I am at a significant transition point in my professional life right now and I want to begin to expoloit my strengths so I can move in a direction that will be best for myself and wherever I work. The problem is, I dont’ know what those strenghts are and have spent too much time finding out what they aren’t! I would love to learn what i should focus on by using this book.

  • http://thevoyages.tumblr.com Tim Bertolet

    I think this book will help me find my strengths so that I can lead from my  strengths rather than constantly try to build up the areas where I am weakest.

  • Clintoncolcunningham

    I think this would be a great read especially for anyone who is just starting out; this would be a great tool to discover what an individuals real strengths really are!

  • http://twitter.com/cloudspark cloudspark

    Michael – the other benefit to focusing on people’s strengths is that you focus on the positive parts of their work and build on it. When you work on “weaknesses” you inherently look what people are failing to do well; it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy and people ‘stuck’ feeling less than adequate. I’ll look forward to reading the new book and sharing the shift with fellow sparks and clients. As a team of ‘unstuckers’ this sounds to be a clear path to moving people towards positive progress.

    Be well, Jenny

  • http://www.shootthewounded.org Lynn

    I am teaching on Spiritual Gifts in my church and on Sunday I am speaking on whether or not inventories have validity in discovering Spiritual gifts.  I will admit, I am not a fan of inventories per se, but this may be a book (and test) worthy of looking seriously at.

  • http://twitter.com/JaySherer Jay Sherer

    How can it help me and my team? I’m currently in middle management and I’m responsible for aligning my department (Marketing and Communications) with the organizations goals and strategy while simultaneously working with peers to ensure we’re all in alignment across departments. We just went through the Strengths Finder program (my third time through), and I am wondering how to make the biggest impact in 2012. This would really help me hone the right skills and give me a clear path to start focusing in on my unique talent set. I’d love to read this book!

  • http://www.minionsformissions.com macbookandrew

    This could help me and my team to better identify our strengths and learn how we can use them most effectively, as well as help us learn how to avoid creating extra overlap in either strengths or weaknesses as we bring in new members.

  • Paula Grant-LeClaire

    This author is trustworthy and credible and his writing is simple and entertaining even though the subject matters he covers are complicated. The paradigm shift of self-cultivation learned through emphasis on our strengths reminds me a lot of one of my favorite quotes by Norman Vincent Peale: “We’ve all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it’s more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.”  I believe this book can help our team by clarifying the successes we’ve had based on our strengths and better yet, it will put everyone in similar mind-sets which is always a good thing for getting our work done.

  • Ray McKay Hardee

    Marcus Buckingham’s work has impacted my life as a pastor, my university students in Positive Psychology classes, and the world as a whole. I have read AND listened to all oh his books at least twice. His message is Impactful. His mode is stellar. His medium of extraordinary communication giftedness is unmatched.

  • Isokari

    Sting the rut will be the name of the game.  The book will attempt to indicate the suboptimalities in certain areas of my life and encourage me to filter them, sustaining and improving areas of my life where my comparative advantages are superior.

  • http://www.andthereyouhaveit.wordpress.com Joy

    I have been a part of a team that has been using the Strengths 2.0 assessment at Wycliffe where I work and it has started a growing revolution of  properly aligning people and allowing people’s passion and strength to guide what they are doing. Which I feel is really quite revolutionary consider our stateside presence is 500+.
    This new book feels like it will add further clarity for people and allow us to build stronger more effective teams. I hope to win a free copy to start using it for our organization, but will probably end up buying one even if I don’t! (maybe I shouldn’t have said that? will that lessen my chances?)
    Thank you very much for the opportunity! Always enjoy the blog, even when you don’t give away free stuff :)

  • Kibrcham

    I can’t wait to read it!

  • Cathy W.

    I’ve read Go Put Your Strengths to Work and have completed Strengths Finder 2.0.  Today I participated in a Strengths workshop with my team at work.  I fully believe in promoting this concept and in enabling my team to utilize their strengths as much as possible.  Can’t wait to read this book!

  • http://twitter.com/DanaDesigner Dana

    This gives an overall view of where the gaps are in the team. It could be a small business that needs your advice, or a Fortune 1000 organization. I look forward to reading this because I have a passion for Organizational Effectiveness and have a feeling this will light a fire back in my heart & mind. Brilliant!
    Thank you!
    Dana Schuster

  • Bramwell Joel

    As an Operations Manager, I too, took my entire team through Strengths assessments which proved invaluable. It made me a better leader as I gained a better understanding of myself and that of the strengths of my team. It redefined my leadership and clarified the roles of everyone on my team. It is time for another evaluation. This would provide further clarity and increase job satisfaction and productivity.

  • http://twitter.com/MrsRaquelLee Raquel E.

    I’m so excited that he has a new book. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak a few years back, nothing short of awesome! 
    My team is small but I do believe we are mighty. However it’s not enough for me to believe that. “Stand out: Find your edge at work” would give us the ability to understand not only what out personal strength role is but those of our fellow team members as well. What makes each of us tick and how to implement those strengths to develop growth within the team and ourselves! But most importantly we would acquire understanding, why we do, think and feel the way we do. To embrace what makes us “Stand out” and accept that God created us with unique gifts and abilities to fulfill His divine purpose.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share Michael, may God continue to Bless you!
    Can’t wait to read the new book! 
    “Here’s to the Crazy one’s!”

  • http://twitter.com/action_djackson Dan Jackson

    Buckingham’s “lead from your strengths” concept was revolutionary for me as well when I hear him speak a few years back. I’d love to get a copy of his new book!

  • Andrew Laine

    Should be good. I got a lot out of strengths!

  • Mike Swaney

    I’ve long been a fan of assessments. As a first time manager, I look forward to using these tools with my team to achieve exceptional results!

  • Dustin Moody

    I’m so excited to hear about this new book. I am a huge fan of StrengthsFinder (some have called me a nerd), and this latest work sounds even better. I could see this helping our team significantly by re-aligning some roles in areas of exceptionally low productivity, and forming teams based on individual strengths working together.

  • Cheryl

    My team and I are using great products that everyone should/could use.  I know we could benefit from a book like this that points out what we should be working on within ourselves!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.kirkendall Cheryl Kirkendall

    It’s always good to work on yourself, especially when you are in business!

  • Senoraallen

    As a teacher, I see myself as a leader for 160 students in the classroom, as well as over 600 in the entire school.  I am seeing a disappointing trend in that our youth do not see themselves as possible future world leaders.  I would like to be able to play up their strengths so that they can begin to see themselves in a new light.  I want them to see that they have a role to play in their world.

  • Landa

    Based on your review and Marcus’ abstract, this assessment may just be the next best thing to hit team dynamics.  Myers-Briggs goes only so far, but if this assessment truly enables the team members to take roles aligned with their natural  strengths, it would provide a more effective and efficient team, who in turn would produce a better product with fewer issues, patches, and problems.

  • Beth

    I would love to read this book!

  • http://www.rickwomack.com Rick Womack

    My present leadership role affects 2 primary groups of people. The first group is present day ministry leaders. As a denominational leader, I’m realizing with greater clarity the influence and platform God has given me. 

    The second group is next-gen leaders. As a mentor to full-time students, I’m realizing the need for encouragement and direction in these impressionable lives. I really believe this book would aid in my ability to multiply my influence with both groups. 

    Can’t wait to read it, thanks for the review & offer!

  • http://twitter.com/pattihazlett Patti Hazlett

    I was able to partcipate in some of the research Marcus did while preparing this book. It was very helpful in determining ways I could be more impactful at work. Unfortunately, I was recently laid off, so now, I hope the book could help better develop my marketability as I search for a new opportunity.

  • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

    As the host of a blogging conference, I have a team that I not only need to lead, but need to love and serve well. Part of serving my team is understanding their strengths so they can not only be stronger in their roles, but happier as well.

    I’d really like to learn more about the roles so I myself can be encouraged and so I can encourage my team and support their (and my own) skill sets. Thanks for this great giveaway! :)

  • Ronbrooks77

    I recently read StrengthFinders—I learned some things about myself, and I have made some changes to work on areas of strength, rather than focus on weakness.  I would love to win a copy of this book to continue the process

  • http://grace2whitty.wordpress.com Michael Whitcomb

    This book would help us find out why people are doing jobs they are not gifted to do and find proper work for them to do. 

  • Kylee

    As a teacher and mum of 3 the concept of building on strengths is close to my heart. This sounds like a great book, thanks for the opportunity to win.

  • CCW

    I found  Now, Discover Your Strengths very useful. My company uses it for it’s emerging leaders forum program. 

  • Sten-Erik Armitage

    Looking forward to reading it! I’ve enjoyed his past books. Although it may not be blatantly Christian, the reality is that all truth is God’s truth. :)

  • Carolyndyck

    Hi there!  This looks WONDERFUL – I manage a small self-storage facility & am absolutely interested in how to ‘lead’!  I would sincerely appreciate a copy of this amazing book!

  • http://twitter.com/andygingrich Andy Gingrich

    I’m very excited about this book. It’s a perfect fit for my community life team. We’re doing a great job connecting people into small groups. So taking a more specific look at our strength roles is a fantastic exercise for us. 

  • Kevin P

    Thanks for this, Michael.  Self-awareness is critical to becoming all we can be.  Since getting my MBA a few years ago, I’ve become a self-assessment junkie; I love getting new insights into who I am.  

    I look at it this way:  Life is a journey, with many destinations along the way.  You don’t take a trip to a new place without a map, but a map is useless if you don’t know where you’re starting from…

  • http://twitter.com/ken_ott Ken Ott

    I think this book could help me settle down at my current role in why I don’t feel like fit with the current management team I am a part of. It should raise my self-awareness level or help make the decision to find a new team and home to “fit in” where I could stand out more.

  • Dimitris Kontoudis

    As me and my team are about to start a big change in our religious organization, this book can be a great help to find roles and ways of working together, filling each others weaknesses and understand each other better. It’s important to know who you are (role) and how you relate to others, in order to use the strengths to reach for the vision. Thanks for the post. Either way the book is in a “want list” already. (but still “winning” one is a great booster!!!!) Nice post, love from Thessaloniki Greece

  • Nancy W. Schneider

    I’m working with a small non-profit start-up that works with churches and church leaders.  This is the sort of encouragement that we need.   Love your guidance on leadership matters!

  • Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I agree with Dan, if we could only see ourselves from the outside, like turning the inside-out of a shirt, we would see the best and/or worst from us.

  • Greg

    We have a very talented team of web designers and developers. They are talented for very different reasons, and I think that building on those talents to create and excellent experience will revolutionize the market we are in. It is a step in helping us reach our full potential. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmymoncrief Jimmy Moncrief

    I really want this book!

    To answer your question, I think this book would help me because I have a huge problem with focusing in general.  It sounds like this book will help me find my strengths and then focus on them to achieve maximum results.

    Currently, I’m constantly trying to learn new things in areas that I don’t have any experience.  

    Finally, I’m really excited about how the book balances “theory and practice.”  This is another area of weakness that I struggle with.  I feel I’m constantly learning theories but not putting them into practice.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a free book!

  • Sean McCabe

    Thank you for authoring this post.  I am always interested in learning more about myself, and I have read a few variations of the Strengths books.

    Specifically, I think this book will help me better articulate what my edge is and how to better use it.  I also think it will give me some helpful pointers of items that I shouldn’t be doing. 

    Interestingly, my church has been using the StrengthsFinder assessment for a while.  Just last month, I saw mention of this new assessment.  I think reading this book and taking the assessment will provide me with a stronger connection to serve those that are participating in the programs utilizing it.

  • Holly

    Sounds like the perfect way to take Strengthsfinder to the next level. I recently used Strengthsfinder results in conjunction with some ideas from Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team to transform a team that I lead that was suffering at work. We are all health care providers but we were a divided team. So, I led us through a series of discussions and activities. In one of them, we all tried to guess what each others’ strengths were and discussed why or why not we thought the Strengthsfinder results accurately described us. It was powerful, and now, months later with some other team building activities behind us, we are a strong, cohesive, service oriented team. I would use this book to lead my team to the next level to improve the health care we deliver even more.

  • Tcsikos

    Sounds like  a paradigm changer for me too. Made me interested in the topic. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/johnlambert John Lambert

    I like how he differentiates his assessment from Strengths Finder.  This is a key comparison since so many people have already used this assessment.  It would be interesting to know “what would I do” on a consistent basis and how that reveals my strengths.

  • http://twitter.com/kungfucarrot Kate Briles

    Thanks for the book recommendation, first of all. I have it on my wish list in case I don’t win!
    My primary reason for wanting this book is to learn a new facet of honor.  Romans 12 is a passage I’ve been in deeply lately: talks about the different ways we are wired but in the context of honoring each other. It sounds like this book can help our leadership team appreciate God’s gifts in the each other, thereby teaching us to “be members of one another”. I guess I’m a little more focused on it’s potential impact in the way we see other people, instead of using it primarily to understand ourselves.

    But I have another agenda: I’d like to use it in our family.  I’d like to see if I can adjust the teaching to the level of our kids; perhaps even base our family time off of it. I’m convinced a family is the foundational place to learn how to value the giftings and skills of another, cooperating with honor, helping the whole “team” run the race.

    Thanks again for the shout-out on this book, and thank you for the opportunity to win!

  • Terra Thornton

    Marcus Buckingham is one of my favorites!  I had the opportunity to see him speak at the Annual SHRM Conference last year…he was one of the keynote speakers and the BEST presentation that I attended at the entire event.  I would LOVE to snag his new book for free and check it out.  Thanks for your consideration!

  • http://www.2SonsandParisMom.blogspot.com Kristy L. Cambron

    Hi Michael –  Do you have any thoughts around Action Planning for leaders, but leveraging Strengths of the leader and the team to ensure a successful outcome?
    I have a role on a National Education team for a Fortune 50 Company and we give all new team members a copy of the Strengths Finder book. This post and the leadership information on this site is so good, I’ve linked you up on our internal corporate social media site. Let’s see what kind of  responses you get on the topic of Strengths.  Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t off the top of my head, but it sounds like a good idea. Thanks for linking to my site!

  • Svnichols

    This will further help our team with growth and accomplishment. There are very few things we can do on our own, but there is nothing that we cannot solve together.

  • Mickldaly

    Since reading Marcus’s first Stengthfinder book years ago, his approach has been core to my growth. Since Marcus is constantly building on his strengths, I have no doubt his new book will have an even greater impact om mine.

  • Matt Mann

    Mr. Hyatt,

    The topic of this book really strikes a chord with me as I have been thinking recently about how to better equip my volunteers/staff for good works.

    I am in an exciting but challenging position in life right now as a supervisor in two positions. I coordinate several volunteer teams & their leaders at church (I’m just in the infancy stages of developing a student leadership team of high school students); some of these teams are short-term, weekend-project groups to building and developing long-term service ministries. 

    I am also the program director for a 160+ members Boys & Girls Club and manage 5 floor staff (four of which are high schoolers!) and a front desk worker. We run out of a school cafeteria and a gym. It is an intense environment and is constantly shifting.

    I am in desperate need of anything to help me find efficient, clear-cut ways to maximize all of these people to the fullness of their abilities because I am in NO WAY a micro-manager and love to set people free to use their giftings.

    This book would be a major step in that direction.

  • http://www.jonstallings.com Jon Stallings

    Stand out sounds like a great program. It focuses on your strengths which is where you make the greatest impact. I would love to get a copy to help me and my church team find that focus.

  • Tom Otiende

    I’m excited about this book because I find self analysis crucial for my growth. Not only that, my team and I have just launched our flagship product after 3 and a half years of preparation and I couldn’t help but notice some team mates grappling with how to become more significant in this new process, causing unhealthy competition and politics. This evaluation will help me highlight each one’s strengths past and present and create great basis for where we envision ourselves in this new challenge in the hope to affirm each one’s place in the adventure. Thanks Michael, for the review. 

  • timdaviswired

    This book could help get a better grasp on my strengths, as well as provide vocabulary to express and market those strengths to others… I definitely want my strengths and passion, as well as any team I lead in the future to be aligned with what I do.

    And, by the way, Sept 16 is my birthday!

  • http://stuartloe.com Stuart Loe

    This book and the corresponding assessment would really help our team define roles and give necessary tasks to the best-suited team member.  This tool would also be life-giving in showing certain people on our team that they actually have strengths.  Once we know their strengths, we can empower them more effectively.

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    I’m excited to read this book and do the assessment!

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    I don’t think I am serving my company at my best. I don’t think I am using my skills to make a real contribution. I don’t think my current position matches with my personality.
    That’s why I’ve just started working with a coach to understand what changes I should make in my professional life and/or in my approach to work.
    I was so happy to see the this book is published in this very moment of my life and I would really like to use it to find and work on my strenghts.
    Thank you Michael for this post.

  • Bob

    Michael thank-you for your wisdom and insights…I look forward to every one of your posts. This looks like a tremendous book.

  • http://twitter.com/barrettmyers Barrett Myers

    I would love a copy of this book.  I work at a startup and everyone on our team has read StrengthsFinder, but the challenge is understanding how we can each use our strengths day to day. I think the roles described in StandOut would help us better understand how we can position each member of our team so that they are doing what they do best, making a big impact.  Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Jim

    I believe it could help my team by helping each of us know ourselves better and so work better together. We can get down in the weeds when we make assumptions about ourselves and others. Thanks Michael for bringing this helpful book to our attention.

  • Young Ho Yoon

    I got so excited as I read your review and purchased the Kindle edition of the book right away. But it seems I am stuck at the end of Chapter 2 because I don’t find the access key in the Kindle version :(
    Or can I a key in a different way?

  • Bob Griner

    Heard Marcus teach this at WCA…when he talked about winning so handily against his 5 yr-old son in ping pong:)

    I Was living in NJ at the time.  Researched the only school he could find that focused on strengths (which is in NJ).  Have taught it from the pulpit at church.  Teach and rear my children with this principle.  Rearrange my work and priorities by this principle.

    Give me more great life-changing insights Marcus!!

  • Bob Griner

    My personal life has been molded by Marcus’ work on “strengths.”  I Heard Marcus teach this at WCA…when he talked about winning so handily against his 5 yr-old son in ping pong:)

    I Was living in NJ at the time.  Researched the only school he could find that focused on strengths (which is in NJ).

    I have taught it to my leadership team.  I have taught it to my congregants from the pulpit at church.  I teach and train my children with this principle.  I rearrange my work and priorities by this principle.

    Give me more great life-changing insights Marcus!!

  • Michelle C

    I’d love to receive this book. I’ve enjoyed Marcus’ previous books. This sounds like it would be a great read. I know at this present moment I’m not working in my strengths due to being on a picket line.

    I would love to read this book in my current downtime to maximize my efforts when I return to work.

    Twitter: trusthimto

  • https://sites.google.com/site/chadtlower/ Chad T. Lower

    Well, I don’t have a team, but I did just start a new job. This past summer, I lost my job (actually found out last November that I would be losing my job in May). As I was looking for a new job, I decided that I didn’t want to do what I was currently doing–I lost my passion. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know where my passion was.  I read a lot of books and took the Strengths inventory.  I even did the Life Plan recommended by Michael complete with a solitary camping trip next to a creek with some hiking involved.

    I’m still not 100% sure that I am where I want to be, but I think I am better than where I was. Plus with 3 kids and a wife to support, I can’t be without a job for too long.  Tomorrow will end my third week in my new position.

    I think this book can help me to determine if this position will complement my strengths, or if I need to keep looking for that job that can become my passion.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/chadtlower/ Chad T. Lower

    Oh, and I couldn’t get the form on http://michaelhyatt.com/request-a-copy-of-standout-by-marcus-buckingham to take my information.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have received hundreds of requests through the form, so I know it is working. You might try a different browser.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/chadtlower/ Chad T. Lower

        Thank you for the reply. I will try again. I used Chrome and IE8. Both gave me the same error message, so I thought it was the form. Thank you.

  • Tom Farr

    I love the idea of understanding my own giftedness better. I work in student ministry, and it will help me to know where to focus on my strengths and see interact with the strengths of others.

  • http://twitter.com/karensdavis Karen Davis

    With all of the differing personalities and strengths on the various teams I work with, it sounds like this book would be a great tool to help the team work even better together as well as identify the missing pieces.

    I’ve read all of Marcus’ books and they have helped me immensely. I can’t wait to dig into this one. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Michael!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Serving from a leadership point, I believe Buckingham’s new book “StandOut” will assist me and my team in identifying and capitalizing from our top two strength roles more succinctly. That would in turn help us  give the real value addition to our clients  through enhanced productivity and increased awareness of our unique and distinct advantage.Looking  forward to read this  “Stand Out”!

  • Aaron_A

    I have enjoyed the various positions I have held throughout my career but am now asking myself where I should be focusing in order to make the best use of the talents God has given me. Perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis since I am now in my mid 40s, but this book may help me identify how to use my strengths in the most effective way at work, home, and church.

  • Kpowers004

    Encouragement is enhanced with affirmation of heading in the right direction. Constantly focusing on weaknesses is like putting your foot on the brakes while driving 100 miles an hour down the freeway. I want to head full speed ahead & am sure my weaknesses won’t snag the voyage if my strengths are empowered. Therefore, I would love the affirmation of what my strengths are. Thank you for this offer to assist in this endeavor in life.

  • http://stephenalynch.tumblr.com Stephen Lynch

    The results are based on how you would react to situations, not to how you view yourself.

    I didn’t really buy into another self-assessment until I heard that.

  • lifeskills plan

    I was introduced to the strengths concept at my church during Leadership training. It was an awakening experience that branch from the blog post on this site about “making the leap”. I have read the other strengths related books especially by Marcus Buckingham and it has been enlightening and motivational. I am a “learner” (based on the strengthfinder survey results) and it explains my passion for learning and teaching. I believe this is my calling and God-given purpose. Since the training I have created a business plan, submitted a grant proposal and created a strategic plan for a learning and training program for single parent women and youths. I have had this dream to do this for a long time but it was the concept of strengths that propel me from the dream phase to the action phase because I am now focusing on developing my areas of strengths.

  • Jason Crider

    At this point in life, my primary “Team” could be defined as my family. If this one isn’t thriving then it will be very difficult for the other teams (work, church, etc) to do anything more than tread water while trying to play catch up. I really think my wife would benefit the most from the book, but I’m very interested in it as well because it will help us refine our strengths and allow us to focus on those instead of picking apart the weaknesses.  My wife has been investigating a career change and I believe this would really help her understand her options and what direction God may place on her life. Sounds like a really good one.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Hope it’s not too late to drop my name in the hat.

    As a staff member at a church in southern Missouri, I think this would be a great tool to help us become more attractive in our community.  We always strive for excellence, but additional resources to help us do that will make us that much more effective.  Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/messicajae Jess Farrar

    Sounds like a great book! I’m so interested in books that help to pinpoint specifics about my personality. Using our strengths to be most efficient in our work is a great way to grow in being a good steward of what God has entrusted to us. Looking forward to reading and applying these things to my life that I may more efficiently and effectively make an impact on my world.

  • Chad Jackson

    I have been looking for a book just like this! 

  • Cassielovespj

    My husband would love this book! I’ve seen Marcus in person, and enjoyed him greatly. My husband has just been promoted to Managing Partner of a restaurant, and is striving to help his employees find their strengths.

  • http://www.plumllc.com Bobbi

    This sounds like a tremendous book. I’ve been looking for something like this to share with my partners! Bobbi

  • Bobbi

    Your Twitter link: “Twitter a link to this post. You can do so automatically by clicking here.” does not work. Posted on my Twitter @BobbiPlum.

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

    I heard Marcus speak a the Global Leadership Summit a few years ago and after that I bought StrenghthsFinder 2.0 and did the strengths assessment.  I found it extremely beneficial and since then I’ve done strengths assessments and training with my staff, the elder team at my church and my wife.  I’ve also blogged quite about about focusing on your strengths:

    Strenghts Finder 2.0 – Book Review – http://bit.ly/3b1pcHThings You Don’t Have Time NOT to Do: 7) Focus on Your Strengths – http://ow.ly/6wEjoHow Strengths Training Can Help You Develop an Extraordinary Team – http://bit.ly/gLmF4r
    This book sounds like another valuable step forward in understanding and living by ones strengths!

  • Bobbi

    We are looking for a book to discuss at our weekly meetings. We have been going through some of John Maxwell’s books. We are a group of Christian creative people. See our website: http://www.plumllc.com

  • http://twitter.com/TheChrisStasiuk Chris Stasiuk

    Thank you, Michael! Once again, your direction and insight prove invaluable. As a company, we also did the StrengthsFinders and I found it to be revolutionary and liberating! Instead of trying desperately to deal with my weaknesses, it empowered me to partner with others in the company with complimentary skills and strengths. I can’t wait to see Marcus’ next step!

  • http://twitter.com/TrinaKLee Trina Lee

    I am in the middle of a career transition and
    feel that Marcus’ new book would be a great input while I’m navigating my next
    steps.  After working for nine years as an executive director of an
    education nonprofit, I would love to better use my strengths of Input and
    Connection in my next job.  I also coordinate a singles ministry at my
    church and we are in a season of leadership transition. I want to grow in my
    ability to assist others in seeing how they can utilize their strengths for

  • http://twitter.com/jerburroughs Jeremy Burroughs

    My approach to work and the way I saw my skills totally changed after I took his strengthsfinder test. I started to realize that I could output higher quality work that would benefit my organization if I focused on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. His assessment and books have changed my approach to work and ministry. I would love to win this book, read it immediately and tell others. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/johnnydye John Dye

    I work with a team of young leaders 25-35 of age in a thrid world country where finding a carrier for life that they can live on is difficult.  people end up settling for minimum wage jobs.   I think this book would benefit my team if we could find their strengths and guide in these life changing decisions.   

  • http://twitter.com/garedog919 Gary Morland

    I think it could help us to realize Jesus gave us strengths so we’d use them, and weaknesses so we’ d depend on him and LET SOMEBODY ELSE do something. We need help to know the difference.

  • http://twitter.com/steveblumer Steve Blumer

    these things are always fun and interesting. figuring out who you are and how others on your team are helps determine how the team can work better if at all.  It brings to light why things might not have been working. always looking for a way to understand how I work.

  • http://twitter.com/Joe2355 Pastor Joe Bell

    I have some people who need help finding gifts, while others just need to be encouraged in identified areas. This middle of the road guid & test might be just the tipping point for their growth to the next level!

  • Hikeoflife

    I am at a point in my leadership development that the material contained in this book could be a valuable resource.

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  • Kevinbarthelette

    I reqlly think this could be great tool in helping people find thirty place at work, church, and other organizations.

  • Craig

    Awesome! Loved Now Discover Your Strengths and The One Thing You Need to Know… Trombone Player Wanted was revolutionary. Can’t wait to read Standout!

  • http://www.irunurun.com Travis Dommert

    Just as you describe the impact Marcus had on you and your organization, I experienced something similar years ago when a client suggested “Read First, Break All the Rules…then you will know how I tick”.  (“First” is the predecessor to “Now, Discover Your Strengths)

    Well, I picked up a copy of the book that day.  At a glance, I discovered that the book suggests that the Golden Rule is flawed, and I thought “Oh boy, I’m not sure this is someone I want to do business with after all!”  

    Reading further, I learned that the book’s premise is that PEOPLE ARE WIRED DIFFERENTLY, and that treating them as YOU wish to be treated is not nearly as effective as treating them the way THEY want to be treated.  It was a paradigm shift that led to a career shift!

    I’ve been on the path of studying peak performance, organizational psychology, and high performing organizations ever since!  Look forward to reading this latest book in the series. 

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  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Hi! I was curious about receiving “Stand Out.” I am very excited to get it and I was just checking about when it should be coming. I have never won so I was not sure how long it was supposed to take. Just wondering because like I said I am very excited about reading this book! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Brandon, please email tricia at michaelhyatt dot com and let her check for you. You should have received it by now.

  • Mark Demos

    I love the Strengths approach.  We are training students, teachers, counselors, administrators and business leaders using many of the Gallup SF and sttrengths profiles.  I amm looking forward to seeing thee new Strengths profiles Buckingham is using to take this work further.

  • Manipatchat

    I think this book will offer guidance to numerous youth who often feel lost in pursue of a career driven by glamour and money rather than the one utilising their true potential. It can also help to decide what I am capable of and where I need others support.

  • Babybanks23

    This book has been a huge paradigm shift for me as well. I was absolutely amazed at the results and it explains so much!  I would love to take this to the National PTA convention and teach PTA presidents and school leaders to use this approach in their PTAs and school administration.  Is there any way to do that?  Do you need permission from the author to promote his work?

    • Mark Demos

      I am working with a major school district in Dallas (Seattle and LA as well)and doing just that.  We also have a curriculum for teens and college students, ISS, OSS and juvenile offenders.  Wee are training teachers, administrators, counselors and others using the Strengths books and other curriculum I have writtten.  wwwmylifescene.com  look at Education

  • Rob Sorbo

    I finally got around to checking this book out. I haven’t read much of it yet, but I did take the test and studied my results. I thought I was going to be Adviser/Pioneer, but instead got Stimulator/Pioneer (Adviser was my #3, so I was close). 

    I really can see how Stimulator is true in my marriage (my wife went through a really hard time and I had to be a strong encourager), but I don’t really see how it plays out in my work life.

  • Teverton23

    I bought the book.  Where is my key to take the test?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Not sure. It should be somewhere in the book itself. If not, take it back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=185108868 Ricky Grabow

    Hi there! Unfortunitly, i purchased a used book, not knowing i would need an access key! Just wondering if anyone would be wiling to share their access key so I can use the online tool! It would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    • http://bdentzy.com/ Bryan Entzminger

      Those access codes only work once.

  • Gail Ferguson

    We thought this would be wonderful to give to some of our key employees at our Annual Business Conference, so we purchased 40 of the books. We were not able to  take the strengths assessment because to our surprise the key was missing from a great deal of the books and they wouldn’t let us return them because we purchased them in advance and only had so many days to return them. I wouldn’t think that would apply to “defective” books, but apparently it does.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Did you try to contact someone at Thomas Nelson or just the retailer you bought them from? I can’t imagine Thomas Nelson not making this right. Let me know how I can help. Thanks.

  • Becky

    I manage a non-profit and have used strengths finder 2.0 to help board members understand how to use their strengths to enjoy board service more. We are also able to find our weaknesses and our blind spots. After reading this I may decide to have executive board do standout as well. I am a pioneer connector.

  • Janjarboe

    Great book! I learned about it at the Chick FilA Leadercast event.

  • undurr

    As a manager I need to know the strengths of each of my staff. I am looking forward to Standout as a way to simplify staffs’ strengths and then put them to work.

  • ASF

    I’m an equalizer/pioneer too. Makes perfect sense to me.